The safety of pregnancy and childbirth depends on your decision and what you choose over what. While most of us choose to give birth in hospital settings, some of us would prefer the coziness and safety of a home birth.
While fewer potential infections, better hygiene, freedom, and privacy of home are the best choices, you also cannot overlook the potential risks. Choosing the right midwife is also critical if you are considering a home birth.
Whether you are trying not to restrain yourself in the hospital environment or you want to go to labor while surrounded by loved ones, you need the right information. This article has the right information for a proper and secure home birth.
Who Are Ready For A Home Birth?
Let’s face it. Not all women can handle a home birth. You need to have a perfectly fine health condition without any chronic health issues like heart disease or hypertension. Women with pregnancy complications also cannot have a home birth.
It is better to choose a hospital setting if you have any chronic health condition such as placenta previa, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes. Also, the American College Of Obstetricians & Gynecologists or ACOG suggests women with twins or triplets consider a hospital setting for childbirth.
ACOG suggests the same for women having a vaginal birth after a C-section, and for women who have the baby in a different position. Such pregnancies need the help of medical experts to avoid complications and have a safe delivery. Also, women having labor within less than 36 to 37 weeks of pregnancy should also go against home birth.
Also, if you live too far from the medical emergency center or the hospitals, try not to consider a home birth. Because if any medical emergency arises during such a case, it could risk the baby’s or the mother’s life.
Types Of Home Birth
There are various types of home births, but it depends on the mother which one she prefers and what kind of caregiver she chooses. the common forms are unassisted birth, doula-assisted birth and midwife-assisted birth.
Unassisted birth – It is one of the forms where it is not attended by any doula or midwife. here, the mother is usually alone, surrounded by family and friends during the time of the birth. It is not something that is recommended for first-time mothers. Women who are experienced with childbirth often choose this one.
Doula-assisted birth – A doula is a non-medical person who is capable of supporting the mother emotionally and physically during the process of childbirth. They are not supposed to replace the partner who is present, they are just there to support. they can keep the mother encouraged, and help then in changing position when required, assist them with breathing exercises and can also help them relax with the help of a massage.
Midwife-assisted birth – Midwives are those people who have been trained to deal with childbirth, postpartum health, pregnancy and newborn care. They are healthcare providers. There are some midwives who provide routine care during pregnancy like Pap tests, counseling on birth control and pelvic exams. some midwives even take holistic approaches and provide support during home births.
Why Should You Consider Home Birth?
People consider a home birth due to a variety of reasons. Women often desire to give birth without any medical interventions like pain medications, fetal heart rate monitoring, labor induction, or a delivery assisted with different instruments like forceps. There are many reasons behind wanting to opt for a home birth. Here are some of those reasons –
- Women want the place of their baby’s birth to be familiar (somewhere they can feel comfortable and familiar.)
- Some people are cynical about hospital settings and prefer a familiar home setting.
- They desire to have more control during their childbirth process.
- Some people choose a chrome birth due to religious or cultural concerns.
- A lack of transportation may also prompt people to choose home birth.
- Home birth costs are relatively low compared to childbirth in hospitals and nursing homes.
- No access to the local hospital also makes people opt for a home birth.
Planning A Home Birth: But When To Visit The Hospital?
Although you have the home birth planned, you might need to rush to the hospital if any complications arise. So, note the possible complications and consider if you need to visit the hospital due to them. Here are some conditions under which you might need to go to the hospital.
- If the labor does not progress, you need to visit the hospital.
- When the baby shows any sign of distress during labor, contact the hospital.
- A hospital setting instead of a home birth is better when the baby is not in a head-first position.
- If you need pain relief, you should contact the nearby hospital.
- High blood pressure is also a concerning issue prompting you to go to a hospital.
- When you start experiencing bleeding or develop a fever, it is better to visit the hospital.
Risks Associated With A Home Birth
Most people opting for a home birth deliver a healthy child under healthy circumstances. However, planned home births are associated with some risks. Such risks include the death of the infant, seizures, and the disorder of the nervous system, which are relatively low in planned hospital births.
However, it is also possible to mitigate the risks by using different means, such as appointing a midwife. You can use the following ways to minimize the risks associated with home birth –
- Get help from a certified midwife or nurse.
- Have access to a doctor specializing in obstetrics.
- Plan transportation to the nearest hospital during complications.
However, if you have no prior experience with childbirth, choosing a planned hospital birth is a safer option. However, if you want to go with home birth, try consulting with your healthcare provider. Going through home birth videos or talking to people with similar experiences would also help.
How Do I Prepare For A Home Birth?
If you want to give birth at home, you should first be privy to the risk associated with them and have potential means to prevent them; means such as having the help of a well-trained healthcare specialist. You should also search Google Maps for ‘Home birth midwife near me.’
Choosing the right midwife is also crucial in planning a home birth. Your midwife should be –
- A certified midwife.
- Or a certified nurse-midwife.
- A midwife with the education and license of international standards.
Home Water Births
Water births are a comfortable and safe method for giving birth at home. it reduces the risk of tearing, as the water relaxes the muscles in the perineum. it also helps in reducing the discomfort a woman faces during labor, as water create a relaxing and soothing environment.If you are considering a home water birth, it is necessary to keep all the important supplies and equipment in hand. You will require a laboring pool or tub, along with a birthing stool and birth ball. keep sterilized gloves and scissors, and clean towels and thermometers.
In most locations, it is quite uncommon for doctors specializing in obstetrics to help with a home birth. However, you are lucky if you have a doctor around you. You should also have a pediatrician who will only look after the newborn baby.
But, when planning a home birth, you should pay attention to other factors such as –
- People to be with during childbirth.
- Consider how you want the surrounding environment to look.
- Comfort measures you want to rely on during childbirth.
- Consider your preferred methods for managing pain.
- Whether you want to breastfeed your baby right after birth or not.
Pregnancy And Postpartum Care
If you are planning for a home birth, you should be careful about your prenatal and postpartum care. You have to get checked out regularly, take the tests, and make sure of the fact that you and your baby is healthy. And postpartum care includes how to adjust to the new motherhood, healing, and breastfeeding. Your doula and midwife can help you with that, provide you with the care you need, give you support before, after and during your birth. They can supply you with the necessary resources and information and get you prepared for the home birth.
Before your due date approaches, you should check every aspect of your pregnancy. If you have no chronic health condition and are perfectly healthy before labor, you will be fine for a home birth. However, if you have any complications such as preeclampsia, or placenta previa, you should avoid giving birth at home and choose the hospital setting. If you are considering a home birth, you must think of the points mentioned in this article. However, if you have any further queries, please consult your healthcare provider and decide accordingly.
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