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10 Reasons to Transfer a Home Birth to the Hospital

You’ve been excited about this pregnancy for nine months, and maybe even longer! You’ve done your research, thought about the options, and decided you want a home birth. Women often opt for a home birth because they want a private, intimate, family-oriented birth. It can be a calmer, more natural experience, and without the chaos of a hospital. To many, it feels more special. Some women plan things out, even renting a birthing pool, and are excited to have a very important experience take place in the comfort of their own home.

Home births are not for everyone--especially women with certain risks, but for those woman who choose them, they can be incredible and wonderful experiences. However, things don’t always go right during a home birth.

Pay attention to these circumstances, for these are situations when you might need to trade your home birth for a hospital birth. While women choose home births for a reason, when the safety of the mother or baby is at risk, heading to the hospital just might be the best option.

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10 You’re Just Too Tired

This might sound silly, but if you just feel too exhausted and feel like you cannot go on, it’s time to go to the hospital. After hours and hours of pushing, many women feel extremely worn out. Giving up is not an option (though many women have said, “I give up. I don’t care about having this baby,” which we all know, is just the pain and exhaustion talking!)

If you feel like you just can't go on, and you’re too tired to push as hard as you need to, it’s time for some help at the hospital. They’ll be able to help you, and they can even give you something to make things move a little faster.

9 Things Just Aren’t Looking Right With Your Baby

Your birth is all about your baby--getting your baby out in a safe and healthy manner. If anything seems off, head to the hospital. If your baby shows any sign of distress, like an abnormal heart rate for instance, head to the hospital. A hospital has a large number of skilled medical professionals ready to help you in case things go poorly for your little one.

8 Umbilical Cord Prolapse

When the umbilical cord drops into your vagina ahead of your baby, this can be pretty serious. This requires immediate attention, as it could potentially prevent your baby from receiving oxygen. With proper medical attention, your baby can be delivered very quickly. Head to the hospital for some expert medical attention.

7 Partial Placenta Delivery

Placenta problems can be pretty serious, so pay attention if things don’t seem right, even if your baby seems okay. If you don’t deliver the placenta, or the placenta is delivered, but it’s not intact, it’s time to head to the hospital. Even if the baby seems fine, this is a must visit to make sure that mom is okay!

6 Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is another placental issue that will require a hospital visit. If your placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before you deliver, go to the hospital. Your midwife will assess the situation, but if the placenta doesn’t look 100%, head into the hospital.

5 Fecal Matter in Your Amniotic Fluid

When meconium, or fecal matter, is found in your waters, you should be transferred to a hospital. This means your baby has had a bowel movement either before or during labor, and this could be a sign that your baby possibly is, or possibly has been, in distress.

There’s a chance everything can be totally normal, but a hospital visit can verify. The midwife can tell by the look of the matter when the baby passes through the birth cannel, and make a judgement call about heading to the hospital. However, some recommend that all mothers head to the hospital in this circumstance.

4 Unusual Vaginal Bleeding

While giving birth does involve blood, if you have vaginal bleeding not associated with the bloody show, it’s a good idea to head to the hospital. Sometimes, it can be difficult to discern the reason for bleeding, and hospitals will best be able to determine what’s happening, and the proper course of care.

3 Labor Just Isn’t Progressing

Many people feel like their labor takes forever, but if it is taking forever, it’s time to check in. When a woman’s labor takes many hours, and still isn’t seemingly progressing, it’s time to head into the hospital. The hospitals will be able to do additional testing to determine why you’re not progressing, and let you know what they can do about it. It might feel like forever, so be sure to check in with your midwife.

She might very well tell you only five minutes has passed, not five hours, since you last checked. But an extended period of time with little to no progress can be a cause for alarm, so be sure to head to the hospital if this is the case.

2 Health and Safety is the Top Priority

Remember, you might not be having your dream labor. (Does anyone?) But, if it’s recommended for your health’s sake, or your baby’s sake that you enter a hospital, listen. A hospital transfer might be the best thing for you and your baby, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution when things are getting a little crazy. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

1 Final Thoughts

Make sure you know the address of a nearby hospital (preferably within 15 minutes) that has 24 hour maternity care. Just in case you need to transfer, prepare a small hospital bag. It should contain the essentials, like insurance papers, a change of clothes, clothes for baby, some socks, toiletries, and any other essentials you might want in the case that you enter the hospital at the last minute.

Talk about the instances that may cause you to go into the hospital ahead of time, both with your midwife and your partner, so you all have a clear understanding of when things might need to be changed a bit. Good luck!

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