While working on this post, I went to other websites to review their lists of why to have a homebirth. The main thing that I discovered is that each list is highly personalized and ranged from 4 to 35 reasons. Here are my reasons:
1. Better Quality of Care
It doesn’t matter what type of doctor you see, you almost always end up waiting in the waiting room for at least 30 minutes and I have heard that some OBs make you wait up to 3 hours. Then when you do get to see your doctor, you may get all of 15 minutes with them. Many take it as a personal affront if you ask questions about your care, your condition, or anything else of relevance. Appointments with me last up to an hour. This hour not only gives time for a full examination, there is plenty of time to address questions or concerns. We are also getting to know each other. So when I come to your home for your birth, we are not strangers, but like friends.
2. Respect for Parental Choices Instead of Dictated By Hospital Policies
Some hospitals call Child Protective Services if the parents refuse things like the Hepatitis B vaccination, eye ointment to prevent blindness in the instance of gonorrhea or chlamydia, or the Vitamin K injection. Women are refused VBACs (Vaginal Births After Cesarean). Many women choose homebirth because they want someone that respects these choices. Your placenta is yours to keep if you desire. There are no worries about it accidentally being thrown out or someone trying to talk you out of taking it home.
3. Homebirth is More Comfortable.
We tend to be more comfortable in our own environments. Hospitals with their strange machines and procedures being performed by people that you have never met can be anxiety inducing. You get to wear what you want instead of a hospital gown where you are in constant fear of flashing your backside to someone you just met. The thermostat in your home is controlled by you, so no freezing cold hospital room making everyone uncomfortable.
Food and beverages are encouraged throughout labor to help keep your energy up instead of your only nourishment being ice chips and IV fluids. Movement helps facilitate labor and ease labor discomforts. Being unrestricted at home allows for greater opportunity to allow your body to do its job. Pain relief from showers and birthing tubs are accessible for those that desire them.
Many hospitals have not much more than a hard hospital couch or cot for the family to sleep on during or after the birth. Being at home in your own bed is usually more desirable for mom and dad.
4. Birth Becomes a Family Affair.
Partners don’t feel as useless as they help the birthing woman with comfort measures. Many a father helps catch his baby, so that the first hands that touch the new baby are his. Instead of stressing about finding a babysitter, many parents opt to have their other children present for the birth. See my post about children being present here.
5. You are Not Sick.
If you are undergoing surgery, having a heart attack, or have been in a car accident, you want to be no where else other than a great hospital. Birth is not a medical event. Pregnant women are not sick. They are undergoing a life event. Life events are best celebrated away from people that have contagious illness and where super bugs live.
6. You Don’t Want to Birth In the Car.
Television portrays labor as super fast and women barely make it to the hospital. In reality, labor usually lasts much longer for most women. I have however been hired by women who were afraid to labor or birth in the car. One client birthed on the front steps of her previous midwife’s birth center. Another birthed at the 7-11 down the street from the closest hospital with her previous baby. My former client is not the only woman that I have heard of birthing on the side of the highway because she labored so quickly. These women find greater comfort in knowing that they don’t have to be the ones to drive anywhere. The midwife can be the one racing down the highway while providing instructions over the speakerphone.
7. Homebirth is Cheaper.
With recent rises in insurance rates and deductibles, many midwives fees are lower than many insurance deductibles and co-insurances. Despite current legislation, many woman do not either have insurance or do not have maternity coverage. For cash pay births, homebirth are currently averaging $4000-6000, while a no frills vaginal birth ends up in the range of $9000-15000. Cesareans, NICU stays, and other complications can double that estimate.
8. Lower Chances for Unnecessary Intervention and Better Birth Statistics
- According to the medical sources linked below, women having a planned homebirth with a skilled attendant have a:
- 89% lower risk of induction
- 77% lower risk of needing neonatal resuscitaiton
- 55% lower risk of meconium aspiration
- 50% lower risk of NICU admission
- 82% lower risk of Cesarean
- 63% lower risk of needing oxygen therapy
- lower risk of infections, lacerations, and episiotomies
- 3 in 10,000 chance of neonatal death vs the 6 in 10,000 chance if born in a hospital.
What about you? Did you birth at home? Were these the reasons why or did you have different reasons? Or are you considering a homebirth now? Contact us to set up a free consultation.
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