CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — About 4,000,000 babies are born in the U.S. every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A new study suggests more of those children are being delivered outside of hospitals.
Life for Lauren Caldwell's girls didn't start surrounded by hospital staff.
They were delivered in same place they'd take their first steps, and achieve major milestones.
"It was amazing how different I felt after having a vaginal birth with women around me who are supportive of my decision and my needs," said Caldwell.
Caldwell opted for an out-of-hospital birth after she had a bad experience delivering her first child in a hospital.
"I was in my own space. I had control of who was coming into my birthing environment," said Caldwell.
According to the CDC, more women like Caldwell are planning to deliver at home.
Rachel Jiemenez has been a doula for the last decade in the Chattanooga area.
She's held multiple birthing women's hand supporting them through labor at home.
"I know natural gets thrown around a lot, but that's really what it felt like, oh wow, there's a baby now," said Jiemenez.
She says when she fist became a doula, about three midwifes in the Chattanooga area attended at home births.
Now, she says about twice as many midwives offer those services.
"Its clearly becoming more popular," said Jiemenez.
Research by the Tennesseean suggests women in rural Tennessee are even more inclined to give birth at home.
The paper says that's in part because at least 11 rural hospitals have closed in Tennessee since 2012.
"I know moms drive hours for home birth, and they drive hours to get to hospitals," said Jiemenez.
"I know there's a need for more midwives who do home births in our area. Basically if you don't get in touch with the midwife I use almost as soon as you take a pregnancy test, then yo might not be able to get her, because she fills up really really fast," said Caldwell.
Professionals say whether in a hospital or at home its important pregnant women choose the safest plan for them and their baby based on their unique circumstances.