An introduction to midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth in Washington State
Fischer, Vivianne, 1979-
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Having up-to-date information on available options for birth care helps women and their families make decisions that suit them best. In this article, we aim to inform families, family support professionals, educators, and health policy makers on midwife-attended, out-of-hospital (OOH) birth care, because little reliable information is available to the public. In recent years, the numbers of OOH births have been increasing, and in 2012, about 1.4% of U.S. women planned OOH births, with more than twice that percentage in Washington State, at 3.4% (MacDorman et al. 2014). U.S.-based studies have shown that midwife-attended, OOH birth is safe and effective for low-risk women, and families appreciate receiving personalized care in a familiar setting. We discuss additional considerations, including costs, to help families and others as they make this important life decision.