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“We just assumed that everything would go right and focused on having faith in ourselves and in the process. I knew if something went wrong, I was definitely going to go to the hospital, but I trusted my midwife to know when it was time.” —Caitlin, A Yoga Teacher and mother of one in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I thought about home birth, but I worried that if I needed to transfer to the hospital, the ambulance might get stuck in traffic. At least with a birth center, I would only have to make it around the corner.” —Catherine, an actress and mother of two in New York
Who chooses it: Women who want to deliver in the most old-fashioned, low-tech way possible. These women share a fundamental optimism about childbirth, a belief that it is a normal, healthy process rather than a condition that needs to be managed by hospital protocols.
What you get: The luxury of writing your own rules for your labor, birth and surroundings, and delivering in the most familiar, comfortable environment possible—your own home.
What you give up: The comfort of knowing that a potentially lifesaving operating room or neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) is just an elevator ride away.
What you need to know: Studies show that if you are healthy and have had good prenatal care and your pregnancy is considered full-term and low-risk, a home birth is as safe as a hospital delivery and leads to fewer interventions. If you are pregnant with multiples or with a baby in the breech position, have had a previous C-section or experienced medical problems such as diabetes or preeclampsia, it’s safer to deliver in a hospital.