What are the benefits of a home birth? This is a question that you may be considering as you start to weight your delivery options. The idea of having your baby in the comfort of your own home is definitely appealing! Back in the day (I mean way back), home births were the only option. Then of course, advances in medicine moved giving birth from your home to your local hospital. But as we know, history repeats itself and these days many women are choosing to give birth in the comforts of their home. Here is why.
What are the Benefits of a Home Birth?
With a home birth, you will get to experience the best part of birth (well in my opinion), the immediate skin-to-skin with your newborn. Yes, this can happen in a hospital, but let me tell you my experience. My first was born via c-section six and a half years ago and they didn’t allow skin-to-skin in the operating room. I did not even find this out until pregnant with my son! I asked my midwife and she said yes the OR now allows it. However, I was given a little too much epidural (I was completely numb and sick from head to toe) and something going on with my son, the skin-to-skin that was supposed to happen just didn’t.
While skin-to-skin, start feeding your baby. It is best if he is fed within the first hour of being born. Early breastfeeding has been known to help you stop bleeding, and also clears the mucus from your baby’s nose and mouth.
Loved ones near:
Typically with hospital births, you are limited to who can be in the room with you to experience the birth of your child. So do you choose between your mother and mother-in-law? I know I don’t want to be at the center of that great debate! With a home birth, there are no limitations, and everyone can be supportive and help in their own way.
You might have heard from other moms before ‘I can’t wait to bring my little one home!’ That is a song you won’t have to sing if you give birth at home! Imagine, no hospital gowns, no uncomfortable beds, and no hospital food! Sounds good to me, wish I had done it.
Is a home birth really for me?
If you are considering a home birth, there are a few things you need to take into consideration, because even though the benefits are incredible compared to a hospital birth, it is not for everyone.
Healthy, low-risk pregnancy: If you have had a healthy pregnancy with no major complications or restrictions, you should be good to deliver at home!
Avoid interventions: If you have a desire to avoid any medical interventions like an episiotomy (I mean, no one really one of those) a c-section, or an epidural (giant needle, no thanks!), then a home birth is ok for you too.
How do I prepare?
Pick your team: This is not like creating your Fantasy Football team, you want to have a midwife and also a doc on hand as well.
How do I choose a midwife? Interview! Meet with several and pick the one you feel most comfortable with. I am sure you don’t like having people in your home you do not necessarily like, so I would bet money on that you might not want someone delivering your child (in your home) who you don’t like.
Hire a doula: She will so helpful to you during labor, especially in your home. She will also help you to come up with a plan b should you need to be transferred to the hospital for anything.
Pediatrician: Yes, you may have you pediatrician picked out, but will he come to your home? In the hospital, the pediatrician comes to you, so this might be something you might not think about when you planning your home birth, but your newborn needs to be seen within 24 hours of being born.
A home birth is not for everyone, but it does have it’s benefits. Only you and your partner will know if this is the right choice for you. Everyone has to be on board for your home birth to be as great as it can be. Some people like the idea of a home birth and others are comfortable with the hospital setting. It is all a personal choice.