Wherever both home birth and hospital birth are possible, the decision of which to choose is limited by various physical, psychological, social, and economic factors. Around the world, most women give birth at home or in other nonhospital settings, preserving generational knowledge and family responsibility. Better nutrition, hygiene, and disease control over the last century have improved overall birth outcomes for mother and baby. In the developed world, home birth is increasingly common but not the norm. In deciding to elect a home birth, the risk of possible complications is typically offset by trust in the woman's ability to give birth and her intuition, confidence in the attending midwife or homebirth practitioner, physical and intellectual preparation, and confidence in a supportive partner. Some of the ...

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