Jessa Duggar's home birth lands her in a hospital after all

Nov 9, 2015 at 10:56 a.m. ET

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald are the proud new parents of a baby boy. The little one arrived on Thursday, Nov. 5, but the home birth didn't go quite as smoothly as the family had anticipated.

Michelle Duggar called 911 to request an ambulance. She told the operator that Jessa, 24, was "bleeding after birth" and that there was "quite a bit of blood." It was apparent that Michelle — who's delivered more than a few babies herself — was doing her best to remain calm for her daughter. The ambulance transported Jessa to the hospital.

Proud new dad Ben Seewald assured fans that despite the unexpected emergency, both mom and baby are fine. "Our sweet baby boy was born last night. He weighed 9 lbs and 11 ounces and is 21 1/4 inches long! He’s precious and both he and Jessa are doing great. Stay tuned — we will share his name soon!” the new dad wrote on their website.


Baby Boy Seewald, who arrived just days after their one-year wedding anniversary, is the first child for Jessa and Ben. The "complications" surrounding his arrival, however, raise the questions about the safety of home births.

More: Jessa Duggar's first baby photo looks awfully familiar

The rate of out-of-hospital births has been increasing since 2004, according to the CDC, but home births still comprise fewer than 2 percent of all births in the U.S. The Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health revealed that a 2014 study of 17,000 midwife deliveries confirmed that, among low-risk women, planned home births result in low rates of interventions without an increase in adverse outcomes for mothers and babies.

More: Tragic home birth fatality blamed on midwife

Medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, contend that the safest place for a baby to be born is in a hospital, but they respect the "right of women to make a medically informed decision about delivery."

The American College of Nurse-Midwives wants mothers to make truly informed decisions and not rely solely on reported statistics. The ACNM told Time that birth certificates do not always accurately reflect the true rate of at-home births, and they do not specify where the mother intended to deliver her child. A woman who planned to have a home birth but who ends up transferring to a hospital isn't always accounted for in statistics and research. Likewise, mortality and complication rates associated with home births can be influenced by unplanned home births (like those in which Mom hadn't enough time to get to the hospital).

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The debate over home versus hospital births, however, is not usually impacted by statistics. Each side relies on its own research to support its position — ultimately, the decision lies with the mother, who should make the decision with ample research regarding her personal situation.

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