A combination of the high cost of hospitalization and the potential for complications at the hospital has led to a spike in home births in San Antonio in the past decade, 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason reports.

The Centers for Disease Control says home births in Texas have spiked 56 percent just in the last ten years.

Salli Gonzalez runs 'EmPOWERment Birthing' in San Antonio.  She also delivered four of her six children at home, and says the practice of home birthing has definite advantages.

 "I didn't have to go anywhere in labor," she recalls.  "I didn't have to drive to drive anywhere when I was in good active labor."

Gonzalez is also a licensed midwife, a profession which is in increasing demand as the practice of home birthing catches on.  Or, as she puts it, returns to favor.  She points out that for thousands of years, babies have been born at home.

"Babies born in hospitals are only about a hundred years old," she says.  "It was only at the turn of the last century that people began going to hospitals more."

There is also a growth in the services of a person known as a 'Doula' or a 'labor coach.' The 'doula' makes sure the woman is comfortable and prepared to give birth, and provides non medical care during the birthing process.

Gonzalez says, in addition to being convenient, home birthing 'empowers the mother to create the safest, gentlest, most loving birth experience for mother, baby and family.'

And, as an added bonus, she says with the price of hospital care these days, it is also cheaper.

"Ours run anywhere between $3500 to $4,000 right now," she said.  "I haven’t seen an invoice in a while, but I understand it is now running about $10,000 to pay for a natural birth in a hospital."