Why have a home birth?
For some women, this idea might sound a bit strange. Isn't a hospital the only place you can give birth? Actually, no. Home birth is something that women have been doing since...well, since they started giving birth.
Having your baby at a hospital is an idea that has gained popularity during the twentieth century. It is estimated that as many as 90% of the world's current population was born at home. Since the world population is nearly eight billion at the time of writing, it seems that giving birth at home doesn't necessarily put you at a disadvantage.
If your pregnancy has been classified as being complicated in any way, then you may be better off giving birth at a hospital. However, if you are the majority of women who are in good health and are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, then a home birth is a great option.
Home Births Are Gaining Popularity
In Australia, the United Kingdom, and Holland it is very common for women to choose a home birth rather than a hospital birth. In North America, the increasing trend towards home birth can be seen with the growing number of celebrities who have chosen to give birth at home. Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Lucy Lawless, Meryl Streep, Lisa Bonet, Carol King, Pamela Anderson, Jade Jagger, Kelly Preston, and Ricki Lake are just a few.
One of the reasons that people have opted for (or perhaps never questioned) having a child in a hospital was because of the belief that it is safer. For a time, this was true. In the modern day, we are healthier, receive better care throughout our pregnancies, and have better living standards than ever before. That’s not to mention the big strides made in improving technology in recent years. All of this has contributed to making home births just as safe (if not safer) than hospital births. Many studies around the world have proven this true time and time again.
The Safety of Home Birth
The World Health Organization has said that there is no proof that hospital births are safer than home births in the developed world. Most of the research on home births in the developed world has found that infant and maternal mortality rates are the same (if not better) than hospital rates for people with uncomplicated pregnancies. It also lowers rates of cesarean sections, induced labor, and the use of forceps.
A 1997 study in Denmark found that women who gave birth at home delivered babies in better condition with fewer problems. The moms themselves experienced less stress and there were fewer medical interventions needed in home births compared to hospital births.
A More Relaxed Labor
A home birth allows you to give birth in a place where you feel familiar. This can help you to feel more relaxed throughout your labor.
Your whole family is welcome to be there with you (if you want), which many find to be one of the best advantages of home birth. While some hospitals are changing, most still have restrictions on who can be in the delivery room with you. Having your partner, children, other family members, or friends there can allow you to have more support throughout your labor and generally allows your birth to be a more positive experience.
Additionally, giving birth at home permits you to be free from the restrictions that hospitals can place on a person in labor. If you give birth at home, you can walk around if you feel like it or try out different positions while giving birth (that's right, there are different positions in which you can give birth). There is also no time limit. You and your birth team won't be interrupted by the needs of other people in labor like you might have to deal with in the hospital.
Some say that birthing in a hospital makes them feel like a patient rather than a person who is experiencing a special, natural moment in their life. Often, people choose home birth because they see it as a much more natural environment. Those who have given birth in a hospital and were disappointed or even angry about their experience may also decide to have a home birth.
Midwives and Home Birth
If you decide to have a home birth, you will most likely need to have a midwife since doctors will generally only do delivery in a hospital. Many people, especially in North America, are skeptical of midwifery. Some believe that, since midwives are not doctors, they are not capable of properly and safely delivering a baby. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Midwives have been delivering babies for thousands of years. In fact, there was a time when doctors wouldn't even consider delivering a child since that was "women's work.”
For more about safety and home birth, visit: https://www.wellroundedmomma.com/homebirth-safety-facts (https://www.wellroundedmomma.com/homebirth-safety-facts)
Top 10 Reasons To Have A Home Birth
There are many reasons why more and more women are choosing to stay home and birth their babies rather than go to the hospital when they are in labor. Below are 10 reasons why a home birth just makes sense.
1. It is healthier and safer for you and your baby. You both have less chance of infection or catching any sickness from hospital germs. You are used to whatever is in your own home environment. We sterilize medical equipment used to help with the birth. Everything else in your home is just fine. At the hospital, you have an increased risk of coming in contact with foreign germs. There have also been several studies done that prove having a home birth with a midwife is safer than a hospital birth.
2. It's cheaper. Overall, home births are much cheaper than hospital births. Whether or not you end up paying more out of pocket depends on your health insurance situation. But the average hospital vaginal birth with no complications or pain relievers is still more expensive than hiring a home birth midwife. Even without an epidural or other added expenses, it still costs more because you will be in the hospital for at least 24 hours. They have staff members to pay. Nowadays many insurance companies will cover most (if not all) of the cost of a home birth. They would much rather pay $3000 than $15,000 (just examples, the price varies).
3. There are less interventions with a home birth. This means you have a better chance of avoiding induction, artificial breaking of your water, IV fluids, and c-sections. You are much more likely to have a natural birth when you stay home.
4. It is more convenient to stay home. No bags to pack. No long, uncomfortable drives to the hospital. No registration or paperwork. The midwife comes to you when you are ready for her. It’s more convenient after the baby is born as well. You have all your stuff there, no need for your mom or partner to drive home to get clothes, phone chargers, etc.
5. You can get more rest and have more time to bond with your baby. In a hospital setting, you will have people in and out of your room at all times—day and night. Nurses will check your temperature and blood pressure, as well as poke and prod the baby. It's hard for you and your baby to get any sleep when you are interrupted every 2 hours. At home, you can sleep and snuggle with your baby for as long as you like.
6. Your own home is more comfortable. You can eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom on your own time. You can enjoy your own bed, your own couch, television, and books. Your partner is likely to be more comfortable in that environment too. You can bring bags upon bags of stuff to the hospital. It won't compare to staying home.
7. Your environment. Your terms. It will be more relaxing, which usually means a better laboring and birth experience. People tend to tense up once they get to the hospital. Many times contractions will slow down or stop altogether once you are lying flat on your back and hooked up to an IV. When you stay home you can relax and let things flow naturally.
8. Avoid unnecessary routine newborn procedures. These can include eye drops, Hepatitis B shot, bathing the baby too soon, pressure to circumcise, baby being placed flat on his back on a cold hard scale, among other pokes and prods. Some hospitals even require your newborn to be taken to the nursery to be examined and monitored, which means they are separated from their parents at such an important time. Many of the things you want to be done can be performed by either your midwife or your pediatrician. It is on your terms.
9. The average birth is not a medical event. Hospitals are for illness, injury, surgeries, and so on. Of course, you have the option of transferring to a hospital if complications were to arise. In most cases though, labor and delivery go smoothly. With the help of a trained midwife, you will be just fine at home. The hospital is open 24 hours. In case you need it, it will always be there.
10. More intimate experience. Birth is such a special time. It's hard to feel as close and connected to your partner and new baby when you are in a cold, bright hospital room surrounded by nurses and other staff that you don't know. When you stay home you won't have any strange people coming in to bother you. It can be just you and your partner if you prefer.
Sometimes some high-risk pregnancies or situations may require you to have a hospital birth. However, if you can, there are many advantages to staying home.