Midwife-Delivered Births Increase In Alaska
A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that home births across the nation rose 20 percent between 2004 and 2008.
A Wasilla doctor hopes to raise awareness about home births in Alaska with the help of actress and TV talk show host Ricki Lake.
Dr. Glen Elrod, an OB/GYN at Sleeping Lady Women’s Health Care Center in Wasilla is just one of very few doctors who act as a back-up physician for professional midwives out in the Mat-Su Valley.
Finding other physicians willing to share the responsibility with him has been challenging.
“I think they're scared of it. They don’t understand how good it can be for these moms, how safe it can be,” said Dr. Elrod.
A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that home births across the nation rose 20 percent between 2004 and 2008. Oregon, Vermont, and Alaska were among the states with the highest home delivery rate during that period.
Health officials believe that an increase in publicity and awareness about home births have given the trend traction. Over the weekend, celebrity TV talk show host Ricki Lake traveled to the Valley to shed some light on Dr. Elrod’s situation and to host a baby shower for his wife as part of a fundraising contest.
In 2008, Lake released the documentary The Business of Being Born, which explores home births and the use of midwives throughout a woman’s pregnancy up through labor.
She said it’s a personal cause. Lake had her first child in a hospital, but the experience left her with much to be desired. After her life-changing experience delivering her second child at home, she wanted to spread the word about a woman’s options when giving birth.
“What I got from that home birth was that sort of feeling that you can do anything, powerhouse woman… able to accomplish anything—that has stayed with me,” Lake said.
Expectant mother Tara Elrod is set to deliver her baby in just a few weeks, and has decided to have a home birth after delivering her first two children at the hospital.