Once upon a time, all women gave birth at home. It was a normal process that was attended by midwives and physicians when the time came. But as recently as 1969, hospital births take up 99% of all births in the United States. In recent years, we’ve seen a bit of a return to living naturally, and that includes where mothers give birth. As of 2012, 1.36% of women have births outside the hospital. While that may not seem like very many, most of us probably know a few people who’ve had home births. If you’re thinking you may like to give a more natural approach a try by giving birth at home, check out some of these important items!
1. You May Or May Not Be A Good Candidate
While every woman used to give birth at home, many of them died while in labor or shortly thereafter from complications. Recent studies show that the current mortality rate for birth related complications is just 1%, whereas it was common to hover around 40% before advanced medical care. The fact is that not all women are 100% healthy, and not all developing babies are either. We are blessed to live in a time where we can detect infant abnormalities such as lung or heart conditions as well as monitor mom’s potential health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Women who are good candidates for home births have to be in good health and especially under the care of a skilled midwife or physician to take advantage of all a home birth has to offer.
2. You Have To Prepare
When you have a hospital birth, you pretty much need to take your suitcase and paperwork with you- that’s it. The hospital will take care of the rest. When you have a home birth, you have a lot of preparation to do, including finding a midwife who is qualified to conduct a home birth, buying your birth kit, renting a birthing pool if you want a water birth, and researching the in’s and out’s of giving birth at home. It’s not as simple as tearing up some sheets and boiling water!
Source: @eyelaim via Flickr
3. It’s Messy
When you have a home birth, you are going to be exposed to a lot more of your own bodily fluids than a hospital birth. Doctors and nurses are quick to discard pads that you may bleed on and definitely whisk your placenta out of sight fast. On the contrary, if you have a water birth, you’ll be sharing the birthing pool with blood and some other, shall we say, floaties. You’ll probably be seeing more blood from the birthing process because you won’t be suspended in air on a hospital bed with a nurse cleaning up a mess. You have to be pretty comfortable with all of this if you want a home birth.