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Benefits of a Home Birth

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Benefit of a Home Birth

May 10, 2021
Woman holding her baby after just giving birth

I get asked a lot having a big family and being a doula If I had my babies at home. My answer is no, having babies at home never appealed to me. The reality is I never educated myself on birth really let alone home birth. I watched TLC's show A Baby Story or movies, but never took the time for a Google search or doing some reading.  Now that I have been a doula and have witnessed several home births. I see how beautiful and loving it actually is. 

I know some people have questions like:

  • Is it safe to have a home birth?

  • What if something goes wrong?

  • Why wouldn't you want pain meds?

  • What would be the reason anyone would do this?

  • What if there are complications?

These are all great questions that you need to ask questions you have and do research on any kind of birth; whether that is at home, the hospital, in the water, unassisted or using any interventions. Educating yourself more on the birth you want will only benefit you and your baby. 

There are a few reasons why a home birth might not be the right choice for you. Your care provider will caution you against home birth if you have a seizure disorder, chronic hypertension, diabetes or any chronic medical condition. They will also caution you if you've have had a c-section, preeclampsia, pregnant with multiples or a baby that is breech.

So what are some reasons to have a home birth? 

The main reason is you are in the comfort of your home. If you think about how you feel when you are sick or have a headache; cuddling in bed or on the couch might be what makes you feel better. You can do this when birthing at home. Your body responds better when you are at home because you are more relaxed. One of the key things during labor to keep things moving is staying relaxed. 

You have your whole house to yourself. No need to share with anyone you don't know. Only your birth team that you have built a relationship with over the months, family and/or friends. You have your bathroom and kitchen that you know who has used it.

Knowing everyone that is in your home. No random nurse, resident or doctor/medical midwife coming and going. Having people coming in and out can make labor last longer. Plus, you have a deep relationship with your midwife and doula.  You can make it an intimate moment with just your birth team and partner. Or it can be a party! Most of the time there is a limit at the hospital. Even more now with COVID-19.

No MONITORS! Having those tight straps around you and restricting movement is hard. Your midwife uses a Doppler to check baby's heart rate. They check before, during and after contractions.

You can have the setting of your home the way you want. You can have twinkling lights to set the mood. Words of affirmation taped to the walls. Aromatherapy diffusing to your liking. Hot and/or cold packs and not being told you will burn yourself. You can get in and out of the shower or bath as much as you like. Open up the window to let fresh air in. Or even go for a walk outside for a change of scenery.

You can labor in whatever position and whatever room you feel more comfortable in. You are also not restricted to birthing on the bed. Movement helps! Listen to your body with nothing holding you down is freeing. Laying in your bed or being on your back can be uncomfortable and more painful. It can also be a potential way to break your tailbone. When I was pushing with my first. I was laying on my back pushed so hard I popped my breast bone. That hurt so bad and took a long while to recover.

An added benefit for your birth partner is having a place to sleep and relax. Most of the time at the hospital partners sleep and relax in a recliner, cot or a couch where the back flips down and turns chair/bed. None of that sounds comfortable. At home they can sleep in your bed with you. 

When having a home birth you have less likely chance of having interventions. Having an IV can be considered an intervention. At home you won't even have an IV block for just in case. You will be less likely to have infections at home. Not so many vaginal checks or other sickness from other people. You also have less chance of having a 3rd to 4th degree tears. Plus, drastically lower your risk for a c-section when you birth at home. Other interventions that are reduced is episiotomy, vacuum and forceps. Even having to be asked over and over if you want an epidural. Ask a mama in pain if she wants a way to have relief from that pain. She will say yes. Knowing it's not an option or being asked a thousand times eliminates that. There's no speeding the labor a long. Letting your body work through labor and not feeling pressured on time. Birthing at home you are on your and the baby's time not the doctor's.

One of my favorite reasons to birth at home is FOOD. When you birth at the hospital you are more than likely not allowed to eat before birth. They are worried if you need a c-section you may aspirate. You always tell my Mama's consider yourself an athlete and birth is a marathon. When you are laboring for 20+ hours. You need to fuel your body. At home you have the luxury to fuel your body as you desire. Especially if you have certain allergies, can only eat certain foods, religious reasons or you are picky. 

Home birth postpartum

That brings me to postpartum. My clients say the bounce back quicker and easier than when they had a hospital birth. There's several reasons why this could be possible.

  1. Being able to rest and not having people coming and going at all hours. 

  2. Being comfortable in your own bed and bedroom.

  3. The comfort of home cooked meals.

  4. Less interventions or being asked if you want pain relief.

  5. Having that intimate connection with your birth team.

  6. Having herbal baths to help with your pain during recovery.

I'm sure the what ifs are still in the back of your mind. Your midwife comes equipped with meds, oxygen, ECT to help you have a successful birth. She knows what and how to help if things turn in a different direction than planned. She know when the right time to transfer and how long to wait before transfer. Trust in her knowledge and abilities to recognize those signs, so you can concentrate on your birth. 

Do your research!

You can even get a better grasp on home births by asking others who have had home births. You can generally get into Facebook home births groups to ask questions you may have. Get great references on books, podcasts or other groups. Check out the documentary on The Business of Birth. Go to Evidence Base Birth website for more information as well. There's more resources out there on this subject. 

If you think a home birth right for you, lets talk.   A doula and midwife commonly make up your birth team and work together to give you the birth experience that you want.  I have worked with numerous midwives across the Cincinnati and Dayton area and would be happy to connect you with some of my favorites.  Its your birth story, starting writing….

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