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Home Births

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The number of home births is on the rise; before the NHS, all women would give birth in their own homes but as medical science developed, it became the norm to have a hospital birth. For many years, ‘Home Births’ were seen as an unsafe option and were viewed as an unnecessary risk. Nowadays there is a more balanced view on home births, but as ever there are pros and cons. Firstly lets deal with the advantages.


If all is going well, the familiar surroundings of giving birth at home can raise confidence during labour. It will make you fell less inhibited and more in control which can help ease labour.

Low intervention

With home births there’s no shaving, having your waters broken, electronic foetal monitoring, medication or episiotomies. This is all relevant because believe it or not, once there is medical intervention in a labour, it’s more likely that further intervention will be necessary. A home birth means your chances of a fully natural birth are usually higher. Assisted delivery and induction, both of which are common in hospital deliveries can raise the risk of Post partum haemorrhage.

No place like home

This one speaks for itself, the difference between your own home and a hospital delivery room is huge. If privacy is an issue for you and you don’t want to feel like all the medical staff and its wife are having a look at what’s going on, the privacy afforded by a home birth can’t be underestimated.

Your home birth is likely to be managed by one or two midwives, who you will have developed a relationship and therefore trust. The relationship with your midwife is vital and the aforementioned trust will be the defining factor in the success of it.

Getting comfortable

When you are giving birth at home, you can make sure in advance that everything is positioned in a way that puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable and you can have any extras that you need to assist the birth, whether its labouring in a waterpool, using aromatherapy, or listening to music. You may be more likely to end up without them in a hospital as there is more demand for each item.

Now that we’ve sold Home Births to you, it’s important that we take a balanced view so now lets look at the advantages of hospital birthing.

Access to expertise and experience

Home birthIf the thought of “a big building full of trained doctors and lots of drugs” puts you at ease, it doesn’t matter how good your midwives are, you’re still not in touching distance of it when you are at home and if there are complications once labour is underway, then you may have to go through the trauma of a mid labour trip to the hospital. If this idea fills you with dread, the anxiety a home birth would give you simply isn’t worth it!

It’s important that your birthing partner is happy/comfortable with your choice of venue for the big arrival. Make sure you are in agreement and talk it through at length. Remember to research properly how far your home is from the hospital, how long it takes at rush hour and also the overall condition of the roads. If the journey will be like going on the log floom at Alton Towers, it probably isn’t going to be an appropriate route mid labour!

Actual Rest

The thing about being in the comfort of your own home is you may think that you’re ready to move about and take care of the rest of your brood, when actually you need to rest. Being in hospital means that it’s all about you and baby and you’re more likely to have organised things at home knowing that you’re not going to be there. If you’re at home and everyone is used to coming to mum, you may feel under pressure to respond.

There’s not always intervention!

A good way to work out whether a hospital will work better for you than home birthing, is to check out the rate of intervention of different hospitals. It varies; and if the rate of intervention is one of your main reasons for considering a home birth, but you want to be near the amenities of the hospital, this excercise will help to put your mind at ease. Remember the more relaxed and in control you feel, the easier the labour will be.

Above all the most important thing to do if you’re interested in the possibility of a home birth is speak to your doctor or midwife. They’ll know of any reason why the circumstances of your pregnancy or your medical history would mean a home birth wasn’t suitable. As we’ve said earlier, developing an open and trust based relationship with your midwife, will mean together you can really explore the best method for you and your baby.




About Libby Taylor

About Libby Taylor

"Libby is an experienced writer of radio and internet copy. A practicing buddhist for over 15 years, and a lover of good food, fashion and self help books, Libby loves to write about everything and anything, always with the intention of entertainment and surprise!"

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