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Giving birth at home

Among the birthing methods discussed here, hospital birth remains the most popular. But there has been a growing number of women who are choosing to give birth at home.

Like all the choices in birthing methods there are many advantages and disadvantages to a home birth and it is up to you to decide which method is best for you.

Advantages of a home birth

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Many women who have given birth both in hospital and at home feel that a home birth is more enjoyable and relaxing for them. They also feel that it is more pleasant for the baby. They cite the familiar, non-medical environment as a major benefit in helping them relax and enjoy the experience of giving birth. Many women also feel that a hospital birth forces them into the traditional role of patient in which they must conform to hospital rules.

A home birth allows much more freedom to make your own decisions and permits a more intimate and close relationship with your midwife or doctor and their assistant. There is also more opportunity for family bonding and it is possible for the father and other children to be involved in the birth. But a home birth requires considerable planning, and you will need to confirm with your doctor and you are physically capable of giving birth in your house.

Family bonding during a bome birth

If your doctor feels that home birth is right for you, there are many benefits to a home delivery. Researchers who specialize in bonding feel that the time immediately after delivery is especially important in helping a newborn develop an intimate relationship with the parent.

But hospitals must follow strict guidelines and frequently routines supercede emotional bonding after birth. Many hospitals are keen to separate the baby from its parents immediately after the delivery thus limiting, or denying entirely, the time a mother can cuddle the baby.

Increasingly, women feel that birth is a natural process, and that medical interference is undesirable, if not unnecessary. Such women feel that a natural home birth without drugs is more desirable. They enjoy not only their ability to bond with the newborn baby, but also to involve the rest of the family.

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If you already have children, you too may feel that you want to involve them in the delivery so that they are aware that birth is a natural process and not a surgical operation that requires admittance into hospital.

Involving your children in a hospital birth is difficult if not impossible, and if you have never left your toddler at home before you may worry about causing emotional difficulties just as your new baby is arriving in the family.

Planning a bome birth

Although more women are choosing to give birth at home, it has not yet become standard procedure. Many doctors will only permit a home birth if the pregnancy is completely normal.

Choosing to give birth at home means that you will have additional responsibilities and it requires much more planning than a hospital delivery. Like a hospital birth, you will need to find a competent birth attendant and your baby can be delivered by a physician or a certified nurse midwife.

In fact, by having your baby at home you have a greater choice, and your baby can be delivered by a professional direct entry midwife, who is not a nurse, or even a well-trained and experienced lay midwife.

The birth attendant you choose will provide you with a list of supplies that they will need for the delivery, and it is important that you have everything prepared for the moment that you enter labor.

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In order to prepare yourself to give birth at home, and help planning the delivery, it is recommended that you attend home birth classes. They will teach you about what you need, and how to prepare your home for the delivery. Although you will be in your own home, you will want to stay in one room and avoid moving from a bed to the delivery room during labor.

You will need to understand how the body works and what it is doing in labor and delivery. Your home birth classes will even prepare you for the third stage of labor, which comes after the delivery of the baby.

The classes will teach you about breastfeeding, which helps the uterus contract, minimizing the need for oxytoxic drugsOxytocin is a pregnancy hormone that both stimulates breast milk production and stimulates uterine contractions. Synthetic oxytocins have been created to induce labor.
Visit our comprehensive glossary for more pregnancy terms and definitions.
. Planning for the postpartum needs of your baby and yourself before labor will help to simplify your life after delivery.

Most women enjoy the emotional support offered by the father during labor and delivery although hospitals will frequently ask him to leave during some procedures denying her the support when she needs it most.

Many women also feel that the clinical atmosphere of the hospital, with bright lights and a room full of machines, is not the environment they want their baby to be born in. They feel that the comfortable surroundings and emotional support of the family offered by a home birth is the best way for a baby to be born. Attend a home birth class and discuss a home birth with your doctor to see if it is right for you.


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