The Facts About Having A Home Birth
Giving birth at home allows you to labor and deliver in familiar and comfortable surroundings. You’ll have more control over your birth experience than you would in a hospital, and you won’t have to endure routine medical interventions.
At home, you can have as many family members or friends as you want attend the birth. You also get to share the experience with them in the privacy of your own home, without interruptions from hospital staff.
All your caregiver’s attention will be focused on you and your baby.
Having a home birth isn’t for everyone, of course. Mothers-to-be who are more likely to have complications during childbirth should strongly consider giving birth in a hospital. This includes women with:
- Medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- A previous c-section or other uterine surgery
- Pregnancy complications, such as premature labor, pre eclampsia, twins (or more), or a baby in the breech position at 37 weeks
If you choose to have a home birth, it’s important to be flexible and understand that if complications arise, you might have to transfer your care to another provider or give birth in a hospital. You’ll also need to be committed to giving birth without medication, preparing your home for the birth (including getting whatever supplies your caregiver recommends), and making plans to ensure that you have good support available to you in the days after you give birth. Another consideration: Not all insurance companies cover the cost of home births.
Is a home birth safe?
For healthy women at low risk for complications who choose skilled and experienced caregivers and have a good system in place for transfer to a hospital when necessary, a number of studies show that a home birth is just as safe as giving birth in a hospital. There is also research showing that moms who planned to have a home birth (regardless of where they actually had their babies) ended up with fewer interventions, such as episiotomies and c-sections, compared with a group of equally low-risk women who had planned hospital deliveries. But home birth remains controversial in many countries. The American Medical Association and The Australian Medical Association both oppose home birth. They contend that the hospital is the safest place to give birth because capabilities of the hospital setting and the expertise of the hospital staff are immediately available if a complication arises suddenly.
Home birth with a midwife:
Find out how a midwife helps a woman through pregnancy, labor, and birth. On the other hand, the Australian Collage of Nurses and Midwives, the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association support the choice of women who are good candidates to give birth at home. They say that qualified caregivers, along with appropriate arrangements for backup and transfer, should be available for moms-to-be who want this option. If you’re not sure whether you have medical or obstetrical problems that would keep you from having a home birth, contact a home birth provider and share your concerns over the phone. If there are no obvious reasons to rule out a home birth, you can make an appointment for a first prenatal visit. At that visit, the caregiver will do a detailed history and physical exam, as well as the usual set of lab tests. She’ll continue to assess your situation throughout your pregnancy and during labor, birth, and the postpartum period.
Choosing a midwife
Continued Questions on PAGE 2 …
Home birth with a Doula & the difference between a Midwife & Doula