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The Choice To Birth Out-Of-Hospital

OPB | April 16, 2014 12:25 p.m. | Updated: April 25, 2014 3:05 p.m.

Marie Annin

New research out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Oregon ranks as having one of the highest rates of out-of-hospital births in the country. Yet even as a leader in the home birth and birthing center movements, the numbers are still very low: only 3.8 percent of babies are born out-of-hospital. That compares to a national average of 1.36 percent.

On average about two-thirds of those out-of-hospital births take place at home, 29 percent in birthing centers, and 5 percent in other locations like a clinic or doctor’s office (or taxi cab, perhaps).

Eugene Declercq is one of the researchers of the study and a self-described “sort of” home birth advocate. He says he doubts the national average will ever rise above about 3 percent.

This month The World is exploring pregnancy and childbirth issues in their series, The Ninth Month. We add to this conversation by asking: where did you choose to birth your child, and why?

We asked Public Insight Network members to share their experiences of giving birth out-of-hospital — and if they'd share a photo. Here are some of our favorites.

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