For centuries, there has never been anything wrong with women choosing to give birth at home. In fact, it was only until the 1900's that women started giving birth in hospitals. However, there are those who are willing and ready to avoid the mechanics that come with delivering in hospitals and decide to have their babies at home. This does not really mean that they do not have the means to go to a hospital but it is more of a personal choice.
Preparations for a Home Birth
As the pregnancy progresses, you need to decide whether you will go for a home or hospital delivery. Women who choose the home option need to make adequate preparations for it. They need to start by choosing a trained health care provider and creating a birth plan. It is also crucial to prepare for a hospital transfer should it be necessary and also choose a paediatrician to check on the baby.
Why Consider Giving Birth at Home
Even though many hospitals are equipped with state of the art technology and equipment to aid in childbirth, some women choose to deliver at home for various reasons.
Studies have shown that for the final stages of pregnancy to go on without any interruption, the mother-to-be needs to be relaxed. The same studies go on to indicate that labour progresses well at home compared to hospitals. This is because she is more relaxed and can easily move around as she wishes without constantly being reminded that she has to be in bed by nurses. This level of relaxation is even aided by the fact that she has been working with the same midwife for a very long time and thus there is more of a personal bond than patient-care giver relationship.
Women are also under less pressure to labour within a given time frame in hospitals. Remember, this is a natural process and the hospital putting pressure on her to be done quickly does not really help. Asa result, there is also minimal need for intervention by administering labour inducing drugs or using forceps and ventouse for delivery at home. These interventions carry different risks even though many hospitals will readily suggest them for you.
Comfort is also another reason that pushes women to deliver from home. Here, she is surrounded by her loved ones and can wear whatever clothes that she wishes provided she feels comfortable in them. The familiar surroundings also give her a surety that everything will be fine. Above all, she can have anyone she wishes present.
There is also the continuous assessment by the caregiver of both the mother and baby that ensures both of them are in good health. This assessment during the birth and postpartum period helps the caregiver know how best to take care of them. Given that it is also on a one-on-one basis, the will get the best care possible.
Lastly, the cost of delivering at home is way lower than in a hospital. Even if you involve a CNM, the charges will still be taken care of by the insurance.
Risks of Home Birth
While home birth has it benefits, it is not without risks. Both the mother and her family must assume a greater level of responsibility for their health. This demands active participation in decision making and all aspects of the care provided.
Another great risk that comes with home delivery is the fact that homes are not equipped to handle emergencies. Caesarean sections and forceps interventions cannot be availed at home and thus the mother must be rushed to the hospital should an emergency occur. However, this is also not common because caregivers monitor her all the time and will revert to hospital delivery should they sense something out of the norm.
Who Should Avoid Home Birth
Giving birth at home is not for everyone. Women suffering from conditions such as diabetes with chronic hypertension are advised to visit a hospital. Those who have had a C-section before and those with preeclampsia also need hospital delivery.
Home birth is nothing new and looking at the current trends, many women are going back to it. As long as the preparations are in place, then there should be nothing stopping you from it.