Photo courtesy of Carrie Vickery.

A small but growing number of U.S. women are choosing to have their babies at home. In more than 30 states, including most of the Midwest, it’s legal for certified professional midwives – trained specifically in home birth – to assist them.

With Uptick In Home Births, Midwives Seek To Practice In More States

Jul 19, 2016
kc7fys/via Flickr

Jennifer Crook is a trained and certified midwife living in Birmingham, Alabama, who has presided over about 200 home births. But to do so, she and her pregnant patients had to drive two hours across the state line to Tennessee.

The reason for the border crossing was simple: Alabama is among 22 states that do not license midwives who deliver babies outside of hospitals. And practicing midwifery without a license in Alabama wasn’t worth the risk.

As Birthing Centers Increase In Popularity, Kansas Midwives Push For Legal Independence

Mar 16, 2016
Kendra Wyatt, left, of the New Birth Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and expectant mother Sarah Lockridge inspect a 'birthing sling' in the room that Sarah is hoping to use when she delivers h
Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

The number of birth center deliveries – while still small compared to hospitals – has jumped more than 50 percent since 2007. And recent research has documented some associated health benefits.

A study soon to be published in the journal Women’s Health Issues says there are fewer pre-term births and low birthweight babies in states where midwives – working in birth centers and hospitals – do more deliveries. There are also fewer cesarean births.

Should More Women Give Birth Outside The Hospital?

Jul 13, 2015

A recent recommendation from doctors in the United Kingdom raised eyebrows in the United States: The British National Health Service says healthy women with straightforward pregnancies are better off staying out of the hospital to deliver their babies.

That's heresy, obstetrician Dr. Neel Shah first thought. In the United States, 99 percent of babies are born in hospitals.