One of the best things about living in NYC is that you can get almost anything you want delivered to your home. And that includes babies. The NY Times reports that the small midwife community in the city is keeping itself very busy, even as the number of home births in the city has declined from 750 in 1996 to 443 in 2003.
Right before the kid was born last year, I remember hearing a lot of grumbling because a very popular birthing center was closing its doors, leaving people who wanted anything other than a straight hospital birth with seriously diminished options. Sometimes it does amaze me that while homebirth still has significant mindshare in Europe--it was the idealized historic glory that got replaced by Britain's shabby NHS, for example--it feels like it's been pushed off the radar almost entirely here. Go figure. I wonder if the insurance/hmo industry has anything to do with that?
Frtunately, there's still the internet, and the article namechecks nyhomebirth.com, a small resource of basic information about homebirth and a directory of NYC/NJ midwives.
One request: if you do decide to have a home birth in the city, and if you decide to make a movie about it, send me the link; I'll add it to the collection. Otherwise, a post will do. [Congratulations to Laid-Off Dad & Co.--with appropriate emphasis on the Co.--whose homebirth in Brooklyn sounds like a walk in the park. Prospect Park, that is.]
Home Delivery Is Available [nyt]
Get your midwife on at nyhomebirth.com [nyhomebirth.com]
previously: Home Birth: The Flash Movie
"England, my boy, was once an Empire of home birthing"