NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Elizabeth Sweeney decided to give birth to her second child, Ryder, in her New York City apartment. When Elizabeth went into labor she dealt with contractions in her living room-and delivered Ryder in her bathtub.
Home births are growing in popularity. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 59,000 babies were born outside hospitals in 2014. That's the most since record keeping began. Nearly two-thirds of those babies were born at home with the help of midwives.
Karen Jefferson is a midwife in New York City and is the co-founder of JJB Midwifery. Jefferson has her master's degree in midwifery. As a midwife, she helps women before, during, and after childbirth. Over the past 13 years, she has delivered hundreds of babies at home in all five boroughs. And she has seen an increase in popularity of home births.
Delivering a baby at home is not for everyone. New research from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that the risk of death for the baby is twice as high when a mother delivers outside a hospital.
But experts say the overall risk is still low and there are actually health benefits for women who give birth at home. Studies show there are fewer caesarian procedures in home births and women are less likely to use labor-inducing drugs to help in labor.
When it comes down to it, where to give birth is a woman's preference. Elizabeth says her decision was the right one for her family.