SPECIAL DELIVERY: Home birth trend booming in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 29, 2015)-- It’s the newest parenting trend. More and more mothers are opting to give birth at home. You may be surprised at how many people are doing it right here in Indiana.

It’s an exciting and stressful time for Tahwii Porter. Porter is expecting her first baby in August, and she just moved into her new house – the place where she wants to bring that baby into the world.

“I've always imagined giving birth at home. I`ve wanted a sacred experience, and I didn`t want any interventions, beeping machines, bright lights,” said expectant mother Tahwii Porter.

Millions of babies are born in US hospitals each year.

With doctors and technology right there in the delivery room, 98 percent of American women choose to birth their babies in the hospital, according to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2013, more than 36,000 women gave birth outside the hospital, at home. That’s the highest number ever recorded.

“Home birth popularity is growing around the country, and Indiana is no different. We`ve seen significant increases around here,” said Mary Helen Ayers, President of the Indiana Midwives Association.

In fact, Indiana is in the top ten for home births.

1,376 babies born at home – in someone’s living room, bedroom or even sunroom.

Indiana’s large Amish population contributes to these numbers, but experts think it’s also a direct result of the increasing number of cesarean sections. Nearly a third of babies are delivered by C-section today. And, midwives don’t do them.

“Our women are very concerned about avoiding unnecessary medical intervention in their birth,” explained Ayers.

That’s why a lot of care and preparation is going into Tahwii Porter’s home birth, and it helps that Victoria is a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Right now, 29 states, including Indiana, allow certified professional midwives to register with the state.

“Midwife means with woman. I am with the woman throughout her entire experience and her entire life cycle,” explained Victoria Floyd, MSN, CNM with Carmel Midwifery and Women's Health, LLC.

Victoria Floyd takes care of all of Tahwii Porter’s prenatal visits. As an independent practitioners, Floyd orders labs and ultrasounds for her clients.

“Most of my women never see a physician during the course of their care.  Many woman who come to see me want that holistic approach to their pregnancy and to their healthcare in general,” said Floyd.

Victoria Floyd charges $4,500 for maternity care as a certified nurse midwife. Clients pay her up front and then bill through their insurance.

An average hospital bill can start at $10,000.

Victoria Floyd also carries malpractice insurance.

“Malpractice insurance is not required but ethically it is a good idea,” Floyd said.

But, when you’re talking about your new baby, the biggest concern isn't cost. It’s safety.

“The essentials for home birth is safety, it is planned to be at home,” said Mary Helen Ayers with Indiana Midwives Association.

Home birth is only considered safe for women with low-risk pregnancies.

And, even that doesn't always go as planned.

Celebrity Jill Duggar labored for twenty hours at home before she finally had to deliver at a hospital by C-section. Duggar’s baby boy had a breech birth.

“All midwives need to have a plan in place for all emergency situation at all times,” Ayers pointed out.

Floyd will bring the birthing pool, her assistant and all other labor equipment to Tahwii Porter’s house when it is time for labor and delivery.

“The women have control over their own experience. They can have whatever they want. Music, candles, low lights or a party with their close friends. I`ve seen all kinds of things,” said Floyd.

There are no epidurals for at-home births. Tahwii Porter plans to use hypnosis to help her with the pain.

”It's best to follow your own instincts. One path is not a path that everyone should follow. Birth is a very scared experience,” said Tahwii Porter.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still says at-home births are more risky, and hospital births are best.

Click here to learn more about Carmel Midwifery and Women’s Health.

Click here to learn more about the Indiana Midwives Association.

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