When most women envision their birth day, there’s usually a hospital or birthing center in the background. But what about a home birth?
Many studies show that giving birth at home or in a birth center with a skilled midwife is equally safe to giving birth in the hospital in terms of the outcomes of mothers and babies. The big difference is that women who give birth at home or in a birth center will have lower rates of medical intervention as compared to their low-risk counterparts giving birth in the hospital.
Here’s 8 advantages of giving birth right in the comfort of your own home.
- All of your pregnancy visits are at home and they are often close to an hour. When you are pregnant, there is nothing more delightful than having your midwife come to you for a long visit, as most do. With the average OB pregnancy appointment topping out at six minutes in the U.S., this is a huge point.
- You get to hand-select who will attend your birth. Do you want 10 of your closest friends and family there to support you? Great. Do you want just your partner and your midwife and doula? Fine. There are no unknown care providers, students, nurses or visitors.
- In labor, you don’t have to get dressed, walk out your door, hail a cab, talk to lots of medical staff, spend time in a waiting room, or listen to other women who are in labor.
- You have your bed, your shower, your stuff, your blankets, your…you get the idea. You are in your home where you feel safe and comfortable, and this non-clinical environment encourages you to birth your way.
- You have Freedom of Movement, which is Lamaze care principle #2. Women allowed freedom of movement during labor have a greater sense of control, decrease requests for pain medication and may have shortened labor.
- The midwife will use a handheld Doppler to monitor your baby’s heart-rate. This means no wires and machines to hook up to, which means more Freedom of Movement.
- Home birth midwives believe that birth is a normal process. They are patient. They know birth can take a long time and in many positions. They only intervene when medically necessary. Working with a home birth midwife may lower your chances of needing an IV, a Cesarean, episiotomy, forceps or vacuum suction. These things still can occur during childbirth, even when planned at home. A woman needing any of this medical support will be transferred to the hospital during labor.
- No need to figure out how to transport your baby home from the hospital. No medical staff will try to take your baby away from you. No one will wake you up all night, and you won’t have any roommate (or her whole family!) to contend with.
Is a home birth for you?
To give birth at home you should:
- Be low-risk during pregnancy and throughout the delivery.
- Desire to give birth with as little medical intervention as possible, including epidurals and other pharmacological pain medications.
- Believe that home is the safest and best place of birth for you, and be prepared that some friends and family may not be as supportive as you’d like.
- Be comfortable with that fact that in order to keep your birth as safe as possible, your midwife may require that you transfer to the hospital to give birth.