Society is becoming more health conscientious everywhere and results are seen in longer life expectancy and bigger populations. Having babies at home is the latest focus area of cost and safety components. Healthy women are considered low risk, which means they are excellent candidates for home births. However, there are still questions being raised around the issue of what happens should a problem arise during the delivery from pregnancy related conditions. In addition, some mothers such as those with a health condition prior to pregnancy are advised against delivering babies at home. Is home labor and delivery less expensive and worth the cost? Is it the right choice for you?
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The Rationale for Home Birthing
The first reason for an increase in home births is a lower cost. Insurance companies have been crunching numbers with figures showing a nearly 50 percent decrease in cost for births at home instead of in hospitals. The reasons are obvious with the fees of midwives being less than those charged by their obstetrician counterpart. In addition, the inpatient charges for the mother and baby for the hospital stay continue to rise. In the United States most births still take place in hospitals, but the rate of midwives completing delivery is nearly 10 percent. This factor means the practice of home birthing should soon follow. Europe has already jumped on the bandwagon, and doctors there are proponents citing the cost and safety factors as well.
Home births continue to rise because they can be safer, as long as the mother is in excellent health. There is no risk of acquiring hospital infections that contribute to infant and maternal mortality rates second only to surgical intervention such as cesarean sections. Safety is a very important reason that bolsters this possibility.
Mothers that deliver at home would add to the list the ability to control every aspect of the birth. This includes choosing birth positions, no time constraints, and allowing more witnesses to share in the experience. For a woman that wants to have her child in the comfort of her own home, trends show this is becoming a popular alternative.

Risks During Delivery
Some risks can occur during delivery regardless of the health status of the mother, which include preterm delivery, uncontrolled bleeding, fetal distress, preeclampsia, and premature water breakage. A delivery less than 37 weeks is considered preterm and requires medical assistance.
Uncontrolled bleeding is an obvious immediate threat to the life of the baby and mother. Seeking medical attention should be the top priority here. Fetal distress is a risk to the baby and not so much the mother, but the sooner the cause is known; steps can be taken to deliver the baby quickly. The risk of infection is very high when the water breaks before full cervical dilation, and the baby starts to descend down the birth canal. The water is a barrier against germs so if it breaks too soon, it can be a cause for medical intervention.

Home births continue to rise, but in these situations should be controlled and monitored.

Conditions that Preclude Home Births
A high risk obstetrician, like Dr. Gilbert Webb, is critical for mothers that have conditions prior to pregnancy. Mothers that are in this category generally know this form of delivery is off the table. The conditions include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and others. In fact, doctors stress the importance of delivering babies in a hospital setting where access to equipment and the NICU is immediate.

The cost of home delivery is certainly less expensive than a traditional hospital setting. Once mothers look at all the factors for a safe delivery with their doctor and partner, the cost factor will seal the deal. Insurance companies will also support the choice with more listings for midwives as well as coverage for their services. The facts are conclusive, healthy mothers have a clear, cost-effective alternative in home delivery.