What other factors should be considered?
- Lack of a smooth, efficient means of transferring care. You may need an obstetrician or care in a hospital during labor or for postpartum complications. In many communities, on the grounds that homebirth is dangerous and should be discouraged, doctors have made it difficult or impossible for homebirth practitioners to work with obstetricians or to transfer their clients to an obstetrician’s care or into the hospital. Ironically, these doctors create a safety issue where none would otherwise exist.
- When there is no back up hospital within a reasonable driving distance that is capable of handling urgent problems. Here’s the dilemma: On the one hand, the ability to get to a hospital in a timely matter may make a difference. On the other hand, a low-risk woman runs risks in the typical hospital that she doesn’t run at home. At home, she would be under close observation by someone who could spot problems early, head most of them off and who wouldn’t potentially be causing complications by inappropriate use of procedures, drugs and restrictions.