AirTalk for April 30, 2013

Pediatricians offer prescription for homebirths

newborn baby infant

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A 4-day-old newborn baby lies in a baby bed in the maternity ward of a hospital.

For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines for delivering a baby outside of a hospital. Statistics show that more women, though still a small number, have been choosing midwives over maternity wards. So, doctors say they want to ensure best practices for newborns wherever they come into the world.

There is worry that mothers-to-be taking a naturalistic approach may also shun modern medical advice for newborns, including Hepatitis B vaccines, Vitamin K doses and screening for genetic diseases. Still they acknowledge a homebirth comes with hopes of a more family-friendly scene, more control and decreased intervention and cost.

Why are more women choosing homebirths? Why do doctors says  "a woman's choice to plan a home birth is not well supported in the United States?" What's your experience with the maternity ward or midwives?

Dr. Dennis Woo, M.D., Doctor of Pediatrics, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

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