Just wondering what made people choose a home birth? Do you worry about complications and being at home?
This is a really excellent question! There are lots of reasons in lots of different posts here about why women choose a homebirth, if you read down the line, topics like, what made you decide and the bestest thing I think your first question will be answered.
As far as worrying about complications, I'm far less concerned about them at home then I am at the hospital. This is where I start to sound fanatical (usually) but please understand I only state facts that I can give sources for and I support women giving birth, period. Be it in a hospital or at home it is a personal decision and I don't judge those who choose differently than I. Now that the disclaimer is over, here's what I know...
The leading causes of complication in childbirth are medical, the most common are failure to progress and fetal distress. Women have different layers of muscle in their uterus, two that help push baby down and out and one to stop labor if a fight or flight responce is triggered. So many women are afraid of labor, needles, doctors, nurses, and hospitals that when they get to the hospital their body is literally fighting like heck to keep that baby in so mom can go someplace she's comfortable in. Her blood starts pumping out to all the "essential" organs and the body doesn't consider the uterus essential, so there is an insufficient blood supply to the womb and labor stalls. This leads to either induction methods (cervidil, pitocin, and in the past cytotec) or c-section depending on how the baby is doing.
The problem with induction methods is that they stimulate the uterus in a harsh fashion. A known side effect of all of the drugs previously listed is uterine rupture which is potentially deadly for mother and baby. They can all also cause what some have coined "super contractions" which literally squeeze the life out of your baby. Drug induced contractions are shown to be more painful thus leading to drug use which can stall your labor yet again. It's a vicious cycle.
The problem with c-sections can seem less dramatic, but have the potential to be worse in the long run. Statistics show that babies born via c-section are three times more likely to die than babies born vaginally in a hospital and up to six times more likely to die than babies born vaginally at home. Recent studies from the University of Edinborough also suggest that c-section babies have a lower tolerance of bacteria because they never received the probiotics (good bacteria) that thrives in the vagina. This study suggests that c-section babies are more likely to suffer lifelong susceptibility to infections and an immature intestional tract.
Sections and drugs can also hinder precious bonding time and make breastfeeding more difficult. There are many more reason which I hope to be able to write out later, however I'm running late for an appointment so I'll have to post later. I hope this was a good starter read for you!
Alright two more and I'm done, I promise.
Another "common" complication is cord prolapse but it is frequently caused by premature rupture of membranes, and since most homebirthing women don't break their own waters (at least most that I've talked to, don't have an actual number) it's less likely to happen at home.
This last one is the only one I'm really concerned with as a homebirther and it's post partum hemorrhage. There is some speculation as to how often this is caused by drugs like pitocin and artificial oxytocin whose side effects can include prolonged bleeding, but I've heard as many women who homebirth talk about this as I have women who birthed in a hospital or birth center. Personally I think it's pretty even spread, the difference is how it's dealt with. In a hospital or birth center setting you will get more drugs and in extrememly rare cases it can lead to hysterectomy. At home I have a couple of different ways I've been told I can deal with it. The best and easiest that I've heard of is to hold a piece of the placenta between the gums and cheek. If you are squeemish you can use herbals like Shephards Purse Tincture, herbal hemostat, angelica, arnica, and dong quai. Some of these can't be used until the placenta has passed, so there are special formulas like Placenta Release, Bach's Rescue Remedy, and Womb Stringe that have herbs to stop bleeding and are safe to use before the placenta has separated. I've heard of women using oral vitamin K, but it's hard to find. You can also use cayenne pepper, either the seeds or in a tincure either by drinking it or by pouring it directly into the vagina. To me that just sounds like an obscure method of torture. But because all of these things are natural the side effects are not as damaging. The only one to be really cautious with is Shephard's purse because it is a professional clotter and you can do some serious damage if you take to much of it or use it before the placenta has detached.
Anyhow (now that I'm not in a huge rush) I hope that this explains some of the reasons why I'm not as concerned about complications, I've done a lot of research and I really feel that most problems are an effect of drugs administered by hospital staff. There are always those women who have wonderful births in the hospital and more power to them, they are stronger women than I!
Im planning one simply because I have super fast labours,getting the other three to a babysitter,getting to the hospital could result in me giving birth in the back seat of the car.
I would rather take the risk of my boys seeing me give birth then giving birth in the car.Also I dont do pain meds so have no need to be in hospital.
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