With more Americans living without health insurance, a growing number of women are choosing to deliver babies at home. Home births are less expensive. According to a recent New York Times article, from 2004 to 2008 more than 28,000 babies were born at home, which is less than one percent of all births. However, the number is increasing. One reason might be the fact that research shows that planned home birth mothers receive fewer interventions, including epidurals, fetal heart rate monitoring and episiotomies, which means that these women are far less likely to experience lacerations, hemorrhage, and infections.

In addition, the research showed that planned home births babies are less likely to be born prematurely, suffer low birth weight or require intubation. Although planned home and hospital births exhibited similar perinatal mortality rates, once the baby is born at home it is three times more likely to die.

As a Florida midwife birth injury lawyer I recommend that only women who are having completely normal, non-eventual pregnancies even consider having birth at home or under the care of a midwife. A midwife should never be considered if the mother has a history of diabetes, hypertension, is carrying twins or has any other type of obstetric complication.

In addition, both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist ACOG and the American College of Nurse Midwives agree that any women who has already had a baby by C-Section (VBAC) should have all subsequent babies in a hospital.

In Florida, a skilled and certified midwife has to have a relationship with both a hospital and OB doctor. Certified midwives are licensed in all 50 states and Florida has very specific rules regarding the certification and licensing of a nurse midwife. In Florida, a midwife is defined as any person who supervises a “normal labor and childbirth” with the informed consent of the patient. Normal labor and childbirth is defined as a healthy women with a healthy infant, expelling an intact placenta without injury or complication or undue strain to the mother. Florida Statute §467.003 requires that a certified midwife be a licensed advanced registered nurse and be certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. The midwife also must be over 21 years old
In addition, our Fort Lauderdale baby delivery malpractice lawyers recommend that if you are considering have a baby born at home that you purchase a home birthing kit that includes plastic sheets, disposable under-pads, menstrual pads, a measuring tape and baby thermometer. Many Florida birth mothers consider having the birth in a special tub called a “birthing tub.” If this is rented rather than purchased, we recommend equipping it with a disposable plastic liner.

Since complications can arise at any time during delivery it is very important to have an emergency plan in place for safe and immediate transport to the closest hospital. Statistics show that first-time mothers have a higher risk of complications than those who have previously given vaginal birth.

After over twenty years of being a Florida lawyer who helps babies who have been injured due to careless hospitals and having seen firsthand the catastrophic emotional, physical and financial devastation a birth injury can cause–not just to the baby but to the family–I strongly recommend having your child delivered at a hospital that has the facilities for deliver and a neonatal intensive care unit in case of disaster.

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