Homebirth: Is it the Right Option for You?

Some may consider home birth to be a fringe movement made up of a few brave…or crazy women, however a study published by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in May of 2010 shows that home births rose by a dramatic 20% among American moms between 1990 and 2006. Why are more and more moms choosing this route, from pregnancy to recovery? What are the benefits of a home birth? Read on to find out.

Prenatal care is much more personal in home births. In many cases, your midwife will come right to your house for your prenatal visits, spending an average of forty five minutes to an hour with you at each visit. That one on one time creates a bond that lays the foundation for a comfortable, trust filled birth.

Intimacy and privacy are greater in home births. Moms can choose to have as few or as many people present at her birth, and her midwife will be by her side the entire time. Natural childbirth philosophy says that the calmer the mom is, the more relaxed her muscles will be making for an easier birth. Therefore, it makes sense that being in a familiar environment with people you love and trust would make for a better outcome.

Moms have more control over their birth at home, free from hospital policies. You can eat, drink, take a walk outside, give birth in water, etc…. There are no visiting hours, and older children, if you prefer, can be present during or immediately after the birth. You can set the playlist, have the lights on or off, control the temperature or whatever you wish. It’s your house after all…

When you consider that the Cesarean rate in hospitals was nearly one third in 2007 according to another CDC study, it makes sense that low risk moms may prefer to stay home rather than risk unnecessary interventions.  Birthing at home means that you can bypass pressure to get everything from an induction, pitocin, episiotomies, and a C-section. Of course, midwives are equipped with drugs and equipment that would be necessary in critical situations such as stopping a hemorrhage or resuscitating a baby.

If you’re into the natural, organic movement, then you would be a great candidate for home birth. Midwives lean toward natural, homeopathic solutions. She may advise you to take up hypnobirthing for anxiety, acupuncture for pain, and a host of homeopathic remedies from primrose oil to papaya enzyme. A lot of women prefer to take this more natural route.

With the release of the film “The Business of Being Born” in 2008 and its widespread success, it looks like home birth will continue to rise in popularity. Regardless of where we choose to birth, its important to educate ourselves and have a birth plan that we feel great about and trust will be respected.


By: Christine Concetta Gibson