Homebirth 101



  • The best judgments will be made by caregivers who are familiar with the woman and whose presence on the scene enables them to pick up subtleties that would be missed by someone who doesn’t know her and pops in now and then. Small problems can be addressed before they become big ones, and overreaction can be avoided because the caregiver has context and perspective.
  • You have a greatly decreased chance of infection. This is for two reasons: Hospitals are reservoirs for microbes the likes of which are never found in homes, including and especially antibiotic resistant ones. Women are far less likely to have procedures that increase the risk of infection, such as cesarean section, internal monitoring and rupture of membranes and subsequent vaginal exams.
  • You will be in a familiar, supportive, relaxed environment. It’s a classic tale: The woman has been experiencing strong, regular contractions at home, but they disappear when she gets to the hospital and do not resume until she settles into her new environment. It may take hours before the contractions return to the same intensity. Few stop to think of the reason why, namely that stress and anxiety inhibit labor. Any veterinarian will tell you that laboring animals require a quiet, dimly lit, familiar environment with no strangers and nothing to alarm or disturb them. Humans need the same, and hospitals are generally none of the above.
  • Your family is in charge and you are the center of undivided attention.


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