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As you prepare for birth, one of the choices you will need to make is where to deliver your baby. Women can choose between a hospital, birthing center or the comfort of their own home. It’s a good idea to research each option in advance and make an informed decision. Interestingly, around 16,000 women each year choose to have their baby at home.
I expected better. Many of the points aren't very accurate. Especially the last one. Most midwives offer FAR better postpartum care than an OB. Not to mention the fact that almost everyone needs to "arrange for your own postpartum help". How is that a con to homebirth??
I agree, Kellilee, about the postpartum care. My midwives visited me in my home for the 6 weeks following my baby's birth. They also called to check in on me throughout my postpartum time as well. I do think this article listed the pros of having a homebirth very well.
I have experienced both... Home first then hospital... I was truly overwhelmed with the lack of emotional care and attention after feeling so surrounded by respectful, attentive midwives.... the odd thing is, had I not had that wonderful first experience, I would've never known what I was missing and assumed that the hospital birth was just "how it was." Im soooo thankful for those who explained my options or I would've never known to expect the beauty and intimacy of a home birth...
Hospital birth was a mistake for me. I felt a great feeling of loss... I will not repeat this mistake...
Chuckle. There is pain relief in a home birth. It is often milder, not heavy drugs that pass the placental barrier and can negatively impact baby as almost all hospitally administered drugs do, but there are methods and herb drugs for pain relief that midwives know how to use to great effect. The power of water, massage, walking, dim lights, familiar sounds is greatly underestimated these days because we have created such hype and drama around what really is a very natural process. Don't knock it until you've tried it.
I think all women find themselves at some point during labor between a rock and a hard place, regardless of where they are or who they're with, and they have to find the mental and physical capacity to overcome it with grace and push through to receive a healthy baby. No labor is easy. What I think a lot of women do not realize, however, is that conventional methods used in American hospitals (and not nearly to the same degree in other countries worldwide, even western ones) are often restricting of the needs of the laboring woman, inhibiting rather than helping her achieve her goal with decorum, and are laid out for the highest income with lowest liability for the sake of the Dr in charge, often not considering the needs of the client.
For one small example, something hospitals typically require or at very least strongly encourage is to have the woman lie on her back with feet in stirrups to push. In this position, the pubic bone is collapsed to have the smallest possible entry/exit out the vagina. The baby then has to move not only out, but also up around the pubic bone, requiring double exertion from the laboring woman. This is not only more exhausting for her but more painful. Put her in a supported, upright position and you immediately reduce her exertion back down to merely pushing out, not upwards as well, and her labor becomes faster, easier, and less painful. But you see, an OBGYN does not want to have to get on his knees on the floor to catch that infant from an upright laboring woman. He wants to sit on a chair or stool at a comfortable position where he can see everything easily, so he puts the woman on her back on a high bed or table under bright lights, where he need not bend over, kneel, or really move around at all. He just sits there and waits while she works twice as hard. I think OBGYNs are wonderful in a true surgical emergency, as they have been trained for, but for a normal, healthy labor and delivery I certainly don't have the money to pay them thousands of dollars to sit in a chair and tell me to push for an hour!
The USA treats laboring women with this attitude more than any other country in the world. Holland, for example, delivers over 80% of babies in home births and has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality and labor complications. In the USA, less than 2% of babies are delivered at home, with over 60% of hospital deliveries "requiring" drugs and intervention, and 30% resulting in cesarean sections anyway. This is major abdominal surgery -- something that normally we avoid at all costs.
Now, I wouldn't advocate having your baby at home but still hours away from a hospital. Drs and qualified medical professionals are trained and educated to deal accurately in crises. We should be close enough to take advantage of this if need arises! But when it is not a crisis -- which normal labor is not, but rather a very natural, beautiful, albeit exhausting experience -- then why does most of America go to the hospital for emergency care anyway? Because we've been trained to. It was not always this way.
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of GOD
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38, the Bible