With hospital visits being as steep as they are and women wanting to not have to go into thousands of dollars of debt as a result of a safe birth, many mothers are choosing to give birth at home, and it turns out that there are a lot more perks than just the cost. Giving birth at home is legal, although there can be a hefty amount of legislation directed at midwives who are hired to help with the process, and it can be a good alternative to hospitals and for some women, it can even be safer because of positions and different unwanted procedures.
It’s important to remember that there is no way to have a completely risk-free birth or ensure that there will be no complications during a birth. Whether a pregnant woman goes to a hospital or gives birth at home, there are no guarantees as to what will happen, no matter how many precautions she takes. This article is not intended to speak for every woman, so if there are any doubts about whether a home birth is right, speak to a healthcare professional or the attending physician.
However, only 40 percent of first-time mothers and less than 10 percent of second-time mothers had to go to the hospital during an at-home birth. The number of women who had to go to the hospital for a serious life-threatening reasoning was significantly lower. Home births are perfectly safe provided that the woman is not in need of medical attention during the birth, and in this article, we’ll discuss the advantages of a home birth.
15 No Hospital Born Illnesses
Something that a person always has to take into account when going to a hospital, regardless of the reason, is the high exposure to other diseases and sick people while there. This is the same for a pregnant person. Often when people go to the hospital, they catch a disease that they otherwise would not have caught. Often hospitals have deniability in these cases so they aren’t responsible for the mishap.
This is important for a pregnant person to remember because it’s easy to pick up diseases immediately after labor. The body is fatigued and so the immune system goes down a bit. In addition, a newborn has essentially no immune system, making it terribly easy for them to pick up a disease. This can mean the baby gets sick and has to spend even more time in the hospital. At home, mothers can keep things clean and avoid the risk of disease unless someone in their home has recently had a strange flu.
14 Mom Can See the Baby Sooner
Often in the hospital, it will take ages to see the newborn baby when it finally comes out after the long process. After hours of labor, a parent will be told to wait because of some technicality—often dreamed up to create a new procedure worth thousands of dollars—to see their child. It’s not uncommon for new parents to have to wait for several hours before they can see their child for the first time. In the meantime, they simply wait in the room and speculate.
In a home birth, a parent will see their baby as early as possible. If a new parent wants to hold the child and start breastfeeding immediately—which is highly recommended for infants—they can feel free to do so. A midwife will be there to clean the baby up, and then the baby will be in the parent’s hands. No red tape, no difficulties, just a happy moment shared between the parent and baby.
13 Better Food
One of the most common complaints about hospitals is hospital food. It’s usually made in bulk, so it isn’t particularly good. And if a patient is vegetarian or vegan, it’s often difficult to accommodate a person’s needs. In a hospital birth, a pregnant person won’t be allowed to consume anything other than ice chips during labor. This is because of the different IV’s and food being able to tamper with those IV’s. As a result, during the long process of labor, a pregnant person can’t eat or drink anything, and this can become miserable.
At home, a person can eat what they want to eat during the labor process. A midwife will be present to assist in letting the person know if there’s a food that they should avoid. Vegetarian and vegan options will be abundant if that person is already vegetarian or vegan. In addition, the quality of the food is bound to be better, and a home-cooked meal is only a few short minutes away instead of needing to call for it during the recovery.
12 Peace and Quiet
In a hospital, it’s to be expected that the patient will be hooked up to at least an IV during the labor process to monitor vitals. In addition, something will be added to the fetus to monitor the fetus’s vitals. There might be an epidural, and a machine monitoring blood pressure. More patients will be in rooms around the pregnant person, also going through different treatments involving different machines. Long story short, the hospital can be loud.
Not only can a loud hospital be irritating, but it can debilitate a pregnant person when labor is getting to be irritatingly long. Some people prefer a quiet environment free of distractions when it comes down to nitty-gritty work. A home birth will guarantee that a person will have control over their environment. If peace and quiet are what a person needs to focus on pushing, then peace and quiet a person shall have if they elect a home birth.
