The ten best things about having a home birth
Krysia Lynch, home birth mum gives us her top ten reasons why home birth rocks!
- You get to know your carer and you get continuity of care from the first visit in early pregnancy to the last visit up to six weeks after your baby is born. Most visits from your midwife will last over an hour and maybe as much as two hours. Most midwives include your other children in the antenatal visits and like to get to know you as a family.
- You midwife is on call for your questions and concerns 24/7. Instead of wondering about any niggling concerns or having to wait until 9 to 5 to call your care provider most midwives will be happy to talk with you and ally concerns you have as they arise. This is especially so after your baby is born when you may find things challenging.
- Your antenatal visits often take place in your own home. If this is not a first birth then you don’t have to traipse into hospital dragging toddlers with you for long waits in antenatal clinics. If this is your first birth then you get to choose when to have all your care and for many first time mothers this is in the evening. Your midwife will be happy to accommodate times that best suit you and your family.
- You don’t have to make the trip into hospital in the height of labour. Most mothers report that they find the journey to hospital stressful. They find it stressful knowing when to leave home, not too early, not too late and they find sitting in the car uncomfortable and stressful. Once they arrive in hospital they often report that they have to settle in before their labours start again. Not so at home. Where your labour just takes its course and everyone works around it.
- You can have who you want at your labour and birth. Many mothers choose to have other children present at the birth if the kids would like to be there. Some mothers like to have their own mothers a friend or a professional doula with them. Some mothers like to have the support from many people. This is all fine at home where the baby is very much born into the family setting. In hospital most mothers find it nigh on impossible to have more than one birth partner present.
- You can have what you want there to aid you during labour. Not only can you have who you want at your labour, but you can also have what you want there to help you focus on birthing your baby. It could be dimmed lighting, it could be candles, it could be soft music, it could be food and drinks, it could be the familiar view from your kitchen window, it might even be walking in your own garden, anything that is particular to you and that brings you a sense of comfort and relaxation.
- You can labour in your own way and birth in the comfort of familiar surroundings. You will not be subject to any intervention because they are routine, your midwife will not be caring for any other women whilst she or he attends to you and no one will be making decisions about you or without your full informed consent. Your labour can just take its natural course. If you want to be still you can, if you want to walk you can, if you want to stand in your own shower for ages then you can. If you want to birth on all fours you can if you want to birth on the bed you can if you want to birth sitting up you can. The permutations are endless. You are the one who decides what is working best for you at that moment.
- You can have a waterbirth. Water births are currently unavailable in Irish hospitals at present. Even some hospital DOMINO home birth schemes do not permit birthing in water. Yet birthing in water is very common in the UL and the USA, and most hospital units or birth centres would have pools available for mothers to use should they chose. Labouring in water has been proved to reduce pain in labour and birthing in water has been shown to reduce tears in the perineum.
- You and your baby are as safe as being in hospital and some studies say even safer. Many recent studies have shown that home birth is safer than or as safe for low risk women as hospital births. The latest of these was in the British Medical Journal, (BMJ) last month http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3263
- You will get one to one breastfeeding support and be cared for by a group of professionals that have the best breastfeeding statistics in the country.. Most home birth midwives have BF rates of over 95% at initiation and over 90% after 3 months, this is far greater than the national average which is around 56t% at initiation (ESRI), 2012) and 22% at three months (ESRI 2012).
So go on . . . . . . Choose a home birth for you, for your baby, for your family!
For more on homebirth in Ireland please visit www.homebirthireland.com