Homebirth 101

What are some advantages of homebirth?

  • You are much less likely to be subjected to potentially problematic procedures, drugs and restrictions. Every obstetric intervention carries risk as well as benefit. When interventions are used with women who don’t need them, on a routine or “just in case” basis, or on women whose problem could be resolved by waiting or by simple, risk free measures such as: walking, change of position, talking over worries, or a warm bath, than those women are exposed to the risks without any chance of benefit. The end result is that some women and babies will develop complications, minor or major, that never would have occurred had they not been subjected to the intervention. This truth is why numerous studies examining individual procedures, drugs and restrictions have consistently concluded that outcomes are equally good and often better with restricted use of the intervention.

Likewise, numerous studies comparing outcomes between low-risk women receiving standard obstetric management versus similar women receiving the less interventive, midwifery style of care have found that women and their babies receiving the midwifery style of care did equally well or better.

  • You will have greatly increased attention, care, observation, and monitoring by a trained person or persons. Doctors don’t come into the hospital until close to the birth, and they may never have met the woman before, or know her only through a few brief office visits. Some hospital based midwives may labor sit with their clients, but not all do. Even before the money crunch forced cutbacks in staff, few nurses spent extended time with laboring women.This system of providing care has important disadvantages: It flies in the face of a large body of research that says women have fewer problems and complications and feel better about themselves and their babies when accompanied throughout labor by a caring, experienced woman. A woman’s physical and psychological status has profound consequences for her ability to meet the challenges of adjusting to parenthood.


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