When it comes to giving birth there are many options for parents to choose from. Some may opt for a home birth, a water birth, utilise the services and support of a doula and they may also choose to give birth in hospital. None of these are right or wrong and each offer parents the opportunity to personalise their birthing experience in a way.
Home births among low risk pregnancies are both encouraged and supported by the NHS as well as charities such as the NCT (National Childbirth Trust).
Pros and Cons
As with every choice there are pros and cons when choosing a home birth . For example:
- You may need to transferred to hospital if there are any complications
- Epidurals are not available at home.
When it comes to choosing a home birth the NHS, working alongside NICE guidelines would advise against a home birth if your pregnancy is considered high risk. Examples of times when this might occur include (yet are not limited to):
- When the mother is anaemic
- When the baby is in a breech position
- If twins (or more) are expected
- If there were complication after previous births including haemorrhage
- If you have had a caesarean section previously
- Where there is an increase risk or signs of high blood pressure / pre-eclampsia
- Diabetes.With the majority of planned home births being for pregnancies that are considered low risk the NHS are able to say that statistically this option is as safe as giving birth in a hospital.
There are many positive points associated with giving birth at home.
- You maintain control
- You choose the environment you give birth it
- You may have more than one birth partner
- You may choose to use a birthing pool (this isn’t always available in hospital)
- You have greater control over being able to avoid interventions until they are absolutely necessary
- You may feel more confident in the privacy of your own home
- No worries about getting to the hospital in time
- You may enjoy continuity of care with one of your community midwives being present
- You may avoid having to spend the night away from your partner
These are just some of the positives associated with having a home birth.
Making The Choice
While there are a great number of positives associated with choosing a home birth the same may be said about hospital births. The important thing to remember is that the choice is yours and it is never too late to change your mind about a home birth and go to the hospital instead if that is what you want.
Talk to your midwife and caregivers, your partner and research your options. This post offers a great insight into one Mum’s homebirth experience and is well worth a read.
Have you had a home birth or are considering one? Tell us more!