What are your thoughts on hospital births vs. home or birthing center births?
I have followed this debate for a while and the more I read about it the less certain I am of either position. The US has a very high rate of birth interventions (induction, epidural, c-section), which you would think would reduce infant and maternal mortality, but in fact we have relatively high mortality rates for a first world country.
Studies have shown that for low-risk pregnancies, out-of-hospital births attended by a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), who have masters-level medical training, tend to have comparable outcomes to those in a hospital. Also, these tend to be less expensive and more comfortable birth experiences.
What are your thoughts? Is it simply not worth the risk to try to labor outside of a hospital? Or is it worth it to have a better experience, since the risk does not actually appear to be elevated (under certain circumstances)? Have you had a good or bad experience with either type of birth?