Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Home births: Then and now

Date:
November 30, 2011
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
New history research examines trends in US home births in the 1970s and paints a portrait of home-birth activists of the era -- activists who represented a broad cross section of society.

A comparison of home-birth trends of the 1970s finds many similarities -- and some differences -- related to current trends in home births.

For instance, in the 1970s -- as now -- women opting to engage in home births tended to have higher levels of education. That's according to a 1978 survey by Home Oriented Maternity Experience (HOME) that was recently found by University of Cincinnati historian Wendy Kline in the archives of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

That survey showed that in the late 1970s, one third of the group's members participating in home births had a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree. Fewer than one percent did not have a high school education.

Also, according to the 2,000 respondents to HOME's 1978 survey, 36 percent of women engaging in home births at the time were attended by physicians. That is a much higher percentage than is the case currently for mothers participating in home births. (In research by Eugene Declerq, Boston University School of Public Health, and Mairi Breen Rothman, Metro Area Midwives and Allied Services, it was found that about five percent of homebirths were attended by a physician in 2008.)

These comparisons are possible because of historical information found by UC's Kline, including "A Survey of Current Trends in Home Birth" by the founders HOME and published in 1979.

Kline is also conducting interviews with and has obtained historical documents from the founders of and the midwives first associated with HOME, a grass roots organization founded in 1974, to provide information and education related to home births.

Kline will present this research and related historical information as one of only nine international presenters invited to the "Communicating Reproduction" conference at Cambridge University Dec. 6-7.

The debate surrounding health, safety and home births rose to national prominence as recently as October 2011 during the Home Birth Consensus Summit in Virginia, held because of increasing interest in home births as an option for expectant mothers.

Overall, Kline's research of HOME and of ACOG counters the stereotypical view of the 1970s home-birth movement as countercultural and peopled by "hippies." In fact, the founders of HOME deliberately reached out to a broad cross section of women across the political and religious spectrum, including religious conservatives as well as those on the left of the political spectrum.

Said Kline, "In looking through the historical record, we find that many women involved in home births in the 1970s signed their names 'Mrs. Robert Smith' or 'Mrs. William Hoffman.' The movement included professionals, business people, farmers, laborers and artists. It defies simplistic categorization."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Home births: Then and now." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130115820.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2011, November 30). Home births: Then and now. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130115820.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Home births: Then and now." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130115820.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins