Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Home Births on the Rise

CDC Reports 29% Increase in Home Births From 2004 to 2009

Who's Choosing Home Births? continued...

In 2009, most home births (62%) involved midwives. Just 5% of home births were attended by doctors, and 33% involved someone else, such as a family member or an emergency medical technician.

Some home births are planned. Others may occur in an emergency situation, such as when the woman was unable to get to the hospital in time. This affects who was present. Only certain states differentiate whether the home birth was planned or not on a birth certificate.

Most women who choose home births are considered at low risk for pregnancy-related complications. Midwives and others may be getting better at determining which women can safely chose a home birth, MacDorman says.

Home Birth Not for Every Pregnancy

Saraswathi Vedam is the chair of the Home Birth Section of the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Division of Standards and Practice. She is also the director of the Division of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia.

She is on the front lines of this home-birth movement. “One would hope the rise is in planned home birth among healthy women with good risk profiles,“ Vedam says.

Home birth is not for every woman or every pregnancy. Women who wish to have a home birth should be full term, not have any blood pressure issues during pregnancy, and should be well nourished. The baby should be growing well and ideally have its head facing downward.

“There should be nothing about the pregnancy that would suggest she will need interventions in the hospital,” Vedam says.

The large variations in the percentage of home births by state may be influenced by differences in state laws pertaining to midwifery practice or out-of-hospital birth, according to the study.

Women interested in home birth should do their research, and make sure that the provider has access to a hospital if they change their mind.

Not Everyone on Board

Based on his own experiences, Gene Burkett, MD, is not sold on home births. He is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. “The downsides are that when something goes wrong, such as an abnormal fetal heart rate, you have to respond in a manner that gets the patient delivered immediately,” he says.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy