Homebirth and You: The Facts


by Ruth McCready October 18, 2016

 

Homebirth has pitfalls, but can offer some surprising benefits to you and your baby.

 

Homebirth Could Work for Because…

 

  • A calm birth is a better birth. Being at home can mean that you’ll be more relaxed during labor, which should be less painful and more controlled as a result.
  • Hospitals tend to be full of sick people, unfortunately, so by delivering at home, there’s less risk of contracting hospital-borne infections.
  • Your labour doesn’t get interrupted by a stressful relocation to hospital, which could be a big factor in such a rhythmic process.
  • You’re more likely to be standing up and moving about during your labour. This means that that your body will probably find it easier to move the baby down through your cervix.

 

Hospital Might be the Best Option If…

 

 

  • You have a high risk pregnancy, ie: a complication such as pre-eclampsia, placenta praevia, gestational diabetes, or anaemia.
  • Your baby isn’t in the best position for delivery, eg; if the baby is transverse (lying sideways all relaxed-like), or breech (upside down or bum first).
  • You might have difficulty transferring to a hospital if necessary. This might be because you don’t have access to transport or because the hospital is a long way away.
  • You’ve had a caesarean previously, or a haemorrhage after birth.
  • You’ve got twins (or more!).
  • You’ve got a serious medical condition yourself.
  • You won’t have access to a trained medical professional at home.
  • There may be an increased risk of stillbirth.

 

I Want a Homebirth. What Now?

 

  • Talk to your midwife or medical professional. They’ll be able to tell you more about the risks and advantages to a potential homebirth. Be aware that they may have their own strong opinions on this controversial topic, but that they’ll be the best source of information about your pregnancy.
  • Do a little research: birth isn’t exactly simple, and getting to grips with the process will help you know that you’re making the right choice.
  • Decide how you want it all to go down. Will you get a doula? Is your partner going to be there holding your hand? Do you need someone to wall up your mother-in-law inside her house?
  • Try to keep perspective if you’re told that homebirth is impossible or you have to transfer to hospital. You’re still going to have that baby!

 

Further Reading

 

This article shouldn’t be taken as medical advice, and doesn’t cover everything you need to know about homebirth by any means. It’s vital that you talk things over with your midwife before making this decision. In the meantime, information can be found at The UK Homebirth Reference Site, which has a good overview of research about homebirth, and The NCT. Birth experiences in different countries vary greatly, so for an overview of US homebirth research, check out Time Magazine’s helpful breakdown.

 

What’s your opinion of homebirth? Have you got a story to share? Let us know on Twitter @TheCheskiSockCo or drop us a comment in the section beneath.

 

 




Ruth McCready
Ruth McCready

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