Written by Liza John
The process of birthing is said to be a magical one. Often, people want this magical experience to take place in the comfort and familiarity of their homes rather than at a hospital. While this is a completely valid desire, opting for out-of-hospital birth has to be made only after lengthy considerations of its risks and benefits.
Admittedly, home birth can be more comfortable for you but there are a few conditions that can make you unsuitable for it. They can be detected with the help of your obstetrician or midwife. If you are having a multiple pregnancy, it is advised to have a hospital birth instead. If your doctor has indicated that you have low or high levels of amniotic fluid, fetal malpresentation, or have a chance of breech birth, hospital birth is definitely the better choice.
Other conditions to consider include:
- High blood pressure
- Positive HIV
- High obesity
- Neurological disorders
- Existing heart, lung, liver, or kidney conditions
- Complications during previous pregnancies
- History of substance abuse
A Good Candidate for Home Birth Checklist
Before choosing to have your baby at home, here are a few things that you should look into in order to have a hassle-free birth:
Private and Comfortable Area for Delivery
While making your decision to give birth at home, make sure that you have a safe space to deliver. It can be your bedroom or any other room you feel comfortable in. Check whether the room can hold an inflatable pool if you prefer a water birth. Also, see that the room gives you a chance to keep your space from the rest of the family, in case you need it.
Finding an experienced midwife that you trust is critical to your home birthing plan. Interview several candidates and make sure you settle on one with the necessary credentials like Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) or Certified Midwife (CM). Prepare a set of questions for all the likely candidates.
Inquire about the number of deliveries they have attended to, the complications they have dealt with, the kind of equipment they use, and so on. Having an experienced and trusted midwife can make an out-of-the-hospital birth relatively simple.
Since you are inclined towards giving birth at home, chances are that you will not have access to the pain medications administered to those in labor at hospitals. This means that you have to rely on other techniques for pain relief or grit your teeth through the pain. Figure out if you are sure of that as well.
Without a doubt, home births are cheaper than hospital births but some insurance companies do not cover them. Check with your provider to see what all costs they cover. Discuss with them to see if they cover the costs upfront or whether you will have to pay out-of-pocket and then wait for reimbursement.
There are a million things that could go wrong while you are in labor like fetal distress or hemorrhage. Most of these situations cannot be handled by a midwife alone. In scenarios like this, you need to be rushed to the nearest hospital for further care.
Ensure that the nearest hospital is 15 minutes away from where you are giving birth and that you have the necessary transportation. If you do not have an easily accessible hospital, carefully consider the risks of not making it to the hospital in time before choosing to birth at home.
In order to have a successful home birth, you need to discuss your decision with your partner. Ask for assistance from your sibling or a friend during the pregnancy or during labor. Always seek advice from other family members who have gone through pregnancy before you make major decisions. If you and your partner think that home birth is suitable for both of you, then go ahead with it.
Expecting parents tend to prefer home birth out of the desire to give birth without medical interference like medications to relieve pain or induce labor. Some people choose home births because they are dissatisfied with the care provided at hospitals or due to religious concerns while others just want the comfort of their homes.
Whatever the reason, be sure to put the health and safety of the mother and the baby above all else. Seek advice from others who have chosen out-of-hospital birth like you have to get more details about the same. If you desire an out-of-hospital birth but with more care and fewer risks, look into the birthing centers in your area.