Here’s what I have to say
All of my kids were born at home, with Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in attendance. You can read a couple of my birth stories (the very brief versions!) here; more about why I think midwives are awesome here; and what I appreciate about my particular midwife here.
Other good stuff: a quick comparison of the midwifery model of care and the medical model of care; why “natural birth” is not the most helpful phrase; everyone’s favorite question: is home birth safe?; and an explanation about some of the anti-home-birth literature out there.
I’m not trying to tell anyone else how or where to give birth, because I believe women can decide for themselves which type of attendant, which model of care, and which location best fits their own individual values and circumstances. (You can read more about what I believe here, and here.) I am, however, always happy to provide information, so if you are researching birth options, here’s some reading to get you started.
Preparing For Birth
Sheila Kitzinger’s Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Ina May Gaskin’s Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.
Henci Goer’s Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.
Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s movie, The Business of Being Born.
Pam England’s Birthing from Within.
Adrienne Lieberman’s Easing Labor Pain.
More About Birth: Birth Politics, Midwifery, Birth Stories
Read These Online
Henci Goer’s articles.
Jennifer Block’s articles.
Giving Birth With Confidence, for learning about healthy birth practices.
Childbirth Connection, for more about evidence-based maternity care.
Our Bodies, Ourselves on Pregnancy & Birth.
Citizens for Midwifery, for more about midwifery. Check out their resources page.
is home birth safe?
A review of the literature on planned out-of-hospital birth.
The Cochrane Review of the literature on midwife-led care.
A Canadian study comparing outcomes of home births attended by midwives, hospital births attended by midwives, and hospital births attended by physicians.
Commentary on the Canadian study.
A study comparing outcomes of home births and hospital births in the Netherlands.
Commentary on the Netherlands study.
Reported outcomes of births attended by Certified Professional Midwives.
More About Midwives
The Midwifery Model of Care, compared with the Medical Model of Care.
What is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?
Learn more at Mothers Naturally, a site run by the Midwives’ Alliance of North America.
Check out My Midwife, a site run by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
finding a midwife
Check if home birth midwives are legally recognized in your state.
Find a Midwife through MANA’s Mothers Naturally site.
Find a Certified Nurse-Midwife through the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Find local birth attendants and locations, along with ratings and intervention rates, at The Birth Survey.
Try the low-tech route: check your local phone book for midwifery services!
Ten questions (pdf) you may want to ask when interviewing birth attendants.