Pregnancy and childbirth – how exciting! First of all, congratulations. If you are reading this, you are most likely pregnant or have a partner or loved one. A new baby entering your life can be exciting and at the same time frustrating. You’re probably full of questions, especially when it comes to labor and planning for delivery.
There is a saying in birthing work – your body, your baby, your choice. Medical conditions and financial availability aside, you choose where to deliver your baby. It is a hospital for some, a birth center for some, and a home for others.
What is Home Birth?
Home birth is what it sounds like – labor and birth in the comfort of your home (or other chosen location). These are usually attended by a licensed midwife (medical obstetrician). Some people also doulais a non-medical obstetrician who provides emotional, physical and educational support to people during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
in the USA, approx. 0.9% All births take place at home every year. Although about a quarter of these are unplanned or unattended home births – meaning there is no medical support. It’s a small slice of the birthday cake, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular option.
Everyone has their own reasons for choosing a home birth. Some of the most common want to avoid unnecessary medical interventions such as the following. episiotomies and cesarean sectionthe ability to be in the comfort of their own home and have more options for provider selection.
Are Home Births Safe?
Birth outside the hospital can bring a lot of fear and anxiety, especially where it is not very common. This Comprehensive study The percentage of birth outcomes over a large population indicates that, overall, home births are relatively safe for low-risk pregnancies. Not only is it safe, but for low-risk pregnancies, home birth can greatly reduce the chances of an unnecessary intervention. in the United States, cesarean rate 31% for full-term pregnancies and 5.2% for those planning to give birth at home.
Different countries and regions have varying regulations about who is eligible for a home birth. Some people may not have certain health problems if their baby is over forty-two weeks, multiples pregnant, or if their baby is breech (feet or butt first instead of upside down). Wondering if you’re eligible for a home birth? Let’s find out how to find a provider and how to prepare for a home birth.
Preparing for Birth at Home
So you’re hoping to give birth at home? This requires a little extra preparation so you have the right materials and hopefully set yourself up for success. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Find the Right Provider
A licensed obstetrician, such as a midwife, attends most planned home births. Finding the right midwife depends on where you live. One of the best tools out there is word of mouth. Try asking your friends, people in pregnancy or childbirth education groups, online forums, and anywhere else you can find birth information.
Your best bet is to search Google and then read the reviews to find a midwife in your area. You can also find information through your insurance provider. Once you have a healthcare provider you trust and feel comfortable with, you can get some advice on next steps.
Get Your Consumables
The supplies you need depend on what your midwife provides and what your plans are for the birth. Your midwife will of course provide all medical supplies and possibly some other supplies, many also sell home birth supplies. These can also be found online. Here are some other important things to have on hand for a home birth:
- A good mattress protector
- Disposable sheets, towels and pillows
- Chuck-it pads (which can be thrown down to absorb body fluids and then expelled)
- If you want to give birth or give birth in water, a birthing tub and a tarp with a reliable system for getting warm water into the tub
- Easy-to-eat snacks like deli meats and cheeses, yogurt, and crackers with dip
- Moisturizing drinks such as coconut water
- Essential oils and cotton pads
- Birth ball, peanut ball and birth stool
- a little fan
- Candles for ambient and low light
- heating pads
- Yoga mats for the birthing person and supports people to recline
- lubricating jelly
- Bendy straws – this makes later drinking much easier labor stages
- Postpartum pads and pads
- Rig for your placenta if you plan to print or encapsulate
- A hearty meal for postpartum
- Baby supplies such as hats, swaddle blankets, and diapers
- Fairy Bottle for cleaning after using the postpartum bathroom – can sting!
This is just a starter list, you will most likely need lots of other materials for labor, delivery and postpartum.
Set Your Space
One of the biggest benefits of giving birth at home is being able to do it in the comfort of your own home. This means you can set up your space in such a way that you’ll be excited to welcome a new member of your family.
You can light (unscented) candles for ambiance, play music, create small spaces in your home and even create altars or other meaningful spaces. Some other ways to set up the space, birth mantras or affirmations and other inspiring embellishments.
Warn Your Neighbors
It would not be surprising if the birth was noisy. Roars, shouts, and deep throat sounds are a normal part of the birth process. You might want to warn your neighbors about what’s going on so they don’t think something is wrong! You can also put a note on your front door to deter any unwanted knocks during childbirth.
Prepare for Any Consequence
Birth is unpredictable and doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes people decide after a while that they want to take painkillers, have given birth for days and need intervention, or need to be referred to the hospital for some other reason.
Most home birth-to-hospital transports are not emergencies, and your midwife will do her best to transport long before urgent medical attention is required. That’s why it’s important to have a hospital bag ready in case things don’t go according to plan.
Welcome to parenting!
How you are born is one of the first big decisions you will make as a parent. Weigh your options, talk to other parents and medical providers to find the best choice for you. If it’s a home birth, we hope this mini-guide helps you prepare!