So you’re thinking of having a home birth? You go sister! *whoop* *whoop* etc. It’s a very sensible plan if you are are having a complication free pregnancy.
Unfortunately, quite a lot of women end up changing their minds after advice from others which, with the best of intentions i’m sure, is filled with scaremongering and incorrect facts. Mostly due to the fact that they are scared of it or just simply – they don’t understand the birthing process.
Below is a list of the pros vs the cons of home birth, which should come in useful when when you are making a decision. The main thing to remember is that whatever you decide, it’s YOUR choice!
- You have less chance of complications if you choose home birth
- Less chance of Caesarean-section or a forceps/ventouse delivery
- Your birth will most likely be quicker and less painful
- In Western countries where homebirth is higher, neonatal Morbidity rates are lower than the UK
- Birthing at home means a very low risk of contracting MRSA (for you and your baby)
- Homebirth means less chance of tears, episiotomy (and the resulting infections),
- You will be given the time YOU need to give birth – not the time the NHS says you have to give birth in
- You wont spend your labour clock watching and wondering if you are dilated enough and “allowed” to go to hospital yet (so no trips in pain where you have to be sent back, no anxiety wondering how far along you are – the midwife, in the comfort of your own home will tell you!)
- No need for childcare if you have a child already
- You maintain control over everything. Nothing is done without your consent
- You are encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change positions, make noise, shower, bathe,
- You can have whoever and however many people you like with you at your home
- Your midwife does not go home because their shift has ended
- Women are supported through the hard work of labour
- Your midwife tends to be “a certain type” so it’s unlikely you will get some miserable, insensitive cow who to be frank shouldn’t be working in such a profession!
- Bonding is enhanced
- No visiting hours, cold aircon, toilets down the hall, buttons to push for pain relief/help, screaming babies (except your own!) or other screaming/distressed mothers
- Pregnancy and birth are viewed as normal, natural body functions and not as an illness or disease
- After birth you can have a hot shower in YOUR home, get your pyjamas on and hold your baby while someone brings you tea and toast in YOUR bed.. You can then sit there like the holy Goddess that you are and revel in your absolutely mind-blowingly, off the scale JOY (in your own home!)
- If you require more pain relief than gas & air or pethadrine then you will have to be transferred. However, most women don’t even get to pethidine stage and do it either with no pain relief or very little – your progress is so much quicker and your body is able to produce its own pain relief so you are more likely not to need other drugs
- You need a thick skin as society will still view you as “brave” or “nuts” for choosing home birth over a hospital – be prepared for lots of opinions on your choice.
- The mess – its not for everyone, but rest assured the team of midwives clear everything up – they bag up all the towels, mess etc. They take things like the placenta etc away. Mine even cleaned the floor for us! The only thing they wont do is clean the pool if you have a water birth – this is your responsibility
- The noise – in some situations if you have very thin walls and are worrying about the noise you will make and the neighbours this may make you more anxious.
If you decide it’s definitely for you – then you can also read my post: “Thinking about a home birth? You need to read this…” which has a ton of info and advice. Happy birthing!