Home Birth Pros and Cons Six Things to Consider

Home birth is increasing in appeal to mothers who want control over the birthing experience. This article covers six pros and cons including the control factor, germs, medication, and choosing who will deliver the baby.

Home Birth Pros and Cons Six Things to Consider reasing in popularity, many women are wondering if a home birth is a good choice for them. Home birthing used to be the norm until the 19th century when hospitals, rather than homes, became the place doctors commonly cared for the sick and dying. Now women are trying to get back to their roots and deliver their babies in the comfort of their own homes. With home birth, as with a hospital birth, there are several pros and cons.

The Pros

Complete Control

One of the largest factors that often plays into a women's decision to have a home birth is being in complete control of the birth. From the laboring process to the birth itself, the mother gets to call the shots. The mom gets to decide who attends the birth, what she would like the surrounding environment to be like, and where she would like to deliver the baby. If she would like to have a whole party of family and friends with her, or just a midwife and her spouse, she has the power to make that decision. She can request to have candles lit and soft music played. She also gets to decide whether she wants to give birth in bed, in a birthing tub, or sitting on a birthing ball. Any shots and medications that a hospital may automatically administer to a child will not be of concern to a mom in her own home.

Lack of Exposure to Outside Germs

Newborns are extremely vulnerable to their new environment. At home, they are only exposed to the germs they will be experiencing every day with their family. Though hospitals are often seen as clean, there are many patients with highly contagious diseases. Since hospitals are also constantly sterilizing, they have become a breeding ground for superbugs.

No Need for Extra Transportation

Although moms should have a hospital bag packed in case of an emergency, there is generally no need for transportation. Since the baby is born at home, the trip to and from the hospital can be avoided, including any inclement weather and road construction that may come with the trip.

The Cons

Lack of Numbing Medications

Although home birth is often seen as a perk for its association with an all-natural birthing process, some women may miss their epidurals. There are plenty of options available to help relieve birthing pain, such as a birthing tub, acupuncture, and hot compresses, but nothing quite as strong and fast as an epidural. However, many women find that the lack of stress a home birth brings often naturally lessens their pain.

Difficulty in Obtaining a Birth Certificate

The process of obtaining a birth certificate after a home birth is usually left in the hands of the mother and father. Governments are used to receiving birth certificate applications from hospitals and may throw up a fuss about a parent trying to apply for a birth certificate. The parent may have to go to a local hospital within a week after the baby is born to obtain a certificate, or else they might encounter problems.

Choosing Someone to Deliver the Baby

Choosing a midwife or doula to deliver the baby is partially a pro, but partially a con. While it gives parents complete control over just who they want attending their birth, the decision may prove to be difficult. Hospital midwives often refuse to do home births. Thus, the parents are left to find a midwife themselves, which can be a laborious process as they try to find a midwife in their area. Many midwives should be interviewed, as, sadly enough, not all of them are truly qualified. Parents should always ask about a midwife's background, experience, what makes her qualified to deliver their child, and what her vision is for home birthing. They also need to make sure that the midwife will respect their decisions and will be prepared for any emergencies. Parents need a clear idea of what they are looking for and what they expect from a midwife before beginning the interviewing process.

With all of the freedom a home birth allows, women are finding home birth to be a fulfilling and invigorating decision. As long as the mother and father are well-prepared, the home birth experience will be one they find themselves looking to repeat in the future as they continue to expand their family.

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