Home Birth: Increasingly Popular, But Dangerous, on The Daily Beast.
A few decades ago, home birth in the United States was mostly limited to insular religious communities like the Amish and to dedicated members of the counterculture like Gaskin, whose husband founded The Farm as a commune in the 1970s. In recent years, though, it’s moved toward the mainstream, spurred by the rise of attachment parenting, a reaction against a dysfunctional medical system, and pro-midwife documentaries like The Business of Being Born, which featured producer Ricki Lake giving birth in her bathtub. Though still quite small, the number of home births is increasing—according to the Centers for Disease Control, it grew 29 percent between 2004 and 2009, to 29,650.
Home births are a big thing in the conservative homeschool world where I grew up. I even had one friend who delivered a little sibling because the midwife didn’t get there on time. My friend was in high school.