Home births have become popular nowadays but are no means a novel concept. For ages women had delivery at home and all the complications were also managed by the mid wives along with experienced women of the family and community. As the medical science developed and clinics, nursing homes and hospitals came up, instances of giving birth at home started reducing and more and more people opted for hospital births for their children.
Home Birth Vs. Hospital Birth
There are several advantages of using a nursing home or a hospital for the birth of your child. Even when your pregnancy has been smooth and you are healthy, you never know when a complication may come up. A hospital is well equipped to handle it and all kind of medical aid is available. This includes emergency cesarean section, any kind of complications during labor, post delivery care for the mother or child- in case there is some complication during the delivery and immediate check up of the kid. However some people always have concerns that sometimes the medical staff at hospitals make the patient go through some unnecessary procedures like episiotomy and epidural. Sometimes the parents to be do not want to use these processes but may not have complete control in a hospital scenario.
This is where a home birth wins. You get complete control of the birth environment for your child. You also get the security of being between all your loved ones. In a home birth you get the advantage of being flexible- you do not need to lie down on a single bed for a long stretch of time. You have the flexibility to move around. Also, you can ensure that none of the medical processes that you do not want are given to you like cesarean section birth or epidural. If you opt for a natural birth– then a natural birth is what you get. In fact the statistics suggest that the percentage of times cesarean or epidural was administered during a home birth process is much lesser as compared to the hospital birth.
Do I go for Home birth?
Home birth is a good option to be exercised in case you have had a trouble free pregnancy, you are healthy without any health complications and your spouse as well as family is supportive of it. You may not have an option to go for a home birth in case you have some health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure or some of the pregnancy related issues like breech position of your baby at 37 weeks, twins or pre-eclampsia.
In one or more of these conditions a mid wife or a doctor may not recommend a home birth. A home birth may also not be recommended if you have had a cesarean section delivery earlier. You may need medical aid during the delivery and it will be much safer for you to deliver in a hospital or a nursing home so that all the required medical aid is at hand and any kind of emergency can be taken care of.
Requirements for a Home Birth
In case you have made up your mind to go in for a home birth, it is better to start the preparation quite early. The first thing you need to look out for is a well trained mid wife who can handle the delivery of a child at home. Please ensure that you take your own time in finalizing a midwife and do not hurry up the process. You should interview a few midwives and then see if you can get the recommendation from someone who has gone through this process with the same midwife. This way you can ensure that you are going to the right person.
A midwife will also generally work in collaboration with a gynecologist or obstetrician. While a midwife is trained to handle the deliveries at home, there may be certain situation when a medical intervention is required. Therefore it is important that a medical professional is available as a back up.
Generally a midwife will get all the essentials required for a home birth including oxygen mask, IVs for the mother, sterile gloves and other equipment for the delivery, ultrasonic stethoscope, medications for certain complications like blood hemorrhage, and some herbal medications to soothe the mother during the labor. You may check with her in case she would want you to take care of some things.
You will have to ready your house for the delivery. Pick up a spot where you would like to go through the process and make the arrangements in advance. You may do it along with your midwife and the family member who is going to support you during the labor. This way they will be familiar with the place and will be able to support you during the delivery process.
While you make up your mid for a home delivery, you also need to be prepared that you may have to be shifted to the hospital in case some complications come up. This may be due to the mother giving up during the labor and labor not progressing, fetal distress, blood hemorrhage for the mother or some other medical complication. Hence you need to ensure that enough arrangements are in place to shift you to the hospital in case of an emergency. This is vital both for the safety of you and your baby. Also you would need to ensure that a pediatrician checks your new born baby within 24 hours of the delivery.
Home birth has its own advantages –
you are in the safe and secure environment of your home and will be able to breast feed your baby as soon as he or she is born. This way you can ensure that a bond is formed between you and antibodies are transferred to the baby. However this needs to be exercised with caution, else it may prove to be dangerous or at times fatal as well.