Natural homebirth was how women used to deliver back long before there were hospitals, doctors and medical teams to assist labor and delivery. With medical advancements showing us how unsanitary conditions could affect the health of both mother and child during and after birth, more people started going to hospitals and birthing centers for deliveries. While doctors and health practitioners feel that home births are not particularly safe because if a medical emergency does arise, only a hospital, with the necessary facilities, can help save the day but with more women feeling inclined towards a natural child birth in the comfort of their homes, the number of home births is on the rise.
Having gone through childbirth education classes and being able to make informed choices about their bodies and pregnancy, women feel more confident about birthing at home, in familiar surroundings. However, while opting for a homebirth, there are a few factors to consider:
- Your pregnancy is healthy, uncomplicated, low-risk and with no existing health conditions
- You have had no history of a C-section because a VBAC1 can carry the risk of a uterine rupture that can only be taken care of in a hospital.
- You have appointed a physician and a certified doula/midwife for the birth.
- You are not pregnant with twins or multiples because delivering more than one baby often requires medical intervention.
- Your baby has a cephalic position in the womb at 37 weeks because a breech position will need hospital admission for the delivery to be safe and sound.
What Are The Benefits Of A Homebirth?
The Benefits Are Many:
- There is no unnecessary medical intervention in the form of pain medication, a battery of tests and premature induction.
- You are in the comfort of familiar surroundings and that can help you relax while birthing.
- There are lesser chances of episiotomies, third or fourth degree tears and hence no requirement for hospital admission.
- Baby benefits from delayed cord clamping, natural delivery of placenta, breast crawl, immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding.
- It is less costly than a hospital birth.
What Are The Disadvantages?
- There are chances of being rushed to a hospital in case of labor slowing down or fetal distress.
- You will not get the benefit of pain medication.
- There is a potential risk to the fetus and you yourself.
How To Prepare For A Homebirth?
- You will need to begin with a birth plan. A doula or midwife will discuss this at length with you and convey if she feels you are fit to deliver at home.
- You will have to find out the right practitioner who will assist you in the process.
- All medical supplies should be kept ready and emergency backup should also be at hand, if you need to be moved to a hospital.
- A supportive pediatrician will be of immense help so you could consider appointing one.
- There should be at least one person present who can perform an infant resuscitation if the need arises.
- Postpartum care should also be decided on beforehand.
If the pregnancy has been uncomplicated and eventless, there is every possibility that you will have a successful home birth and deliver a healthy baby in familiar surroundings.