Anna Duggar gave birth to most (or possibly all) of her children outside of a hospital, while her mother-in-law, Michelle Duggar, gave birth to a majority of her children inside of one. Their varied birthing experiences possibly influenced Jessa and Jill Duggar when the first-time moms were deciding where they would be most comfortable giving birth.
Jessa and Jill both decided to follow in Anna's footsteps by trying to give birth to their first children at home, which can be a risky move. According to WebMD, a 2014 study found that there's a much higher death rate for babies born at home compared to babies born in hospitals. Jill and Jessa Duggar's baby boys both turned out just fine, but neither Duggar daughter could avoid a trip to the hospital. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jill Duggar had to have an emergency C-section after being in labor for 70 hours, and Jessa Duggar had to be taken to the emergency room after suffering from blood loss. However, she did successfully give birth inside her house, which just so happens to be the same home where Anna delivered two of her four children.
In a Duggar Family Blog post, Jessa said that she opted against a hospital birth because she has "lots of relatives and friends who have had wonderful experiences with giving birth at home." Because she lives in Anna Duggar's old house, there's high likelihood that she was thinking of her sister-in-law's experiences.
Josh and Anna Duggar's first child, Mackynzie Renée, was born at home on October 8, 2009. According to People, a doula and midwife assisted with the birth. However, Anna and Josh weren't planning on giving birth at home. In the 18 Kids and Counting episode "First GrandDuggar," the first-time parents found out that Anna's OB-GYN, Dr. Amy Sarver, was on vacation. Anna wasn't sure she'd feel comfortable with another doctor, so Josh made the last-minute decision to help his wife give birth at home. Michelle and Jill Duggar arrived just in time to assist the doula and midwife. After alternating between the bathtub and bed a few times, Anna eventually gave birth on the bed.
On June 15, 2001, Josh and Anna Duggar's second child, Michael James, was born at the couple's Arkansas home. Josh decided to take a nap while his wife was in labor, and poor Anna ended up delivering her baby on the toilet while the TLC cameras filmed the awkward birth. An assortment of Anna's female in-laws were on hand to assist with the delivery.
Anna and Josh Duggar's third child, Marcus Anthony, wasn't delivered in the couple's home in Arkansas, but Anna did decide against a hospital birth yet again. For his June 2, 2013 arrival, Anna had to make a one-hour drive to a midwife's "birthing center" (the woman's home). Michelle Duggar was supposed to ride to the house with Anna and Josh, and Anna worried that she would give birth on the road when it took too long for her mother-in-law to arrive. Anna opted for a water birth in her midwife's bathtub, and, once again, she had plenty of helping hands -- in addition to the midwife and doula, her assistants included aspiring midwife Jill Duggar, doula trainee Jana Duggar, and baby birthing expert Michelle Duggar.
Anna and Josh's fourth child, Meredith Grace Duggar, was born on July 16, 2015. The Duggar family revealed very few details about Meredith's birth because she arrived a few weeks after Josh's sexual molestation scandal made headlines. 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled around the same time Meredith was born, so Duggar fans didn't get to see her birth on TV. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Anna had planned on giving birth to Meredith at the home she and Josh then shared in Washington, D.C., but the couple had to move back to Arkansas after Josh lost his job with the Family Research Council.
Unlike her daughter-in-law and daughters, Michelle Duggar wasn't a huge fan of home births when she was younger. According to the Duggar Family Blog, her first five children were actually born in a hospital. Friends convinced her to stay home for number six, and she successfully delivered Jinger at home with help from a midwife and a doctor. Joseph was her second home birth, but she decided to head to the hospital for Duggar number eight, Josiah.
There's not a complete list of where all of Michelle's children were born, but all five of the births that were filmed by Discovery/TLC took place at a hospital. The Duggars with televised arrivals are Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie. So at least 11 of her 19 children were born in a hospital.
Since Jill and Jessa's mother obviously doesn't have a huge problem with hospitals, do you Anna Duggar influenced their decisions to give birth at home?
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]