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Home Birth Might be for You

Have you ever thought about having a home birth?  Many women are now electing for birth experiences at home, instead of the hospital setting.  Before committing to a home birth, there are a few things you should consider.

Am I a Candidate?

Not everyone should have a home birth.  The birthing process can be filled with many unexpected challenges.  Women who have given birth previously with healthy pregnancies and who are at low risk for developing complications during delivery are best suited for home births.

It may be helpful to speak with your obstetrician or gynecologist before considering a home birth.  They should be able to give you an honest assessment as to whether a home birth is an option.

Who Delivers the Baby?

In most cases, a midwife attends the birth at home, and often provides routine prenatal care as well.  A couple may also choose to have a doula there as well.  The doula does not deliver the baby, but rather assists the woman as she moves through the birthing process.  She can also help her partner and family understand what is going on and be more supportive.

What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?

Prior to planning for a home birth, you should have a detailed discussion with your midwife or birth attendant about your contingency plans.  What type of situations is the midwife equipped to handle?  Does she have a collaborative physician that she works with and can call? Which hospital is she affiliated with?  Will she be able to manage your care once you get to the hospital, or will the on-call doctor take over?  How will you get to the hospital?  Is it close by?

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