Is Home Birth Right for Me?

In recent times, more families are taking interest in out-of-hospital birth options like birthing at home or at a stand-alone birth center. There’s a lot to consider and learn about when it comes to out-of-hospital births; things like safety, convenience, personal preferences, and the presence of family members all matter. 

In many ways, out-of-hospital births, whether at a birth center or at home, are quite similar. One of the things we say often to our clients is that the only difference between home birth and a birth center birth is simply the address. You’ll receive the same care, see the same equipment and staff, just at a different location.

The Main Differences Between Home Birth And Birth Center Birth

With respect to your care in a home birth or a birth center birth, there isn’t much that’s different. With a home birth, you might find things to be a little more comfortable and convenient, depending on your preferences. At a home birth, you are surrounded by your own things, and everything is right at your fingertips.

Also, when you’re birthing at home, you don’t have to worry about traveling anywhere in labor or back home after the delivery because you are already there! You can settle in and relax with your new baby after the delivery, without the disruption of traveling home a few hours later.

Pros Of An Out-Of-Hospital Birth:

These are some of the most common benefits to delivering at home or in a birth center, compared to having a traditional hospital birthing experience:

  • More freedom and control of your environment
  • Typically a lower cost option
  • A comfortable, relaxing setting
  • At home, you’ll have your own pantry stocked with your favorite things
  • At a birth center, you’ll be able to bring your own food and drinks with you
  • Natural lighting, and more control over the lighting as well
  • You may invite whomever you would like to share in the experience
  • At home or at our birth center, you’ll have access to TV, music, fans, and other comforts

Cons Of Home Birth:

  • If your space at home is small, you may feel that your movement is restricted during labor, especially with the addition of the midwife, assistant, and any friends or supportive members of your family that you might like to invite.  If you live in an apartment or townhome, you may feel self-conscious about making loud noises during the delivery.  If you have pets at home that might be disruptive to either you or your guests, you might prefer to deliver elsewhere where you won’t have to worry about them.
  • Some moms feel vulnerable when they think about their care provider being in their private space.  They might feel stressed about making sure their home is as clean and tidy as possible.  Or, they might feel that any unfinished projects around the home will be an unwelcome distraction to the work of labor.

Who Is Out Of Hospital Birth For?

While out-of-hospital birth is considered safe for low-risk pregnancies, it may not be the right option for everyone. The ACOG cautions against out-of-hospital birth in some conditions. These include:

  • Multiples pregnancy (twins or higher pregnancy)
  • High blood pressure or maternal diabetes during current pregnancies
  • Breech or other malpresentation
  • History of certain complications in previous pregnancies

However, if you have had an uneventful pregnancy so far, out-of-hospital birth in a birth center or at home might be a safe and more comfortable option for you. Factors that contribute to the safety of an out-of-hospital birth include:

  • Previously successful vaginal delivery
  • No uterine complications during the previous or current pregnancy
  • Normal cephalic presentation (baby’s head is down) during the last few weeks leading up to your estimated due date
  • No history of high blood pressure or diabetes in the current pregnancy

Give us a call and discuss any potential risk factors you might have in order to determine whether an out-of-hospital delivery might be an option for you.

Home Birth with Celebrate Birth

At Celebrate Birth, we offer home birth to clients located within a 30-minute radius of our birth center, and the home must also be located within a 30-minutes distance from a hospital. 

In addition to regular prenatal appointments held at our clinic office, which we share with The Nest in Lakeland, a home visit will be conducted in the 36th week of the pregnancy by one of our midwives so that they are able to familiarize themselves with your space and make sure it is appropriate for your delivery.

Our midwives will bring a suitcase full of supplies for the birth to your house, but all clients who are choosing to deliver out of the hospital are required to purchase a birth kit that has been specially created for us on the In His Hands website. This kit contains all of the disposable, one-time-use supplies needed for the delivery and immediate postpartum period. You are welcome to add other supplies to your kit, but please do not remove anything already listed in the contents of the box. For home birth clients who are choosing to use our inflatable birth tub, please note that you will need to add a birth tub liner to your order. 

Home birth is a safe option for low-risk women, offering the same level of care as a birth center birth in an environment that provides every comfort of your own home. Contact us to find out more about what a home birth experience might look like for you!