The number of families choosing homebirth in Northern Virginia and Washington Metro DC has grown rapidly since 2019, with 25-30% more families are choosing to give birth at home. That’s a pretty significant shift, so I just had to know: Why do parents choose home birth?
As a doula, I support choosing the location for birth that works best for you. If you have a primary care provider assisting your birth, I am happy to attend wherever you want to give birth, home or hospital. Statistics have shown the percentage of home births vs hospital births have remained fairly steady since 1969 (increasing by 41% between 2004 and 2010) but changed significantly in 2020.
I explored studies and surveys, read reviews, and spoke with my doula clients and other new families in Metro DC and Northern Virginia about their reasons for choosing to give birth at home. There was one common theme: safety. I found this so intriguing because safety is the reason people often give when explaining why they chose to give birth in a hospital instead of having a home birth.
Homebirth is safe.
Statistically, planned home births attended by a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Certified Midwife (CM) or Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) have decreased rates of obstetric intervention while maintaining very low and comparable adverse outcomes when compared to planned hospital births. For many families, reduced medical intervention is significant in ensuring they feel safe.
Pregnant people who have had previous negative experiences with doctors or in a hospital may feel safer birthing at home with a midwife and home birth doula support. For people with medical trauma, going to a hospital for any reason can be triggering. Birth Centers like BirthCare and Premier Birth Center are wonderful options for anyone who prefers to avoid going to a hospital for their birth but does not want to give birth at home.
Homebirth puts you in control of your experience.
Some of the other reasons that home birth is an attractive option for expectant parents include wanting more control over their birth and postpartum experience. Hospitals often have policies in place that may feel restrictive. Homebirth is a great option for anyone who would prefer to move freely in a familiar environment, wants to eat and drink as they like, and prefers to avoid travel during labor or shortly after birth.
Homebirth is comfortable.
Homebirth can be enticing because home is the place families are most comfortable. Not only do they have everything they need to feel relaxed, home birth offers the option of including children and pets, too. There’s no place like home!
Doulas support homebirth and hospital birth.
Regardless of where you plan to give birth, a home birth doula is a valuable and unique member of the birth team. Doctors, nurses, and midwives are busy ensuring you and your baby are medically well and sometimes have multiple clients in labor to care for. A doula is helpful in both environments, ensuring your emotional and physical needs are met.
If you’d like support when deciding where to give birth, Mother Nurture Doula Services can help. Together, we can explore home birth, hospital birth, and birth centers in Woodbridge, Fairfax, Arlington, Manassas, Stafford, and the Metro DC Area. Contact us to book a consultation.