Deciding where you’ll give birth to your baby is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during your pregnancy. And it likely will not be an easy decision, especially these days afflicted with a pandemic, making hard to decide whether giving birth at home or in the hospital is preferential to your situation. Adding the choices like whether or not to have pain medication, or deciding between giving birth in the water or on land, there are a lot of pros and cons of each scenario to consider—and deciding where and how you’ll give birth will depend on what matters most to you as well as your unique circumstances.
A home birth allows you to control your environment, so if you're looking for privacy and seclusion during labour, there's no better place than home. Although statistics vary (and some studies show that as many as 15 percent of C-sections could have been prevented with a planned home birth), a planned home delivery can also reduce risks associated with pregnancy, such as haemorrhage or infection. There is also evidence to suggest that it might lower your chances of requiring medical intervention during labour. Some women find that giving birth at home gives them greater autonomy—they’re in charge and not subject to treatment plans laid out by an obstetrician.
There are several situations where home births may be unwise for your situation. These mainly include if you a pregnant with multiple children, your baby hasn’t settled into a position for a head-first delivery, or you need/have previously had a C-section delivery. Naturally, these elements can create complications that might need more equipment and medical personnel only available within the hospital environment. Should further complications occur, there is always the likelihood you could be transferred to hospital anyway, such as in cases of high blood pressure, labour failing to progress (leaving you to need induction), and excessive bleeding.
If you are planning for a home birth, there are some key things you can do to prepare. Firstly, be sure to work with highly-trained health care providers who can assist you throughout the process. Also, create a birth plan that outlines everything from where you want to deliver, to whether you want to breast feed immediately after. Lastly, be aware of the risk and have a plan for a hospital transfer should it become necessary.
Feel prepared with all of the pieces you might need for before and after a homebirth. The Nappy Shop offers an extensive range of products, including swaddles and wraps, cleaning & household items, and baby care products.