So, you have decided to opt for a home birth instead of going the conventional route. That’s great news! A home birth can seem risky to many, but it offers numerous benefits that people might not be aware of.
According to the CDC, over 51,642 mothers in the U.S. gave birth via this method in 2021. People opt for home births because hospitals can make the entire experience feel like a clinical and medical process.
Home births are a great way to reclaim the natural experience of childbirth. After all, mothers have been giving birth at home ever since humans existed. It is only in recent times that it has become a medical procedure done at hospitals.
Yes, there are risks that come with home births, but taking the right preparatory steps can mitigate most of them. In today’s article, let’s look at three important points to remember.
When having a home birth, you will almost always want to have a midwife and nurse close at hand. Complications can happen, and minutes and seconds are all that exist to save either the baby’s or the mother’s life. We aren’t telling you to hire a team of expensive doctors. Even a nurse who has pursued an ABSN degree online should be equipped to help.
They can provide quick health assessments and tell you if something isn’t right. According to Elmhurst University, such nurses have typically completed over 450 clinical hours and have enough experience to easily assist you during labor. Similarly, midwives can help you during labor.
You may feel like your partner will know what to do and help out. However, when labor starts, most men tend to look on helplessly. Sure, it is a bit of a generalization, but it’s not something that men are known to handle very well. This is why it’s critical that you have a nurse and a midwife close at hand.
Childbirth, whether at home or a hospital, isn’t going to be a cakewalk. This is one reality that needs to be accepted. Sure, some women do have an easier time during childbirth and aren’t affected by the pain as much as others. That said, there’s no point in gambling on the chance that you will be one of the lucky ones.
The pain can be intense and more than you have experienced before in your life. However, don’t let that frighten you. It’s a pain that every mother has gone through for thousands of years.
In fact, medicine has advanced to such a degree that it is possible to significantly manage childbirth pains. Nitrous oxide, if available, is one option. Alternatively, you can opt for a transfer to a hospital for epidural anesthesia if it’s too severe.
It can also be a good idea to experiment with common pain management techniques in advance. For instance, some believe that hypnotherapy or hypnobirthing is effective in reducing the perception of pain. Others have more success with hydrotherapy and acupressure.
Ideally, you will want to handle your home birth based on recommendations from your healthcare provider. They will provide you with all the information you need to handle the process safely.
You don’t want to have a home birth that’s completely isolated from medical professionals. It’s not practical, and depending on where you live, there could be legal concerns to consider.
If you aren’t giving birth in a hospital, you absolutely need to have a comprehensive inventory of medical supplies. This will include things like a birthing pool, sterile gloves, gauze, and large absorbent pads for post-birth bleeding.
You will also need basic medical equipment. For instance, suction bulbs and aspirators can help clear your baby’s airway of mucus. There will also be a number of things you may easily forget like keeping enough sterile water for cleaning.
Having a baby at home is a little unconventional, but it can be a fantastic start to motherhood. There is something cathartic and natural about giving birth at home surrounded by family. While it may be a bit safer at a hospital, the experience can feel overly medical and clinical to some.
Most OB-GYNs will recommend that you find a hospital that supports low-intervention births. This is an ideal middle ground. It ensures that you can experience a safe home atmosphere while also having medical assistance if needed.
Choosing to go for a home birth is a major decision to make. Take your time and talk it over with your doctor, your family, and your close friends.
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