Why Home Birth?
If you are interested in home birth then you probably already have a good idea of its benefits. I could write at length on this subject (and at some point, no doubt will!), but for now, the following pages may be of interest:
- Research on home birth safety and outcomes has found, time after time, that planning a homebirth is a very effective way of keeping birth normal and reducing the risk of complications. There is more below on why this might be the case, but what we do know is that homebirth increases the chances that your baby will have a gentle birth, and that you will be in the best condition to look after him and to breastfeed him afterwards.
- Birth Stories - parents who have planned homebirths write about why they made that choice, and how it turned out. Includes stories from women who transferred to hospital as well.
- But what if...? Some frequently asked questions of the "What if something goes wrong?" variety.
- Transferring to hospital - why it might happen, and comments from women who've done it.
- You can't have a homebirth, because.... lots of reasons why some health professionals might advise you against homebirth. Some reasons are more persuasive than others; it's always your decision.
- The HomeBirth UK Yahoogroup may help you to decide if homebirth is right for you. It's a home birth support group by email, for parents who are interested in home birth in the UK, or who have planned or had home births in the past, midwives, co-ordinators of home birth support groups, etc..
By planning a
homebirth you are actively reducing the chances of having a problem:-
- First of all, if you're labouring at home then you will not be having
your labour induced or augmented (sped up) with syntocinon, which
increases the risk of various complications for mother and child - eg
it increases the risk of the baby going into distress, and of the
mother finding labour too painful and needing an epidural.
- You and your baby are not exposed to any unfamiliar
pathogens in hospital. The rate of postpartum infection in women who
give birth in hospital is about 25%, compared to about 4% in homebirth
mothers (see the National Birthday Trust Fund study
- Staying at home means that your production of labour hormones is not interrupted. Labour generally progresses well at home because you don't
have to interrupt your labouring with a trip to hospital, nor do you
have to worry that your labour might slow down once you arrive. If you want
to keep birth safe and normal, remember that the first intervention in
labour is stepping outside your own home.
- Active birth helps women to manage labour without needing heavy-duty drugs or interventions. 'Active birth' means keeping mobile in labour, moving when you want to, and giving birth in a physiologically advantageous position, ie one where your body is not having to work against gravity and where the baby's exit is not impeded. In other words, it means avoiding laying on your back or labouring in positions like semi-supine, where your coccyx cannot flex backwards to help the baby's head pass through. It's
generally easier to remain active and upright at home where you're on
your own patch and you know that it's OK to wander upstairs to the
loo, or to the kitchen for a drink - you don't have to ask anyone
where to go, or if it's alright. Little things, but for some women
they make a difference. And all of this adds up to make the pain more
manageable as well, for most women.
- Finally, you're less likely to be given "just in case" interventions
at home than you are in hospital, or time limit interventions, simply because it takes longer to organise.
Home Birth Reference Page