Monday, March 02, 2009

Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the US Choose Home Birth

My baby has arrived! Not the literal one--it's a bit early for that--but the article I co-authored has been published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. I can't pull up the full text via my university subscription yet, but I should be able to access it fairly soon. Email me if you'd like to read it!

Here is the abstract of Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the United States Choose Home Birth:
"Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the US Choose Home Birth." Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health Volume 54, Issue 2, Pages 119-126 (March 2009).

Debora Boucher, CNM, Catherine Bennett, RNC, BSN, Barbara McFarlin, CNM, PhD, RDMS, Rixa Freeze, PhD, MA

Approximately 1% of American women give birth at home and face substantial obstacles when they make this choice. This study describes the reasons that women in the United States choose home birth. A qualitative descriptive secondary analysis was conducted in a previously collected dataset obtained via an online survey. The sample consisted of 160 women who were US residents and planned a home birth at least once. Content analysis was used to study the responses from women to one essay question: “Why did you choose home birth?” Women who participated in the study were mostly married (91%) and white (87%). The majority (62%) had a college education. Our analysis revealed 508 separate statements about why these women chose home birth. Responses were coded and categorized into 26 common themes. The most common reasons given for wanting to birth at home were: 1) safety (n = 38); 2) avoidance of unnecessary medical interventions common in hospital births (n = 38); 3) previous negative hospital experience (n = 37); 4) more control (n = 35); and 5) comfortable, familiar environment (n = 30). Another dominant theme was women's trust in the birth process (n = 25). Women equated medical intervention with reduced safety and trusted their bodies' inherent ability to give birth without interference.


  1. I'd LOVE to read it! congrats!

  2. Please send me a pdf! We are always looking for something new to bug legislators with. Congratulations, btw!! How exciting.

  3. Forgot to mention, I'd love to read the whole thing if you could send it to me. Thanks.

  4. Okay, now I don't know what happened to my first comment! Oh well...

    I just said that I have been following your blog for a few months now, and I posted on my blog this morning about your article, but I had no idea that you had co-authored it. Just thought it was a great article. Congrats on being published.

  5. I love that safety is the #1 reason given. Logical to me, but not to the mainstream medical establishment.

    Please send me a copy.

  6. I would love to read it too!

  7. I would love to read the full version of your article (talkbirth@gmail dot com).



  8. i was able to download the paper from my school and the also have it thru nursing central if you have access to that site. Rixa - if you havent been able to get to it yet I can email it to you if you would like. i tried to post the link but unless you are registered and signed in it wont come up. Sorry guys.

  9. Nene,
    Thanks for your offer. I actually have access to it now; it just took a few days for it to show up online.


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