Choosing To Have Babies At Home

Choosing To Have Babies At HomeAs the desire for home birth grows, the number of studies and statistical data continue to grow and give us a greater understanding of the risks and benefits. As long your pregnancy is going well and you are healthy, you should be able to have a home birth (DH 2007: 12, Welsh Assembly Government 2005: 26, Scottish Executive 2001 Maternity Matters 2008).

If you've had a baby before, and the birth was complicated, you may be advised to have your next baby in hospital. But this doesn't mean you can't have a home birth. Some women go ahead, even though they are not "ideal" candidates. According to the report, called "Home Births in the United States, 1990-2009",  the number of home births actually increased between 2004 and 2009 by 29%, an upturn of 0.56% in 2004, to 0.72% in 2009. In 2009, a total of 29,650 home births were reported in the United States.

Benefits Of Home Births
  • More private, less chaotic
  • The woman is surrounded by the comforts of her own home
  • Fewer people involved
  • Lower chance of a C-section
  • Cheaper
  • More personal experience

Midwife Presence at Home Birth: how to choose?

Choosing To Have Babies At HomeIn many countries of the world, midwives are the primary caregivers for women during pregnancy and labor. For a midwife birth is a normal physiologic event rather than a medical condition. They learn methods for supporting and promoting women's physical and emotional health to optimize the reproductive process. The care they give consists of thorough physical assessment and prevention of complications through education in self-care, emotional support, and nurturing of the woman throughout her pregnancy and labor.

You can choose a Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) to care for you during your pregnancy as long as you're in good health (meaning you have no serious chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, epilepsy, heart disease, or diabetes).

There are several questions you might consider prior to deciding on one type of practitioner versus another. Consider the following:

  • Are you comfortable with the idea of birthing in your home?

  • Do you want to use medication for pain relief during the labor process?

  • How important to you are interventions such as routine ultrasounds?

  • Are you willing to cover part of the costs incurred by delivery?

  • Do you prefer to deliver in privacy?

  • Are you interested in water births?

  • Do you prefer to have someone familiar at your side at all times during delivery?


Your answers may influence your decision to go with an accredited or non-accredited midwife. 

Equipment you might need?

Choosing To Have Babies At HomeYou won't need much. A few weeks before your due date, your midwife will bring round a birth pack containing all the bits and pieces she needs. You could put this in a box along with the things you'll need to have to hand. You probably already have most of these dotted around your home:

  • plastic sheeting to protect your floor, bed or sofa

  • old towels or sheets to cover the plastic sheeting

  • a couple of containers in case you're sick during labor

  • a warm blanket or throw, in case you get cold

  • a desk light so your midwife can check the area around your vagina for tears after the birth

  • a baby blanket and perhaps a portable heater to keep your baby warm after she's born

  • bin liners for tidying up dirty linen and rubbish afterwards


Otherwise, you need the same things that you would pack for a hospital birth. These will probably be clean, comfortable clothes for you and your baby, toiletries and home comforts. At home, you can have candles, too! In fact, in your own home you can go a bit further and create your perfect environment for giving birth.

No matter what type of practitioner you choose to assist you and your baby during childbirth, you need to make sure that they are the right person for you and your baby.

For Further Ref: 


Dated 18 February 2012

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