Reflecting trends we wee in Illinois, several articles have been published around the country, documenting the rise in the demand for home birth services. Here are a few.
New York Times, November 12, 2008
Baby You're Home
Midwives Say Home Births Are Up, Despite Warnings
by JULIE SCELFO
...local midwives say they have been swamped with calls and requests in recent months, in some cases increasing their workload from two, three or four deliveries a month to as many as 10. (New York health department statistics for this year will not be available until 2010.) Several certified nurse midwives who have home-birth-only practices said they had gotten so many more requests in recent months that they have begun referring pregnant women to midwives in Rockland County, Long Island and New Jersey.
Erica Lyon, the founder of Realbirth, a five-year-old childbirth education center with three locations in the city, said 20 percent of the 160 couples who take her classes each month are planning home births, twice as many as six months ago. YourWaterBirth.com, one of the biggest online purveyors of birthing pools — deep inflatable tubs with a specially designed built-in seat and handles — said its sales have doubled since last year, with more than 20 percent of its customers in New York City; Waterbirth.org, another outlet, said it has sold more than twice as many pools this year as last, 25 percent of them to New Yorkers and Long Islanders.
Home birth professionals in New York City have been struck, several said, by the fact that the increase is coming not so much from the dyed-in-the-wool back-to-nature types as from professionals like lawyers and bankers. “People who wouldn’t naturally self-select for home birth are coming in and getting very open-minded,” said Cara Muhlhahn, a certified nurse midwife who has had a home-birth practice for 17 years and is now fully booked six months in advance.
One reason for the change, it seems, is “The Business of Being Born,” a documentary produced by the actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake, which ran in only a few theaters during its theatrical release in January but has become an underground hit among expectant parents since coming out on DVD. (Rentrak, a company that monitors DVD rentals, said that instead of dropping off, as typically happens with new releases, the film is being rented at consistent rates.)
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Colette's comments: These so-called "warnings" are unfounded dire predictions made by organized medicine that ignore all reliable evidence that home birth is an equally safe option to hospital birth for healthy women and their babies.