Maternity homes provide housing to pregnant women. They help to take care of their needs. There are programs that can help women who need a stable home. In other terms, a maternity home is essentially a place where unmarried pregnant women could give birth in seclusion and secrecy away from prying eyes. It was based on the principle of providing assistance to unwed mothers so that they could keep their pregnancy secret till delivery, keep the child or hand it over to an orphanage after it’s born, and be able to return to mainstream society without anyone ever knowing the truth.
A maternity home is intended for women who have nowhere else to go due to poverty, disability, being disowned by the father of their child, or other reasons. In some countries, they are also known as homes for expectant mothers. Their aim is to provide food, lodging, and supportive counseling for mothers during their child-bearing years. The staffing model is the main way that maternity homes are different. There are three ways to staff a house. One way is with houseparents (e.g. a married couple). Another is with live-in staff, and the last is with shift staff. In the host home model, women are connected with screened households that offer to provide housing.
When a woman comes to the maternity home, she is assigned one of the rooms. Usually, there is at least one houseparent per 8-12 houses depending on the size of the program. This means that about four women are often living in each house. The bedroom or room for two women may have bunk beds with only one bed being used. The maternity home can be a key factor in enabling a woman to keep her child or not. While there were originally homes only for unwed mothers, today most have both unmarried mothers and married women who are homeless, abused, or impoverished.