As maternity wards continue to close across the U.S., demand for midwives has grown, especially in rural areas. But hospitals and health care providers have raised concerns about licensing and safety.
The "No Home Birth" policy was created to reduce maternal and newborn mortality rates. But critics say it makes giving birth expensive and complicated — especially during the coronavirus crisis.
A big study finds the risk that the baby will die soon after delivery is twice as high if the delivery was planned for home or a birthing center versus the hospital, but such deaths are very rare.
The British medical system says healthy women with normal pregnancies should give birth at home or in a midwife-led facility. But 99 percent of babies in the U.S. are born in hospitals.