It is generally thought that home birth can be extremely dangerous. This idea is popular because today we consider childbirth a surgical procedure, though it is a natural process. Only a decade ago, we considered an obstetrician not an assistant in childbirth, but the main hero of this procedure. We thought that the outcome entirely depended on our doctor. We saw the process of natural childbirth as a purely medical act. That’s why we had frequent cesarean sections, stimulations and anesthesia use, separation of mother and child after childbirth etc.
In recent years, the concept of childbirth has begun to change. It turned out that medical atmosphere and stress provoke complications. Comfortable and secure atmosphere reduces the need for medical interventions, such as anesthesia or surgery. Only 10% of women need medical help during natural childbirth. This is why many women choose home birth. At home, they find comfort and peace.
Let’s learn about the advantages and disadvantages of home birth.
Advantages of home birth
- Comfortable environment — both physically and psychologically.
All your relatives may be present and help you. You’ll feel calm and secure. You husband can even cut the umbilical cord. It’s very interesting that a man who has cut the newbоrn’s umbilical cord is less likely to leave the family, because this simple action sets a very strong relationships among all three — mother, father and child.
- You don’t need to part with your newborn.
- A child born in natural conditions feels less stress.
- Choice of birth position.
In home birth, you are free to choose the most comfortable birth position — lying on your side, standing on all fours, squatting. You won’t have to lie on your back as in most hospitals, because this position has been recognized as one of the most unsuitable for delivery for many women.
- You can choose a midwife or a doctor yourself
It can be a midwife or a doctor, who observed you throughout pregnancy, or just those whom you know well and trust. Learn how to choose a midwife
- Natural pain relief
You can use any non-medical means of reducing pain: a warm bath, soft music, massage.
All of the above can be arranged not only at home. Many hospitals offer this set of services for a fee. Yet, there are some things that a hospital can’t provide.
- Absence of nosocomial infections
The risk of catching Staphylococcus in hospital is never equal to zero.
- No regime and bureaucracy
You’ll have to deal with them much in hospital. Only at home, you’ll be able to do household chores several hours after the delievery.
Disadvantages of home birth
Home birth is always a risk for mother and baby, because in childbirth complications can develop suddenly. In addition, many expectant mothers who choose to give birth at home are supporters of all natural. Often they refuse such common methods as caesarean section and stimulation. However, they can help to save the newborn and the mother in difficult cases.
Different complications can develop in home birth. Most often, it is hypoxia (oxygen starvation) because of very long labor due to the weakness of labor activity. Some home obstetricians and midwives do not like to use stimulation, because it contradicts the concept of «naturalness». Another reason for hypoxia is a woman’s narrow pelvis. In all these cases, timely proper stimulation or surgery saves the newborn’s life.
Usually in the case of the baby’s death in home birth, doctors claim that they could have saved the newborn’s life by caesarean section. Home midwives are often reluctant to send their patients to hospital.
Blood transfusion is impossible at home, so bleeding can become a dangerous thread for women during home birth. While acute postpartum bleeding a woman may not have enough time to get to the hospital. The midwife can only use oxytocin for better contraction, which unfortunately not always helps.
Weakness of labor activity occurs quite often. It is treated by stimulation or, if it does not help, by caesarean section. Home midwifes won’t be able to help.
After a long labor, the baby is often born in a state of hypoxia (oxygen starvation). Sometimes, hypoxia treatment requires emergency action. You may have too little time to deliver a newborn with severe hypoxia in the hospital.
Pitfalls of home delivery
- Bad midwife
Unprofessional midwives are quite a common phenomenon. Many of them do not have medical education and are ardent opponents of official medicine. Such people are able to lose the only chance to save the baby’s life. Avoid such people.
- Poor knowledge of the future mother
It often turns out that home birth is not as rosy as you thought. Without good preparation, the mother’s body undergoes a lot of stress in travail and may fail. The same thing can also happen in the hospital, but there you’ll find competent treatment.
- Other «surprises»
Many proponents of the «all natural» not only prefer home birth, but also refuse tests and ultrasound scans during pregnancy. Due to this, there can be such «surprises» as twins, large fetus, umbilical cord entanglement or hypoxia.