Advantages and Disadvantages of Birthing at Home
Before deciding whether or not you have chosen to have a home birth, we would like for you to become familiar with your options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Please read the following and feel free to ask any questions.
Advantages of home birth…
- Statistics show that home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth for low-risk women with adequate prenatal care and a qualified attendant.
- At home a woman can labor and birth in the privacy and comfort of the familiar surroundings of her own home, surrounded by loved-ones. in whatever positions and attire she finds most comfortable.
- The laboring woman maintains control over everything impacting her labor and birth. Meeting her needs is the only focus of all those present. Nothing is done to her without her consent.
- Labor is allowed to progress normally, without interference and unnecessary interventions.
- Studies show that the risk of infection is reduced for both the mother and the baby.
- During labor the woman is encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change positions, make noise, shower, bathe, etc.
- Care-givers are invited guests in the birthing woman’s home. She can have anyone she desires present: family, friends, children, etc. Her medical team (midwife and birth assisiant) do not go home because their shift has ended or because it was supposed to be their day off or because it is a holiday or because they planned something else.
- She doesn’t have to worry about when to go to the hospital since her care-providers come to her.
- Continuous one-on-one care is given by the midwife, providing ongoing assessment of the baby’s and mother’s condition throughout the birth process and postpartum period. Her care provider knows her well and she knows her care provider. They have established a trust relationship.
- Women are supported through the hard work of labor, and encouraged to realize the insights, and experience the personal growth as a human being to be derived from such a powerful, life-changing event.
- Bonding is enhanced and includes everyone who has contact with the baby including neighbors and relatives. Breast feeding is facilitated by the baby remaining with the mother.
- Cesarean Section and forceps deliveries are unavailable – transportation to the hospital is necessary if these interventions are required. However, rates of both, as well as episiotomy, are very low.
- The cost of a home birth may be less than a hospital birth, and is often covered by insurance if a CNM is utilized.
- Pregnancy and birth are viewed as normal, natural body functions and not as an illness or disease.
Disadvantages of home birth…
- Client’s must assume a greater level of responsibility for their own health: physical, mental and spiritual. This requires active ongoing participation in decision making in all aspects of their care, and a willingness to accept the consequences of those choices and decisions.
- Since the hospital is the currently socially acceptable location for birth, choosing otherwise may result in negative judgments and lack of support.
- Cesarean Sections, forceps deliveries and a nconaialogist arc not available at home, transport is necessary for these and other medical interventions.
- Personal arrangements must be made for postpartum care, such as meals, housekeeping, child care etc.
- The cost of a home birth may not be covered by the client’s insurance.
- Analgesics are not readily available with a home birth.