11 No C-Section
In the hospital, a person has very little control over what medical procedures are deemed necessary during labor. Because of the fact that things are charged per procedure, this gets expensive. One of the things many women fear and that tends to get deemed necessary despite women’s concern is a C-section. C-sections are expensive procedures that can lead to more complications down the line.
While a C-section may be necessary if the baby’s head is too large, if the baby won’t line up, or something else, it can also become necessary because of the hospital itself. For example, the position a patient has to be in the hospital creates a difficult lineup for the baby to exit. Staying at home ensures that a C-section will not be happening unless it’s deemed necessary. At that time, a hospital can be sought out; but unless there’s an emergency, getting a C-section isn’t necessary for most mothers.
10 No Hospital Gown
This one might sound a little trivial, but it goes a long way in creating a good atmosphere. Hospital gowns are nothing short of unattractive. Not only that, but they create an uncomfortable smock for a pregnant person to wear. This can make the pregnant person feel uncomfortable and inhibited and unable to ‘perform’ to the best of their abilities during labor. To avoid this, a person can try a home birth.
If a person chooses to have a home birth, they can wear what they choose or nothing at all. This can maximize their personal comfort, which is key in giving birth. After the birth is over and the person is recovering, this stays true. The person can wear whatever they want while they’re recovering and this can make a person much more comfortable and overall more healthy because of their comfort. The hospital gowns won’t be an issue and if sweatpants and a T-shirt is the recovery outfit of choice, a brand-new mother can make that choice in the comfort of her own home.
9 Choose a Comfortable Birthing Position
In the hospital, women are required to be on their backs in order to deliver. This is because of the IVs and fetal monitoring that goes on. This position, though, is easily the worst position to give birth in. Almost any other position is better for the mother and baby. This stomach-up position is good for the healthcare provider to see what’s going on, but it’s not good for the mother or baby.
At home, a pregnant person can choose what position they’d like to be in. During the birth, they can choose different positions to relieve pain and tension. Try walking, squatting, sitting on the toilet for a period of time, or even lying on the side. These positions are all monumentally better than being on one’s back. At the hospital, a person can’t make the decision to be in a certain position, but at home, a person can and this can make labor faster, less painful, and less expensive because of no procedures needed due to a bad labor position.
8 No Paperwork Required
The last thing that any pregnant person wants to do, especially when they’re going into labor, is a bunch of paperwork. However, at the hospital, paperwork is mandatory. Most of it has to do with liability and making sure that the pregnant person consents to procedures that are deemed necessary. They also have to do with cost and health insurance and where to send medical bills. The paperwork builds up and up and up, and while it may seem like a petty concern, paperwork is the last thing on a new parent’s to-do list.
An at-home birth involves little to no paperwork. While a person will eventually have to apply their child for a social security number, this can wait a little while. There will be no stack of liability forms, no mounds and mounds of insurance papers, and no debates over what bills are from which procedure and why that procedure was deemed necessary. A person can enjoy the comfort of their own home without the stress of constant paperwork.
7 Partner Can Rest
In many movies and TV shows, labor is made to look like it takes only a few minutes or maybe a few hours at the most. However, in reality, this is not the case. Labor can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on complications. At the hospital with an epidural, birth will take much longer than a delivery at home in different positions. In either scenario, a person’s partner will be in need of a rest after a few hours of waiting.
At the hospital, there is only limited space for a person’s partner to be. Usually, there will be a small cot or a pullout bed. Sometimes the only available comfort is a chair that has a little pull-out to make a makeshift bed. These are always uncomfortable and never good sources of rest. In a home birth, a person’s partner can go and get proper rest during the labor process without having to sacrifice comfort or peace of mind.
6 Remember the Hospital is Always Accessible
As we mentioned earlier, it is important to remember that not all home births are safe, in the same way that not all hospital births are safe. There isn’t any way to guarantee that the birth will go perfectly. While the chances of things going wrong in a healthy person are low, that chance is still there. A home birth can be really freeing and relaxing for many people, but some might be concerned about things going wrong and not being able to get help.
