Why are more Utah women choosing to give birth outside hospitals?

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Pregnant in 2014 with her third child, Juli Talbot was hearing a lot of “nos” from her obstetrician.

Talbot wanted to try for a VBAC — vaginal birth after a cesarean section — like she’d had with her second baby. The doctor said no.

“He didn’t want me to be unmedicated. He didn’t want me to have a doula,” said Talbot, of Elk Ridge. She already was annoyed with the reason for her earlier C-section: a midwife at her hospital told her she was about to have an 11-pound baby, which turned out not to be true.

Feeling bossed around and unheard, Talbot — a registered nurse herself — began to investigate an option that she said initially went against her training and instincts: Having her baby outside of a hospital.

Home births and deliveries in low-tech “birthing centers” are rising rapidly in Utah, whose rate of out-of-hospital births is among the highest in the nation.

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