Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pregnancy - Home or Hospital Birth?

Posted by Carri:

To give birth at home or at the hospital was a big question for me this time around. Since I have given birth 3 times at a hospital, I thought I would like to try a home birth. I have been to many wonderful and beautiful births both at home and at the hospital. I have found great benefits at both places. Many people are surprised when they learn that my first three children were born at a hospital. As a doula I am often assumed to birth at home, but for me that was never really something I wanted to do. First of all, I lived in a very small house that I felt would be too cramped and not somewhere I would feel free to birth my babies. Second, I loved my doctor and because I am a doula I was always treated with respect and left to make the decisions easily and without pressure. However, this time around I have a larger house that I feel very comfortable in, and I want all of my kids and family to be there for the birth - so it just made sense. I saw my obstetrician for the first 20 weeks, and he felt I was an excellent candidate to have a home birth. I have very fast labors (the last one was only 2.5 hours start to finish), which makes me a bit nervous about even making it to the hospital, and last time I was so stressed trying to answer all the hospital questions and monitoring that I never felt I could really relax and focus during labor. This time I am thankful that everyone else can do all of the rushing to me, and my kids will already be at my house so there won't be any shuffling around. I can control my environment and will feel fully supported by everyone caring for me. I also love that neither my husband nor I will have to sleep in those awful hospital beds (and couch bed) and be bugged throughout the night by nurses!

There are many controversies about home birth versus hospital birth. If you haven't seen the film The Business of Being Born, you should! It is a great documentary about home and hospital birth - and truly reflects the needs for both. I have no problems using the hospital if it is needed, and am so thankful I have that option. As for any complications at home, I am not far from a hospital (10 minutes) and I completely trust my midwife, she has been a midwife for 32 years. I have seen her work on babies that have struggled in the first few moments and was amazed at her competency, skill and calm. I love giving birth and I am very excited about this new experience.

Here is some more information about home birth vs hospital birth:

Absolutely. For low risk births (which most pregnancies are) a Midwife-assisted birth is as safe or safer as one attended by a physician. A number of research studies have consistently confirmed equal or better outcomes for midwife- versus physician-assisted low risk births. These studies point out that using a Midwife significantly lowers rates of interventions, such as induction of labor, artificial rupture of membranes, episiotomies, and cesareans. Where they top the charts however, is client satisfaction!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about how you arrived at your choice, Carri. I think sometimes people like to place one another into some pretty black or white categories, when in reality, we're all quite diverse within our own selves. The more people read about all different kinds of women choosing homebirths, the more it will be considered a mainstream option.