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Why have a homebirth?

For some women, this idea might sound a bit strange.  Isn't a hospital the only place you can give birth? Actually, no. Homebirth 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 only gained popularity during the twentieth century.  In fact, it is estimated that as many as 90% of the world's current population was born at home.  And considering that the world is six billion strong, it seems that giving birth at home doesn't necessarily put you at a disadvantage.  


However, if your pregnancy has been classified as being complicated in anyway, then you may be better off giving birth at a hospital. If you are in the majority of women who are in good health and are having a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, then a home birth is an option for you. 

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 see 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. However, women today are healthier, receive better care throughout their pregnancies and have better living standards than in the past. All of this, along with improvements intechnology, has contributed to making home births just as safe, if not safer than hospital births. This has been proven true in the many studies that have been conducted both here in the US and around the developed world. 


The Safety of Homebirth 

Even the World Health Organization has said that there is no proof that hospital births are safer than homebirths in the developed world. Most of the research on homebirths in the developed world has found that infant and maternal mortality rates are the same, if not better, than hospital rates. There is also less chance of a woman having a cesarean, induced labor, or of a midwife needing to use forceps. 


A study done in Denmark in 1997 found that women who gave birth at home delivered babies in better condition with fewer problems; the women themselves experienced less stress and there were fewer medical interventions needed in homebirths compared with hospital births. 


A More Relaxed Labor 

There are many other benefits to having a home birth aside from safety issues. A home birth allows you to give birth in a place where you feel familiar and 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 women find to be one of the best advantages to a 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 and other family members or friends there with you 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 woman 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 you can give birth in). There is also no time limit placed on you, so you and your birth team won't be interrupted by the needs of other women in labor. 


One complaint some women have about giving birth in a hospital is that it makes them feel like a patient who is ill rather than a person who is experiencing a special, natural moment in their life. Often, women choose a homebirth because they see it as a much more natural environment to give birth in. Women who have had children before and were disappointed or even angry about their experience in a hospital may also decide to have a homebirth. 


Midwives and Homebirth 

If you decide to have a homebirth, you will most likely need to have a midwife since doctors will generally only do a 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 bias is unjustly founded. 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:

Top 10 Reasons To Have A Homebirth

There are many reasons why more and more women are choosing to stay home and birth their babies rather than going in to the hospital when they are in labor. Below are 10 reasons' I think a homebirth just makes more 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 and while you can sterilize equipment used to help with the birth everything else in your home should be just fine. At the hospital you have an increased risk of a whole bunch of foreign germs. There have also been several studies done that prove that having a homebirth with a midwife is safer then a hospital birth.


2. It's cheaper. Overall homebirths are much cheaper than hospital births. Whether or not you end up paying more out of pocket depends on if you have health insurance and if so the amount they will cover. But the average hospital vaginal birth with no complications or pain relievers is still more expensive then hiring a homebirth 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 and they have staff members to pay. Nowadays many insurance companies will cover most if not all of the cost of a homebirth. They would much rather pay $3000 then $15,000 (just examples, the price varies).


3. There are less interventions with a homebirth which means you have a better chance of avoiding induction, artificial breaking of your water, IV fluids, c-sections. You are much more likely to have anatural birth when you stay home.


4. It is more convenient to stay home. No bags to pack, or long uncomfortable drives to the hospital, no registration or paperwork. The midwife comes to you when you are ready for her. And of course it's more convenient after the baby is born as well, you have all your own stuff there, no need for your husband to drive home to get baby clothes or otherwise.


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, blood pressure and so on as well as poke and prod the baby. It's hard 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, go to the bathroom on your own time, enjoy your own bed, your own couch, television, books and your spouse is likely to be more comfortable in his own familiar environment. You can bring bags and bags of stuff to the hospital but it still won't compare to staying home.


7. Because you are in your own environment and on your own terms it will be more relaxing which usually means a better laboring and birth experience. Women tend to tense up once they get to the hospital; many times contractions will slow down or stop all together 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. When you stay out of the hospital you avoid unnecessary routine newborn procedures such as eye drops, Hepatitis B shot, first bath too soon, pressure to circumcise, baby placed flat on his back in a cold hard scale among other pokes and prods usually done. 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. Of course any thing you do want done, maybe a hearing test or PKU for example can be done either by your midwife or your pediatrician, but it's on your own terms.


9. The average birth is not a medical event. Hospitals are for sick people, surgeries, and so on. Of course you have the option of transferring to a hospital if complications were to occur but in most cases labor and delivery goes smoothly and with the help of a trained midwife you will be just fine staying home. The hospital is open 24 hours, so if you need it, it will be there.


10. Birth can be such an intimate time and it's hard to feel as close and connected to your husband and new baby when you are in a cold, bright hospital room surrounded by nurses and other staff you don't know. When you stay home you won't have any strange people you don't know coming in to bother you, it can be just you and your husband if you prefer.

Sometimes there are high risk pregnancies or situations that may require you to have a hospital birth but there are definitely many advantages to staying home.

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