The main goal of any birth is to ensure the health of both the mother and the newborn baby. These days, the most common method of giving birth is still birthing at a hospital, but more and more women are considering giving birth at home with the help of a midwife.
One reason that women might prefer a home birth is to have more control over the process of giving birth to their baby, and to possibly avoid a Cesarean section or C-sections.
According to data from the World Health Organization, more than 33% of births performed in the USA in 2013 were C-sections, which is more than double the recommended rate. C-sections are major surgeries that can have many complications, which is why women prefer to avoid them as much as possible.
A “home birth” is defined as a birth that takes place in any other place – at home or a licensed birthing center – than a hospital.
While the number of women opting for a home birth is still small compared to hospital births at around 2% of all total births, the reason of the increasing popularity could be that the rates of interventions for home births due to complications are actually lower compared to hospital births.
This is why you might notice an increase of licensed birthing centers such as Hearth and Home Midwifery.
So the question here is: should you consider a home birth as an alternative to a hospital birth?
Why Should I Consider a Home Birth?
There are several reasons why you should consider a home birth when it is time for you to deliver your baby. Here are some of them:
No Need to Rush to Your Birthing Place
One of the most stressful times in any birthing is the rush to drive to the hospital. Once you get there, there’s the additional stress of having to fill out forms and paperwork, finding your room, and having to deal with the hospital staff who are also taking care of other patients.
With a home birth, you’re exactly where you need to be, with the full support and attention of licensed and experienced midwives.
No Need to Take the Baby Home
Another huge draw for parents when it comes to home births is that you won’t need to worry about how to get the baby home after the birth! No need to find a car-safe bassinet, and no need to drive through traffic after going through the stress and exhaustion of birthing.
Both mother and baby, and yes, even the father, will already be safe at home and ready to rest.
Freedom of Movement
Sometimes, a birth just isn’t going smoothly which facilitates the need for the mother to walk around and move. Let’s face it: walking around in the halls of a hospital just isn’t comfortable for the laboring mother, and that’s not taking into account the other people and staff in the place.
A home birth can help because the mother can easily and comfortably move around in her own home.
Controlling Cleanliness and Sanitation
Hospitals aren’t always the cleanest and most sanitary of places, even with a diligent cleaning staff. Giving birth at home gives you the peace of mind that you’re giving birth in a place where you had direct control over the sanitation and cleanliness of the area.
What Factors Should I Take into Consideration?
If you’re considering a home birth, there are some factors that you need to take into account to make sure that the home birth goes off smoothly and safely. Here are three important factors that you should keep in mind:
- What training and certification does my midwife have?
You want to make sure that the midwife looking over your birth has an extensive medical background and is licensed to practice midwifery in your area. At Heath and Home Midwifery, all of the midwives go through extensive training and practice before handling client home births.
- What support team do I have in place?
Aside from a professional midwife, you want to have a support team in place. Family and friends can be there to provide emotional support through your experience.
- How close is the nearest hospital?
Sometimes, there are complications that arise from having a home birth, no matter how much you try to plan in advance. If this is the case, you want to be sure that there is a nearby hospital that will be able to take care of you and your baby.
Is a Home Birth Right For Me?
In the end, a home birth is a personal choice that needs a lot of thought and consideration. You are the only person who will be able to gauge whether a home birth is right for you. Once you have decided, make sure that you pick a reliable and trustworthy home birth service that employs licensed and experienced professionals, such as Hearth and Home Midwifery.