When planned properly, home birth can be a safe and rewarding experience. However, home birth has its pros and cons. So, before you make it your choice, understand the involved risks. To help you make a wise decision, Hearth and Home Midwifery shed some light on home birth.
Home Birth Explained
Just like the name suggests, home birth implies giving birth at your home instead of going to a birthing center or hospital. However, you still need the help of a qualified and experienced professional during labor and childbirth. Such a professional can be a certified midwife, a certified nurse-midwife, a midwife with international standards licensure and education, or a professional obstetrician.
If home birth is an option you are considering, talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will explain what to expect when giving birth. They will also explain possible complications, as well as, the best ways to manage them with a home setting.
What’s more, your doctor should explain the possible risks. Statistics indicate that the risk of severe injury or infant death is double or triple for home births when compared to that of hospital births. Nevertheless, you can still opt for a well-planned home birth.
How to Ensure Safe Home Birth
Not every woman can deliver at home safely. For instance, if you’ve had a C-section in the past or if you’re pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples, home birth is not safe for you. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider first before you settle on home birth.
Also, note that your midwife or doctor can recommend that you give birth at a hospital once labor begins despite having planned for a home birth. This can be prompted by any of these reasons:
- High blood pressure
- The need for pain relief
- Incorrect baby position
- Vaginal bleeding that doesn’t relate to bloody show
- Distress signs for the baby before and after delivery
- Discontinued labor
- Presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid
- Complications like prolapsed of the umbilical cord or placental abruption
- Incomplete or lack of placenta delivery
Advantages of Home Birth
If you work with experts like Hearth and Home Midwifery, you can enjoy the advantages of home birth safely.
- More control over your childbirth experience
- Familiar and comfortable setting
- No pressure to get interventions or use medications
- Reduced price
- Cultural or religious considerations
- Convenience if you had a quick pregnancy
When you choose home birth, you enjoy greater freedom in selecting birthing positions like labor positions. You also decide whether to eat, drink, take a warm bath or shower, use aromatherapy, or candles among others.
Disadvantages of Home Birth
Home-birth has several disadvantages to consider before you decide whether it’s a good choice for you.
- The associated costs might not be covered by your insurance
- In case of an emergency, you might be transferred to a hospital
- The process of giving birth at home can be messy.
It’s important to ensure that you can reach the hospital quickly in case something unexpected happens. You should also come up with a birth plan and have it approved by your doctor. Bear in mind that rather than have your pulse, temperature, heart rate of the baby, and your pulse monitored continuously, they will be checked periodically.
Additionally, make proper arrangements to have a pediatrician check your baby immediately after birth. Since, you will be giving birth at home, know and make proper arrangements for addressing possible pregnancy and childbirth complications.
The Cost of a Home Birth
The costs associated with home birth may not be covered by an insurance policy. It is, however, important to check with your insurer for more details. That said, you will need the help of an experienced medical professional and/or midwife. The cost of their services will vary based on your location.
What’s more, you need home birth supplies. These include a Peri bottle, absorbent pads, bulb syringe, Hibiclens, cord clamps, lubricant, alcohol prep pads, gauze pads, sterile gloves, and a bar of antiseptic soap. You also need items like a basin, a waterproof mattress cover, trash bags, fresh sheets, and clean blankets.
The Bottom Line
Homebirth has its pros and cons. Whether it’s a good choice for you or not depends on the kind of birthing experience you desire. Nevertheless, home birth can be a good experience if you work with trained and experienced professionals like those from Hearth and Home Midwifery.