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  1. #1

    Homebirth compared to a hospital birth

    What are the major differences between a homebirth and a hospital birth? Is a homebirth safe?

  2. #2
    Hi,

    Thank you for this question. It's a question which many pregnant women consider but, sadly, many of these women are not offered enough information and support about Homebirth in order to make an informed, empowered decision.

    There is lots more information about Homebirth on the main part of the Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond site. In particular, I would encourage you to read some of the birth stories there. Birth is unique and personal and there is nothing quite like reading another lady's birth story for revealing her true feelings on the birth.

    In the far majority of pregnancies, a Homebirth (with a midwife present) is a safe birthing option. Of course, there are some cases where a Hospital Birth is recommended because the pregnancy is higher risk. This includes if you have:

    - pre-eclampsia
    - significant bleeding during pregnancy
    - multiple pregnancy
    - are in premature labour
    - have problems with the placenta

    However, for most women a Homebirth is an extremely safe option. The benefits of a Homebirth over a hospital birth include:

    - the woman is less likely to have interventions and the associated risks of these
    - more likely to have a quicker, smoother labour
    - birthing in your own unique environment; this is where you feel most comfortable so are most likely to be able to relax in labour
    - you can hire/ buy your own birth pool to use at home. These are not always available in hospital. There is more information about having a Waterbirth here.
    - increased successful breastfeeding rate
    - less risk of infection as you are in your own environment
    - you can choose who/ how many people are present during the birth

    Indeed, our midwife Jane writes 'While hospitals are essential if complications arise and are another choice of birth place for women, birthing at home is wonderful and sacred. The labour unfolds at it's own pace and birth occurs in it's own time with less likelihood of complications occurring. Women are more likely to feel supported and comfortable in their own environment as they travel the birth journey.'

    You ask specifically about the safety of a Homebirth. Homebirth Australia state this about a recent study into the safety of Homebirths: 'planning a home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low-risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitates this choice through the availability of well-trained midwives and through a good transportation and referral system.'

    Whether to have a Homebirth or not is a personal decision. It is certainly not something that every woman would want but many women feel it is right for them. Conversely, some women feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital. This then would be the right place for them to have their baby. The advantages of having a Hospital Birth include:

    - consultant care available if a labour becomes high risk
    - if in need of an emergency c-section you are already at the hospital
    - more choice of painkillers available e.g. epidural is available
    - immediate access to any special baby care if it is needed

    If you are one of the majority of women who have a low risk pregnancy then it really comes down to where you feel you will be most comfortable giving birth.

    Please do let us know if you have any further questions about this.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  3. #3
    Hi,

    I've just read one of your other posts and been reminded that you are carrying twins. Twins are generally considered a higher risk pregnancy and so it is extremely likely that your midwife/ doctor will advise you to have a hospital birth. There is a more information on Giving Birth to Twins here.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  4. #4

    Post Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by ljmarsden View Post
    Hi,

    I've just read one of your other posts and been reminded that you are carrying twins. Twins are generally considered a higher risk pregnancy and so it is extremely likely that your midwife/ doctor will advise you to have a hospital birth. There is a more information on Giving Birth to Twins here.

    Best wishes,

    LJ
    Thank you, the information you provided me was great.

  5. #5

    Thank You

    Thank you for the great information about homebirths.

  6. #6
    You are very welcome.

    Keep on asking your questions here!

    Happy pregnancy,

    LJ

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