Sunday, October 17, 2010

Change #7 A Multi-Billion Dollar Change: Home Birth Economics

Hi Birth Peeps,
I read today that an economic analysis predicted if just 10% of healthy women in the US gave birth at home with qualified midwives, it would save $9.1 BILLION per year. (Presently 1% of women birth at home.)

In the US, childbirth costs more than any other health (or medical?) condition; in 2000 the bill came to $86 Billion, half was paid by taxpayers. This tally is twice the amount paid by any European country.

You don't always get what you pay for. Although we pay more for childbirth than almost any country on the planet, the US has the worst birth outcomes, more preterm births, infant and maternal mortality and other problems than other developed countries.

Another way to change birth in our culture: make home birth with midwives the norm, not the alternative. Health insurance (public and private coverage) should cover home birth because it is a safe, even a safer, alternative for healthy women.

Today I reviewed current research on home birth. In the past thirty years, the studies here and abroad keep coming to the same conclusion: When healthy women birth at home with qualified midwives they have improved and safe outcomes: fewer lacerations, hemorrhages,induction or augmentation of labor, infections, or cesareans.

I am curious why there is a collective fervor to support "research-based" obstetric care--except when it comes to home birth.



  1. thanks Pam, posted it on my status. Trying to get the word out

  2. Thank you Pam! You give me more confidence about having a second baby, i want to stay healthy and do everything possible to have the next birth at home.

  3. thank you for this wonderful post
    I think giving birth to a child is the most precious thing for every woman.
    wishing a happy woman's day to all.