Why Home Birth?
Home birth makes my heart sing. You won’t have to travel anywhere when you are in labor and your birth team comes to you. Your midwife comes equipped with emergency equipment and routine maternal and newborn procedures. I see people give birth with little inhibition and the utmost privacy when they give birth at home. You don’t need a big house or a perfect house or even a house at all! You just need to feel safe and comfortable where you live. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than tucking a stable, nursing mama and baby into their own bed just before I leave the birth.
Hospitals and birth centers are excellent resources you should consider, at least briefly:
Hospitals have the highest level of care and strong pain management. You get to stay 1-2 days after the baby is born and get waited on by nurses. Not so bad. On the other hand, people who give birth in the hospital have the highest rate of interventions such as epidural, vacuum assisted delivery and Cesarean birth, which can cause long-term challenges for the laboring person without significantly better outcomes for baby. Interventions are sometimes necessary, but a low-risk mother-baby dyad is less likely to need them when they stay out of the hospital. People who give birth in-hospital also tend to have the lower long-term breastfeeding rates than those who birth out-of-hospital.
Freestanding birth centers can be really nice. But they are not a “middle ground” between home and hospital birth. When you give birth at a freestanding birth center, you are having the medical equivalent of a home birth under the roof of your chosen medical practice - and you or your insurance company are paying to use the facility. Planned birth center births have the same transport indications as home birth. You also have to factor in that you will need to travel to the birth center in labor and travel home shortly after the birth. Birth centers are a great option when you live at home with roommates, live with an unsupportive family member, or simply do not have a great relationship with your home.