The headline in the passenger's Washington Post Express newspaper two seats in front of me on the Metro caught my eye: "Home Births Up 20%." Wow, I thought, that's impressive.

Inevitably, the headline brought back memories of my children's births. Three of our four daughters were born at home, and the fourth would have been, but I went into labor while visiting my mother in McLean, Virginia. Instead of rushing back to Baltimore, I hustled across the Potomac to the Bethesda Birthing Center, where Kerry Sophia was born.

Since the turn of the last twentieth century, the trend has been toward hospital births, and now less than 1 percent of all births are at home. Still, that 20 percent increase reported by the Centers for Disease Control is stunning.


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