When I wasn’t pregnant or even married, I never knew about home birth. I always assumed that babies are born in the hospital. I believed it was the same stuff with everyone like getting an epidural and having a vaginal birth. Of course, I knew about C-sections as well, but my main assumption was that only a hospital was a place where babies are born.
I, myself gave birth to both of my kids in a hospital. Though, according to me, my experience was not so flattering. After I had my 2 babies, I heard some people still give and chose to give birth at home. I still assumed that it was dangerous to have a baby at home, and why people just don’t take advantage of modern technology and medicine. I always wondered why people would do such a thing to them.
When I first came to know about epidural, all I could think of women giving birth at home was, why not simply use this? Fortunately, I decided to give a try and do my own research, after knowing so many people consider giving birth at home. I came across various articles and talked to many people and doctors about home birth. And guess what? It’s crazy that years back I didn’t have the knowledge I have now and sometimes I chuckle thinking what I thought and feel glad to what I know now. Well, listening to a lot of pros and good experiences of people I decided to come up with this post. So if you moms out there are considering giving birth at home, then this post is for you.
Before moving forward, I would like to clarify that only moms who have a fair knowledge and a sense of comfort at their place should give birth at home. Whatever you feel is best for you and your baby and whatever birth experience you want, you should go for it. There are still 98% of the women who consider giving birth in the hospital in a place where I lived their decision is because it’s their baby, their choice, and their body. Also, your health care provider will guide you about home birth according to your and your baby’s medical condition.
For women who are healthy and their baby is doing well, here in this post are some of the reasons why one should consider giving birth at home.
YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE CONCERNED
At home, you have midwives during your delivery. A midwife should be highly professional and should know every aspect of the situation. She should be certified to perform procedures and should be equipped with good emergency plans. Make your full research on the one you find and appoint.
The point is that during a home birth, you have your health care provider all to yourself. They aren’t going to come and go as there is no other laboring mother other than you. You will be her 100% focus. She will provide support, monitor the health and wellbeing of you and your baby, and will guide you entirely through labor and birth. A midwife will stay for several hours after birth to help with cleaning up and making sure the baby and the mother are doing well. She also guides you through the lactation process after birth. Mommas are treated like queens in their own castles due to this one-on-one focus.
It’s important to note here that a midwife must be well aware of the emergency situations. Midwives carry the same equipment and medication the birth center has so if you need anything she will be right there to help you out. They carry Pitocin and medicines like Cytotec and equipment like oxygen and masks, IVs and other materials like catheters. It’s like they have all the things used in a hospital except for one thing i.e. blood for transfusion and the ability to perform C-section. Still, they keep a constant eye on the mother and the baby so if there is an emergency they will transfer them to the hospital for additional help. This is also a plus point when you give birth at home.
LESS RISK OF UNNECESSARY INTERVENTIONS
For me, the absence of pain is a plus point, although, I completely understand for some women it’s considered negative. It is better to avoid the cascade of intervention as much as possible. Homebirth can highly reduce the risk of obstetric interventions (according to a study by the British Medical Journal). There can be different types of interventions like epidural, vacuum extraction, forceps, and C-sections. The hospital is required in the first place as these medical interventions can cause emergency situations.
Most of them are mainly done because of time and speed up the process. Instead of letting the labor go naturally, they will most likely speed up the process according to the doctor’s schedule and can free the room for other laboring women to come and increase their numbers. The more women in and out, the more they get the bill of that day.
A fair example can be of a woman who enters a hospital in labor and she immediately gets an IV and fetal monitoring. She isn’t able to move or change her position. She gets an epidural so that the process slows down and gets Pitocin for stronger contractions. Other medications can also be given to intensify the pain unnaturally. Baby’s heart rate may drop because he cannot handle the stress from the Pitocin. As a result, an emergency C-section is performed. Well, this is just one example of what may happen due to unnecessary interventions.
In a home birth setting these types of interventions are not allowed. There is a midwife who periodically checks the baby’s heart rate and constantly keeps charting and analyzing mom’s condition but for the most part, they let mama do her thing. Without any option for epidural and other stuff, one isn’t distracted and could focus on the hard work of giving birth. Home births also have a plus point that you are in your home sweet home, away from infections and not being around sick people, along with third or fourth-degree tears. Even an IV is considered an intervention so the midwife generally won’t place it on your arm unless needed. Finally, your chances of C-sections are highly reduced when you decide to give birth at home.
PRIVACY OF HOME WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS
When you are sick or having other symptoms when you feel pretty darn exhausted, where do you want to be? As for me, I just want to stay at home cuddling up in my bed or on my couch with my husband and relax. The same goes for labor when you are in labor the most soothing place for you is your home. The comfort you get in your home and its familiar surroundings cannot be compared with the one in the hospital. Still, if the idea of giving birth in the hospital puts your mind at ease then go for it. Hospitals are generally awesome for some, but others including myself now for delivery scare the heck of me.
When you are home you are familiar with the surroundings, you know where your bathroom is, your kitchen and Oh God! Food! I totally missed the food when I was in the hospital as I wasn’t allowed to even swallow water in gulps. Ops!
There are many benefits of being in the comfort of your own home and one of them is you simply don’t have to go anywhere. there is no need to drive to the hospital at the very last moment when you even have no idea if the baby is delivered in the car itself. You are in your comfort zone and if there is anything you want to ask you can keep in contact with your midwife on the phone when she is on her way to you and can just have labored in your own clothing without that hospital gown and all.
