If you’re considering a home birth, it’s important to understand what to expect and how to prepare. Instead of a hospital or birthing center, you will plan to give birth in your home. You’ll need to have a midwife or even a doctor to be present to make sure you and your baby are safe and healthy. Before deciding on a home birth, you need to be sure that there are no health issues or known complications that could arise during your birth. If so, you might be better served at a hospital to ensure you and your baby’s health. During your home birth, your midwife or doctor will monitor your vitals to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Women often choose home births for a number of reasons. They might want to be in a comforting setting surrounded by whoever they would like. Some women like the freedom to wear their own clothes and move freely, as well as eat and drink or take a bath during labor. You have the ability to control your labor positioning and your whole birthing process. Women who opt for home births also want to have natural births without being pushed to take medication. Home births also offer a lower cost, and sometimes can be chosen for religious reasons.
Home births aren’t recommended if you have a history of health problems or if you have had a C-section previously. If you develop any pregnancy complications, you should head to a hospital immediately. If you are pregnant with more than one baby or if your baby’s position doesn’t allow for a headfirst delivery, then a home birth isn’t your best option. If you are less than 37 weeks or more than 41 weeks a hospital setting is recommended.
If you have planned for a home birth and there are no health complications, then you can prepare for your home birth in a number of ways.
Be sure to choose a midwife or doctor who is very experienced and can easily navigate any issues or concerns you might have.
Create a birth plan beforehand that details how you will cope with pain, if you want a water birth, if you plan to breastfeed, and who will be present during your birth. You also want to have the necessary supplies on hand, such as towels or sheets and whatever you plan to give birth in/on.
Know the signs if a hospital transfer is needed.
Schedule a pediatrician appointment at least a few days after giving birth to be sure your baby is healthy.