Homebirth is a very safe and healthy idea for NORMAL pregnancies in families that (unfortunately) have money, are educated, and are willing to take on some of the responsibility if something untoward happens. If everything is going well, I think it’s a good idea. The scientific evidence supports this. In many communities, we tend to trust those that give us ‘helpful advice’ without knowing them too well (which is a good thing), but it not that practical when dealing with a business transaction (which essentially choosing a midwife is).
You want the best. How do you know the ones that you spoke to are ‘the best’?
I would interview potential midwives formally, using questions on the Midwife Interview Sheet
Some of these questions apply to nurse-midwifes specifically and are not relevant to homebirth; but a good midwife will be patient and answer all the questions and will allay any concerns. My major concern re: midwives in the area is lack of experience and lack of connection to the larger medical world – i.e. some are very young and just started their careers, and have no training in conventional obstetrics. Also, some have no relationships with conventional OB/GYNS that can help them out when things don’t go as planned. Some may say there is a “conspiracy” by the medical establishment against homebirths; I have no comment on that other than saying that there are many sympathetic OB/GYNS out there; the resourceful midwives know and work with them.
Please also see this book “The Whole Pregnancy Handbook.” It has a section on the ‘pros and cons of homebirth’ – I would suggest reading this over random websites, because the websites to be polemics – usually pro or anti-natural medicine, and very few are ‘fair and balanced.’ I have met and heard the author speak, and he is very reasonable, intelligent, and well-informed.