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Thread: Home Births

  1. #1

    Home Births

    What are the up sides to doing a home birth?

  2. #2
    Dear dwright7799,

    Thank you for asking this interesting question. There are some huge advantages to having a home birth over a hospital birth.

    Birthing happens best when it is undisturbed; when a woman is at ease in her surroundings and can relax and focus fully on her body and her baby. During birth a woman needs to switch off the left side of her brain (i.e. the thinking, interacting side) and 'go within herself' and focus only on breathing through the contractions. If a woman is tense and stressed then the contractions are less efficient and so birthing is more painful and longer in duration. Many women feel more at ease and more relaxed (and more able to go into this primal, right-brained state) when they are in their own home and this is a major advantage of home birthing.

    All this also means a woman has less chance of having a medical intervention if she has a home birth compared to a hospital birth. This has further implications in terms of a reduced risk of infection and even a higher likelihood of a successful start to breastfeeding.

    In your own home you can create the birthing environment which is right for you and which you feel comfortable in. You can also hire or buy a birthing pool. Most hospitals and birth centres unfortunately cannot guarantee that you they will have a birthing pool free when you are in active labour. The use of water in labour is well documented as to be a great advantage to many women. For example, a birth pool creates a 'personal space' which again helps a woman to let go and 'go within herself' rather than tensing up and resisting contractions. The warm water also acts as a natural pain reliever and helps many women to relax.

    Oxytocin is the hormone released in birth and this also causes the uterus to contract. Oxytocin is also known as the 'feel good hormone' because it is released in times of happiness and also during love making. This explains the important link between feeling relaxed and at ease and birthing happening smoothly.

    When you give birth at home you are giving birth in your own environment rather than introducing the risk of picking up an infection such as MMR when you are in hospital.

    Not all pregnant women are recommended to have a home birth. Some pregnancies are categorised as higher risk and, in these cases, your caregiver may advise that it will be best for you and your baby if you give birth in hospital. For example this would generally include women who: have placenta previa, are carrying multiples, have had significant bleeding in pregnancy etc.

    There are lots of excellent resources about home birth here. I will end with a quote from our resident midwife Jane:

    '....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.'

    Many of our forum members have had home births. Please ask any further questions you have about home births here.

    Best wishes,
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 27th December 2013 at 05:58 AM.

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