Presuming that the patient lives in a relatively urban area with hospitals nearby, this doesn’t need to be a concern. Hospitals are open at all hours of the day and night. This resource is always available to anyone. Because of this, a pregnant person can give birth in the safety of their own home and not worry—if something goes wrong, the hospital is there if needed, and there’s no need to hike up a huge medical bill if nothing is going wrong in the first place.
5 No Pressure After Birth
Often in the hospital women are given a time constraint under which they must deliver their baby. This is stressful enough; in addition, after the birth, there is often an assortment of things that are mostly government-related that will be shoved in the direction of the new parent. It’s all urgent, it’s all complicated, and it’s all unnecessary. Namely, Social Security applications can be a hassle when a baby has only just been born and the parent is still recovering.
Having a birth at home reassures that after the birth, the parent has time to do what they want. They can cut the umbilical cord at their own leisure, even. A new parent can wait a few days before applying before Social security numbers and take a little while to recover. This relaxation can go a long way in aiding in a speedy recovery. A slow-paced environment can help a new parent unwind and heal.
4 Personal Experience with Midwife
When a person decides to have a home birth, they will have to hire a midwife to assist in the labor process. Midwives are qualified professionals who are familiar with helping people through labor and often bring with them equipment to aid in small emergencies with the infant. Midwives often form close bonds with expecting parents when still pregnant and this makes the labor process more unique to the individual.
At the hospital, it’s not guaranteed that the pregnant person will know the doctor helping through labor. The lack of personal connection might make labor more difficult because communication will be more difficult. Having a midwife can make for a meaningful experience and a more trusting bond between people. This trust can go a long way in making the labor process more comfortable for the pregnant person. A person gets to know their midwife and often pays about 60 percent less for a midwife than for a hospital birth and procedure.
3 No Unwanted Intervention
One of the things that we have discussed during this article is hospitals doing procedures that aren’t necessary. Often, this is a C-section. A pregnant person will go into a hospital and give birth, and without it being requested or asked for, doctors will make the decision to give medical intervention in order to make the birth happen faster or to thicken up the medical bill at the end of the day. This might sound cynical, but for many people, it’s the truth.
At home, there’s no chance of unwanted intervention. If notching is happening that suggests that intervention is needed, then no intervention will happen. A midwife is there to assist, not to impose, after all. A person has total control over what is going on if that person decides to get a birth at home instead of going to a hospital, and that can be very reassuring and comforting during the process of labor.
2 It's Much Cheaper
It’s no secret that hospitals are terribly expensive. In fact, in the US, hospitals charge women per procedure performed on them in a birth rather than offer a package deal like they do in many European countries and some places in Canada. Paying ‘a-la-carte’ like this makes the cost of birth at a hospital astronomically expensive. This is especially true if the doctor orders an unnecessary C-section or another procedure that the patient didn’t agree to.
Having a birth at home means that the patient will need to hire a midwife to assist in the procedure. These people are familiar with birthing and will often bring things like oxygen and sanitation equipment in case of an emergency. Midwives are expensive, yes, but they are far less expensive than a hospital. In addition, they won’t perform procedures on the patient that the patient didn’t ask for, which can amount to a huge hospital bill. The patient gets what they pay for with a midwife, and not less.
1 It's Empowering
This might sound like a stretch, but giving birth at home offers a sense of empowerment like nothing else. When considered, it makes sense. After giving birth at home, a person will have been through the most that their body has ever gone through, that person will be surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of their own place and know that they have given birth without the assistance of the hospital.
This gives a feeling of pride and makes for a happy parent. The sense of empowerment that follows can strengthen the bond between family and house and between parent and child. Breastfeeding in the first few hours will give the baby that little bit of a head start in the process. All in all, a home birth can result in a confident, healthy parent and a healthy child to boot.