When home-births are safer than most think!

When home-births are safer than most think!

I’m going to do this a little bit different. I want to talk to you about Home Births! 

Why not have your baby at home? 

But rather than just get into it, I thought I would write this from 3 different perspectives.

 

  • Before Babies
  • While Pregnant
  • As a Doula

 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH BEFORE BABIES

Before I had considered having my babies, my sister was having her babies.

She was hoping to have a home birth for her second birth. My immediate thought was “OH MY GOD – that’s so dangerous, just go to hospital like normal people” “Don’t put your baby at risk,” “What if something goes wrong”??

All the immediate fear based questions that come to mind when you don’t actually KNOW anything about birth, home-births, midwives, hospitals etc etc etc

Warranted all these questions came from a place of love and concern, but not once did I think, maybe I should trust my sister or maybe I should ask more questions about home births so I can understand more about why she wants to birth at home.

It was all very new to me, and I wanted what was best for my sister and her baby. 

 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH WHILE PREGNANT

With my first, I knew I would have a hospital birth. That was what I thought was the safest thing to do. Turns out even if I had wanted a home-birth, it would have been a hospital birth as my baby girl was Breech.

But throughout my pregnancy I started attending “Positive Birth Movement” meetings, and a lot of the beautiful mama’s, mama’s to be had home-birthed, or were planning on home birthing.

I soon found out a lot of women were scared of going to hospitals for birth, for fear of unnecessary interventions, being bullied by Dr’s into things they didn’t want to do, being put on a time restraint to birth their babies – all things I didn’t understand pre-babies.

There were some mothers who had previous traumatic experiences at hospital for first births and were planning to have their next birth in the comfort of their own home because that’s where they felt safest. Some mothers who had previous c/sections who were planning HBAC’s (Home birth after caesarean).

I learnt a lot from these meetings as well as from attending Hypnobirthing Classes.

  • I learnt that midwives were attending the births at home (sounds obvious but I didn’t know)
  • I learnt that they had resuscitation equipment if worst came to worst
  • I learnt they had all sorts of medical equipment that they brought to the homes
  • I realised that midwives were highly trained to attend to birthing women, and they knew what to look out for – they knew when they may need to call for an ambulance
  • I learnt that ambulance transfers can happen, but don’t happen often
  • I learnt that mothers who birthed at home felt safer than in hospital
  • Less interventions were happening at home

For my second pregnancy, I was leaning towards a home-birth, but was trying to decide whether to go to Family Birth Centre or straight out Home-birth.

So I sent off my application form to CMP (Community Midwife Practice) for both options and would decide later. 

Once I decided home-birth was the option for me, I had to convince my hubby (a whole new blog – how to convince your partner to be onboard for a home-birth.)

 

 

My main factors on choosing a home birth were:

  • Safety and comfort of my own home
  • My daughter was still a baby herself (19 months) so having her around was a big win
  • I knew the stats, and understood how safe home-births are
  • I wanted a completely natural birth – no interventions being pushed on me
  • Having to drive to hospital while in labour is not fun
  • I wanted a water birth 
  • Being able to snuggle into your own bed with your brand new baby and family by your side 

I have added a few links below – some support groups for pregnant woman wishing to be surrounded by positivity about pregnancy and birth. 

MADE BY ME BIRTH SUPPORT GROUP – www.facebook.com/madebymebirthgroup

POSITIVE BIRTH MOVEMENT 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH AS A DOULA

From a Doula’s perspective, I definitely view Home-Births as safer for those mummy’s who are wanting a physiological birth with no / bare minimum interventions.

Speaking with woman who have had home-births, their view is that the woman who have birthed in hospitals are the brave ones, not vice versa – which seems to be the usual consensus.

Unnecessary intervention rates are high in hospital settings. 

According to evidence based research low-risk pregnancies have a better chance of intervention free/ less perineal trauma either at home or a birth centre – compared to the stats for birth at hospitals.

 

 

”Findings – Twenty-eight articles met inclusion criteria, yielding comparative data on perinatal mortality, mode of birth, maternal morbidity and/or NICU admissions. Meta-analysis indicated that women planning hospital births had statistically significantly lower odds of normal vaginal birth than in other planned settings. Women experienced severe perineal trauma or haemorrhage at a lower rate in planned home births than in obstetric units. There were no statistically significant differences in infant mortality by planned place of birth, although most studies had limited statistical power to detect differences for rare outcomes. Differences in location, context, quality and design of identified studies render results subject to variation.

Conclusions and implications for practice

High-quality evidence about low-risk pregnancies indicates that place of birth had no statistically significant impact on infant mortality. The lower odds of maternal morbidity and obstetric intervention support the expansion of birth centre and home birth options for women with low-risk pregnancies.”

Stats of Home-birth 

  • 36% increase in normal, vaginal births
  • 8.6% reduction in instrumental births
  • 7.5% reduction in caesarean rates
  • 1.15% decrease in severe perineal trauma
  • NO difference in neonatal death rates when compared to birth in hospitals
  • Benefits of continuity of care
  • 13% increased satisfaction with labour and birth care
  • 12% increased satisfaction with labour prep
  • 4.1% decrease in use of regional analgesia (Epidural)
  • 3.3% increase in spontaneous vaginal births
  • 1.5% decrease in fatal loss

 

 

Midwifery 62: 240-255

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4)

Not only do the numbers speak for themselves but some other things to consider when choosing whether you want to birth your baby at home are:

  • Comfort and safety of your own home will keep you relaxed and more likely progress quicker
  • You can be surrounded by dim lighting or no lighting, which helps your birthing hormones (including melatonin, which plays a big role in birth)
  • You don’t have to drive in the car, with lots of lights, noise and potentially stress 
  • You can organise your birthing space/nest 
  • Your own smells
  • Your own comforts
  • Your loved ones you chose
  • You’re not limited to who/what and where can be at your home

 

 

If the thought of having your baby at home causes you stress or discomfort, then obviously it is not the place for you to birth. 

If being in a hospital environment makes you feel safer, then by all means that’s where you should birth your baby. 

I simply wanted to put this together to show those who may be fearful of birth at home, that it is in fact safer for a lot of mothers and their babies.

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

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