Home Birth Reference Site

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:


Why does homebirth have such good outcomes?


By planning a homebirth you are actively reducing the chances of having a problem:-

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.



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