Planning for the birth of your baby is one of the most important things you’ll ever think about. Birth, especially in the United States, has come a long way from the days of twilight sleep, but many women are turning to one of the oldest practices in the world — the home birth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.36 percent of births in 2012 occurred outside of a hospital and 66 percent of those were home births. With so many moms-to-be making the move from hospital to home, more and more people are wondering if and how to have a home birth.
As to whether they should or should, there are plenty of reasons to pregnant women to consider a home birth. So many women are looking for a chance to birth naturally, in a comfortable surrounding, and without the fear of unnecessary medical interventions. Not only are you allowed to fill the room with those you love, including other children, but the American Pregnancy Association notes that you’re also able to move around and change positions, avoiding the one-size-fits-all birthing plan of most hospitals. A recent study also found that an uncomplicated vaginal birth costs, on average, 68 percent less in a home than a hospital. But having a home birth is more than just grabbing some towels and boiling water. It takes a lot of planning and work, but if it’s something you’re truly committed to having, it can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. I spoke with childbirth educator and birth doula Samantha Van Vleet of Intuitive Childbirth to find out what you need to focus on when planning a home birth.