Today more women are successfully negotiating for the kind of birth experience they want. One choice is to have your baby at home. Some of the most common questions about this option are:
- Why have a home birth?
- Is home birth legal?
- Who will provide medical backup?
- What supplies are necessary?
Why Have a Home Birth?
Women who want to be in charge of every element in their environment usually elect to have their babies at home. Many couples find that their desire for privacy and intimacy is the most important factor in their decision.
Is Home Birth Legal?
Home birth is absolutely legal. The legal gray area depends on the status of midwives in each state. The midwife who provides prenatal care and attends the home birth assumes the legal responsibility for the life of the mother and baby. If there is no midwife involved, the parents then become legally responsible if anything happens to the baby during the birth.
Who Will Provide Medical Backup?
Some couples who are committed to home birth hire a midwife but also see an obstetrician throughout their pregnancy, just so they have help available in case of an emergency. When midwives work independently, without doctor help, they must rely on the doctors in the local emergency room to take over if there is a complication that requires transport to a hospital. A midwife who develops a working relationship with a doctor and hospital is considered a respected member of the healthcare team. Her presence and expertise are not only acknowledged but called upon.
Next Page: Supplies; Mid