Two home birth services faced changes in the early 1970s, resulting in a watershed moment for maternity care and childbirth options throughout the United States. One service began in Summertown, Tennessee, where a counterculture group believed birth was sacramental and home birth was essential to honoring that sacrament. Still, these resourceful pioneers embraced technology for prenatal care and safe birth practices, leading to the establishment of the Farm Midwifery Clinic and contributing directly to the rebirth of midwifery in the United States. Chicago, in contrast, offered home delivery to urban Chicago's racially diverse, low-income population through The Chicago Maternity Center. Established by Dr. Joseph DeLee in 1932 and overseen by Dr. Beatrice Tucker, the service focused on safe, sterile home delivery with excellent health outcomes and high maternal satisfaction. That was not enough, however, to save the Center from closure in the mid-1970s and shift home birth accessibility for decades. Despite drastic differences in style and the demographics served, these two services provide a compelling picture of women's desire for modern safety, meaningful family experiences, and agency as they birthed their babies. The growth of one service and the closure of another magnified women’s power and limits in obtaining care that met these needs.

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