Childbirth Options Pros and Cons of Homebirth

It is a great advantage that women today have numerous choices when it comes to choosing how to give birth. One of these choices is the option of having a home birth, where the woman decides to give birth at home, often with the assistance of a midwife or two.

There are numerous reasons why women decide to take this option, it could be that she had a negative birth previously at a hospital due to various factors, or the woman may live far away from a hospital or does not have enough insurance to pay for a hospital birth. Some women may not choose to have a home birth, but have to due to a quick labor and delivery.

Many health care professionals do not encourage having a home birth in case a complication happens. The baby’s head could become stuck or the woman may not get adequate help in time. A woman considering this option must know the advantages and disadvantages and any risks involved. However, most research seems to suggest that having a home birth is safe for most healthy mothers who have not had any pregnancy complications and are in good shape.

It is the woman’s right to choose if she wants a home birth, but the decision must be made with having sufficient knowledge.

• Pros of a home birth

Comfort

The option of going through one of the most important happenings in a woman’s life comfortably at home can make a big difference in keeping the mother calm and relaxed. She is familiar with her surroundings and can get up to move about, eat and drink or do whatever she likes. She has the option to set the mood and light candles, play some relaxing music or nature sounds, or even watch a movie. She is in the comfort of her own home and can therefore feel more in control of the situation.

At home the woman does not have to hear the screams and rants of other women giving birth or the usual hospital noise. There is also no pressure put upon the woman, she can take all the time she likes. Those in charge of assisting women in hospitals often have less patience, as they are busy and have lots of women to attend to, births can therefore be more rushed.

Privacy

A woman can have all the privacy she desires at home. There will be no threat of medical students coming in to watch her give birth. There will be fewer interruptions of staff coming in to check things, less noise and less interference. She can have visitors whenever she likes. She decides who will be present with her at the time she gives birth.  

Water birth option

She can decide whether she would like to rent a birthing pool. She has the option to have a water birth without any interference. It could be that one hopes to have a water birth at the hospital, but all birthing pools could be in use when her time comes along to give birth.

A natural birth

A home birth allows the woman to have a completely natural birth, without medication and medical interference. Medicine is often offered to women at the hospital and there is pressure for her to remain in bed. Hospitals are busy places and she does not have the option to just walk about if she so wishes. At home there is no temptation to take medicine offered and she can use other more natural ways to relax. She will also not have an unnecessary cesarean section.

The mother can take advantage of bonding with her baby straight after she gives birth, she can spend as much time as she likes.

• Cons of a home birth

Paperwork responsibility of parents

If a woman decides to give birth at home she or her partner must file for the birth certificate. Some midwives can help with this, but it is the responsibility of the parents to claim it.

An emergency

Every birth is different. Complications could arise, and the midwife or caregiver may not know or have the tools to give necessary aid. In case of such an emergency, there could be a delay in receiving care as a travel to the hospital would be needed.

In case of an emergency, the woman can feel very unsettled as she had planned to be at home. It can be nerving to have to be transported to the hospital while in the middle of labor to have a cesarean section or receive medical intervention.

Pressure of home life

If the woman has kids she could feel pressured into making meals and doing the house work, whereas at hospital she just has to focus on herself and her baby. If having a home birth, the woman must make sure family and friends will help out.

Trust

The woman must fully trust the midwife assisting with the home birth. The midwife’s expertise, advice and sense of responsibility must be trusted as there will be no monitor as in the hospital.

No pain relief

When having a home birth the mother cannot have an epidural or other form of medical pain relief if she wanted.

When a woman is deciding to have a home birth or not, she must be fully-informed into the pros and cons of her desired option. There are many advantages to having a home birth such as having a more natural birth without interference, being relaxed and in the comfort of her home and feeling more in control. However, she must be informed of the possible risks involved, as if an emergency happens and quickly going to the hospital while in labor. The woman must also fully trust the midwife involved in her home birth to take responsible care.