You completely have full control of people coming in and out without unnecessary interruptions. Your environment is exactly how you want it to be. There is no need to hear the screaming of other women through contractions, which (some of them) can be quite terrifying. Above all, you are absolutely free to make as much noise as you want. You are simply allowed to move, get in and out of the tub, and even tear off your clothes (if you want to). Also, the best part is your husband and other family members can stay with you (no issue on how many members want to stay).
IT IS SAFE WITHOUT UNNECESSARY CERVICAL CHECKUPS
Finally when everything is done the midwife makes sure both mother and child are doing well and goes home with everyone else leaving you in your own bed, bonding with your family without disturbances. Either way, the important thing about birth is the outcome—a healthy baby and healthy mom. So, if you are thinking that home birth might be right for you, do your researches, interview a couple of midwives, talk to your friends, and if it feels right, go for it.
Tired of vaginal checks after every few hours during labor? I was! I just simply hated the idea of vaginal checks after every hour when my nurse used to ask the doctor to come and check. For some reason, I was worried about what if they hurt my baby or anything that can happen in rare cases. Well, that was me, most people don’t think as such. Either way, as for home births, there is no vaginal checking again and again and that’s really good as for some reason, they have been associated with a risk of infection or accidental rupture of membranes like when they break your water by accident. During home birthing, there are fewer vaginal checks so you are most likely away from redundant infections. Cervical checks are only performed when mandatory.
I personally never like the idea of a cervical check not just because of infection but also that, somehow, I remember how disappointing it was. When the doctors come and check, though they informed me about the procedure and reminded me that it takes time to get fully dilated, it was probably like 18 hours and I was only been at 5 or maybe 6 centimeters. This could somehow disappoint me I had my confidence diminished as if I wasn’t progressing fast enough.
HOME BIRTH IS CHEAPER
Homebirth is a relatively low cost as compared to hospital birth. With recent rises in insurance rates, many midwives’ fees are lower than insurance companies. Above all, there are still women who don’t have insurance or maternity coverage. In fact, home births will probably cost you about one-third less than hospital birth. In this scenario, I believe, home birth is a good option to opt for. You can save a huge amount of money and that you can use it for other stuff like diapers, wipes, clothing or other necessities for a baby and mom.
YOU CAN PUSH IN ANY POSITION
Have you ever heard giving birth on your back is the hardest way to push the baby out of your vagina? I didn’t know this but I certainly do now. This kind of position might work for some but not all. I remember when I was in the hospital, they switched my positions but in the end, I had to deliver my baby on my back. After doing a few of my own researches, I came to know that this is not the only position to give birth and one should have complete freedom to find a good position to birth in, and many hospitals don’t allow that.
There is still one way to do it, that’s the home way. It doesn’t matter whether you want to push in the tub, on your bed, birthing stool or even on a birth ball, you have a ton of options to select according to your desire of giving birth. You can squat against the wall, you can even push on all fours just go for it. You don’t have any restrictions when it comes to pushing as long as you and your baby are doing well. The midwives don’t even mind to bend a little to help catch the baby. The experience is worth all the pain you bear during delivery.
YOU CAN HAVE FOOD
This! Yes, this! I know we aren’t allowed to eat in the hospital because of the low risk of aspiration while in general anesthesia in the event of an emergency C-section. But what if you have this whole watermelon you want to push through a keyhole and have labored for 24 hours straight? Eating helps to prevent exhaustion by sustaining the body, and it is an important point to consider as exhaustion can lead to medical interventions like epidurals or Pitocin.
When you are home, you are free to eat whatever you like, whenever you like during labor because the midwife understands you need fuel for energy to finish the task of delivery. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, you still can have all types of food for you and your baby at the comfort of your own house.
FREEDOM OF WHO YOU CHOOSE TO STAY
As much as I want my mom and husband to stay with me while delivering my babies, they weren’t allowed to stay. This was a really hard time for me as I saw unfamiliar face s around me and the entire procedure was terrifying. Trust me 5 to 7 people in your room that you’ve never met in your life before, ask me!
Luckily at-home birth, you have the freedom to choose whoever will stay with you and be a part of that special moment. It could be just you and your midwife or your husband, mom, your friends or siblings. There is nothing wrong with snuggling up with your loved ones for some extra comfort. So at home, you at least have 3 or 4 people who you know and trust. They can have a good place to sit and support you and care for you along with the midwife.
THE BABY STAYS WITH YOU
The truth is as simple as it sounds, who want their baby to be taken away after seeing that tiny creature and holding it in your hand? I didn’t want my baby to be taken anywhere but that was the policy of the hospital. As for home births, the midwives normally perform all the necessary checkups, while you still have the baby in your arms. You keep your bond with your husband and the baby as both stays with you. This can be an amazing experience. Also, there are several kinds of research that support the benefits of skin to skin contact the first time after the birth for both mother and child.
Once you are done with checkups and all, finally upon everyone’s exit, you can take shower and change into whatever you want. There are no hospital lumpy beds and weird food. You don’t have to constantly call a nurse to bring your baby to you for breastfeeding as you have your baby all to yourself.
Homebirth is not for everyone, but I truly wish more women would research and consider it. And I believe that all women should give birth wherever they believe is safest and they are satisfied with it. So, where did you give birth? Did you consider other options? Are you satisfied with your decision?