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Sticking close to home is a must for some moms-to-be. Especially when we're talking about giving birth.
Home births jumped 29 percent in the time period from 2004 to 2009, "its highest level since researchers began collecting data 20 years earlier," according to an MSNBC.com report based on figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The popularity of home births has undergone a revival in recent years. Last year, we reported on the renewed interest in the trend of women delivering in the comfort of their homes. In fact, officials reported a 20 percent boost from 2004 to 2008, setting a then-new record.
The findings re-emphasize the idea that more moms-to-be are taking control of the birthing process and are looking to avoid unnecessary medical interventions.
However, home births still only represent a small fraction of total births in the United States. "In 2009, 29,650 U.S. births, or .72 percent of total births, occurred at home," according to the MSNBC.com article.
The CDC cites that home births "tend to be more common among women 35 and older and among women with several previous children," MSNBC reports. In addition, Montana (2.6 percent), Oregon and Vermont (almost 2 percent each) have the highest home birth rates, according to the CDC figures quoted by MSNBC.
More and more women are defying convention and doctors' guidelines in choosing to have their babies at home. Read the experiences from three real-life readers who are sharing their ups and downs of delivering their way.
Remember, a home birth isn't for everyone. Our Ask the Labor Nurse blogger takes a look at emergency backup plans on the When Home Birth Doesn't Work Out page—for the cases that end up having to be transfered.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.