MYTH 2: Hospital births are very safe.
FACT: Most U.S. studies aren’t encouraging when it comes to mother and child health and mortality. More than 99% of all U.S. births take place in a hospital setting, and our mother and child mortality rates still suck, showing that hospitals aren’t as safe as you may think. To put this into perspective, the U.S. spends more more than any other country on health care, and yet, it’s more dangerous to give birth in the U.S. than in 49 other countries.
Amnesty International issued a report last year, “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” that shows that pregnancy and childbirth related deaths for mothers have doubled in the past 20 years. In fact, this report shows that 13.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births occurred in 2006. Not good news, especially since “Healthy People 2010,” notes that there should only be around four maternal deaths per 100,000 pregnancies.
Another report, The State of the World’s Mothers shows that the U.S. has a child mortality rate of 6.71 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is worse than the home birth infant mortality rate. Also, this means we rank 29th in the world in infant mortality.
Furthermore, death aside, labor and birth intervention rates are rising like mad in hospital settings, leaving you and your baby vulnerable to health complications. The CDC notes that induced labor rates have more than doubled since 1990, and in fact, one in five births is induced. C-section rates have gone up by 50%, since the 1990s as well. It’s also estimated that annually 195,000 deaths occur in hospitals, due to medical error.
MYTH 3: Home birth is illegal.
Home birth is not illegal in any state. The glitch is that some states say that it’s illegal for certain types of midwifes to attend a home birth. If you live in a state that does not recognize midwives as legitimate care providers for a home birth, it’s obviously much harder to find someone to deliver your baby at home.