Starting right from the moment of conception up till the date of giving birth, you are presented with an overwhelming number of choices. From what to eat and do during pregnancy, what to buy for your newborn, how to make adjustments to your home, to choosing the birthing method, birthing place and type of assistance during the birthing process.
Birthing method and place is an important consideration because it directly impacts the care you receive during labor and after it too. The quality of care includes the availability of equipment for you during your labor and your involvement with decisions about your delivery. Moreso, the birthing method you choose will also have a direct impact on your comfort, therefore will play a vital role in the birthing experience.
Parents-to-be often spend a countless number of hours researching doctors, planning appointments and looking for the most suitable midwife or delivery home. So in your opinion, which one is the right choice when it comes to a hospital delivery versus a home birth?
You may find this question astonishing, thinking that everyone delivers a baby in the hospital nowadays and home births are a thing of the past. You will be surprised to know that in recent years, home births have increased by an astonishing 29 percent!
Now, if you are a healthy childbearing woman, like most pregnant women in the United States, you can consider giving birth in a hospital, an out-of-hospital birth center, or in your home. Nonetheless, it’s important to take some points into consideration. Let’s go through these points one by one.
What type of experience are you looking for?
You need to start off by thinking about what kind of experience you are looking for. This will form the basis of your decision making. Do you want to give birth at the hospital because all the staff, state of the art equipment and pharmaceutical assistance is readily available there or give birth in the comfort of your own home where you know there’s no stressing over pre-delivery bag preparation etc?
Well, you should choose a hospital birth if you are a mommy-to-be who:
-Feels safer around a team of doctors and nurses armed with medical equipment.
-Consider it more hygienic and planned.
-Need pain management medications, especially epidural
-Require labor to be induced
-Feels the need to have an emergency plan to run to immediately if for any reason some medical assistance is required.
There are many reasons why mothers opt for giving birth at home too. You should choose to give birth at home if:
-You desire to give birth in a comfortable and familiar environment surrounded by loved ones.
-You wish to avoid medical interventions such as a cesarean section.
-You are dissatisfied with hospital care
-You desire freedom and control in the birthing process.
-You wish to save yourself some serious bucks that you’d otherwise spend in a hospital setting.
-You have cultural or religious concerns.
But before making your comfort the deciding matter in choosing where you plan on giving birth, please weigh the pros and cons. It is recommended that you should only consider giving birth at home, if you are healthy, have a normal pregnancy, and ideally, have given birth before. As per experts women who choose to deliver their first child at home are 25% to 37% more likely to go to a hospital because of the complications.
According to research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), giving birth at home increases the risk of infant death two to three times. You know what, in spite of the risks involved, many women still have healthy babies even if they choose to deliver at home. Therefore, you need to consider multiple questions if you wish to deliver at home.
Situations in which giving birth at home is not ideal
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are certain conditions in which home birth is not suitable both for the mother and the baby. They are of the view that you should not plan home birth if:
– You are pregnant with twins, triplets or quadruplets
– The position of your baby doesn’t allow for a headfirst delivery
– You had a C-section in the past.
– You have health issues like diabetes, hypertension, or anemia
– You don’t have adequate support and care that is necessary to deliver a baby
Here are the three steps of planning a home birth (feel free to add some of your own!):
1. Choose a health care provider who is well trained to assist
It would be ideal to choose a certified nurse-midwife, certified midwife as they are the most common health care providers at home births. Despite the presence of a midwife, many women find it helpful to have a doula present to help with physical and emotional support during labor. Talk to them and be open about things that concern you and how you want things to be. After all giving birth is some serious stuff and they’re there to help you!
2. Create a birth plan
Are there any specific methods you will use to cope with the pain?
Do you want to labor in a tub?
Will you prefer to bottle feed or breastfeed your baby immediately after delivery?
Discuss your birthing plan with your health care provider and ask questions about supplies you may need, such as protective coverings or towels. In addition to birth supplies, think of items that will help you stay comfortable and relaxed during labor, like candles and music.
3. Have a backup plan in case of emergency
According to many studies planned home-birth is relatively safe for low-risk pregnancies and most complications can be detected in time before they turn into emergencies. But it’s important to be prepared just in case by knowing the answer to the following questions:
-Who is your midwife’s primary backup?
-Where is the nearest emergency room?
-What emergency equipment does your midwife bring to a birth?
-What are the reasons you may have to be transferred to the hospital?
Here at Abudo, we are not in favor of any particular birthing option. We know that you know your body best and ultimately you will make the right choice for yourself. So, if you to opt for a home birth here’s how you need to prepare yourself and your home for the labor.
What do you need for a home birth?
The list of things you might require or need to gather for a homebirth varies from midwife to midwife. Generally, here are the things that are most commonly asked by midwives to gather:
- Pint of 91 or 99% alcohol
- A bottle of isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol 70%
- Packs of cotton
- Plastic sheet
- Trash bags
- Packs of cotton
- Extra sheets that fit your bed
- Packs of cotton
- Bath towels
- Clothes for you and the baby
Now that you are more familiar with the concept of home birth. It is up to you to decide what is best for you taking into consideration your health and all other appropriate factors. Talk to your healthcare provider before you make this big decision after all your and your baby’s health should be the number one priority.