If you are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, home birth is an option for you. Many women these days are looking to have their babies at home or a birthing center with the goal of having a more relaxing and loving environment for delivery. Most women planning a home birth arrange to have a midwife attend the birth to assist in the delivery of the baby.
You may choose to have a home birth for many reasons. Giving birth at home may look very appealing if you wish to give birth with no pain medications, augmentation of labor, induction, or continuous monitoring. Giving birth at home allows you to be in a comfortable and familiar place during your entire labor and birth, and you don’t have to worry about the car ride to the hospital disrupting your labor. Or you may have had a previous bad experience at a hospital causing you to look towards home birth. There are many other reasons to choose home birth and they may be very personal.
Most midwives attending home births have access to oxygen, IV’s, sterile gloves, gauze pads, fetoscopes, medications, and items for suturing that they will bring with them to your home. When planning a home birth there are several things you will want to have and do to prepare your home for the upcoming birth. The basics you will want to have are clean towels and washcloths, a waterproof mattress cover, sheets that can get messy, a change of clean sheets for after the birth, and food and drinks for yourself and those attending your birth. You may want to consider renting a birthing tub if you are looking to have a water birth or want to labor in a tub. When preparing for giving birth at home you also want to create a space for the birth; move any breakable objects or special rugs or furniture. Anything that you don’t want to possibly get wet or bloody should probably be in a separate room. Surround the space with any pictures or motivational quotes that will inspire you during labor.
There are some occasions when you may need to be transferred from your planned home birth to a hospital, these can include: exhaustion, premature rupture of membranes, continuous high blood pressure, failure to progress, fetal distress, cord prolapse, or hemorrhage. In case this occurs it is always a good idea to write a second birth plan as a backup for if you are transferred to a hospital. You should also know which hospital you will go to in case of a transfer and have your car (and car seat) ready just in case.
Home birth is an option for many women; if you are considering home birth just make sure you research all your options, including insurance coverage, to make the best decision for you and your family.
Obviously this blog was not one week after my GBS blog. I took a small break from blogging to focus on clients, family, and the holidays. The pace for my future blogs will also be slowed down a bit as I take on the large project of helping to organize a birth and baby expo/fair for the Quantico area. The next L&D blog will be for the letter I… I is for Induction.