Today, many women have a choice where to give birth. What to choose: birth at the hospital or home birth? Many mothers believe that home birth is much easier. Is it indeed so?
Every year the number of home births grows up. In 65% of cases, the births take place according to a natural scenario, conceived by nature and do not require any outside interference. Doctors only control this process and take the child. Such statistics only strengthens many women in the desire to give birth at home. Others believe that there is too much risk to be among that 35% of women who will need medical help. As a result, they go to the hospital. Where is the right choice here?
Home Birth: For or Against?
Of course, all women have the right to choose where to give birth. But keep in mind, that even a pregnancy that flowed well without any complications does not guarantee delivery without problems. Unfortunately, many home births end with hospitalization. Home births are good from a psychological point of view. But there is a big risk if something goes wrong. In an emergency situation, you will need help from professionals.
Many couples, who choose home birth, refer to the process of childbirth differently. They think it is not a “disease”. So, they are sure they can quite cope with childbirth without the help of doctors. Such mothers are usually against any kind of medical interventions, stimulation, cesarean section, etc. Many women want to give birth in a familiar environment among relatives and loved ones. Once a woman has decided to give birth to a baby at home, then she needs to understand that she is taking a big risk. If the pregnancy was proceeding well, there are no complications, the hospital is nearby, an ambulance will be near the house and an experienced obstetrician is near you, then you can take risks. Remember, if the outcome of labor is bad, then it’s entirely on you.
Preparation for Home Birth
If you are expecting the first child, it is better to give birth under the close attention of the medical staff. The first birth is usually more difficult than the next ones. A woman does not know how to behave and what to do. In order to decide exactly what kind of birth is acceptable for you, it is better to visit the classes for future mothers and fathers. There you will get acquainted with doctors who will be able to answer your questions, give you advice that will help you make the right decision.
If you decide on home birth, then be careful while choosing an obstetrician, who will be with you at the time of delivery. The doctor must be a professional. So, that in an emergency situation the obstetrician can provide help. Before delivery, it is better to meet with the doctor in advance. Also, it is very useful to get acquainted and talk with those moms who have dealt with this doctor. Before giving birth, be sure to consult your doctor, make an ultrasound. Make sure that the child is lying as needed, that there are no complications. Discuss all the risks with the doctor.
What Do You Need for Home Birth?
Every obstetrician will offer you a list of things you will need for home birth. The list includes various disinfectants, bath salts, medicines, bandages, clean towels. In addition, just to be on the safe side, think about an emergency situation. Choose in advance a maternity hospital. Think about what kind of transport you will use. Prepare a bag for the maternity hospital and all the necessary documents. Everything should be prepared so that in an emergency situation it is not necessary to collect needed stuff in a hurry.
Watching home births, videos of which are not difficult to find on the Internet, you can see that, unlike the standard “hospital”, they pass very differently. Many people believe that nature knows its business, and do not consider it necessary to interfere in any way with the natural process. Therefore, prolonged home birth, lasting more than 24 hours – is not uncommon.
Being in a comfortable home environment, the future mother can behave the way she likes: walking, lying, taking comfortable postures, listening to music, and so on. The birth of the child usually occurs in a vertical or horizontal position. If desired, a woman can get on all fours or squat, using the support of her husband. Often videos about home birth tell about the benefits of childbirth in the water. It should be noted that all the same is possible in a maternity clinic, which practices “soft births”.
Do You Need an Obstetrician?
Many women decide on so called solo-childbirth, i.e. without the participation of a specialist. In this case, the child is taken by the husband or by the woman herself without anybody’s help at all. This, perhaps, is the most extreme variant of home birth.
Professional obstetricians with appropriate medical education are able to provide assistance at home. Home birth with their help is the least risky. But, the only person responsible for the development of the situation and the outcome of childbirth is the woman who made the decision to give birth at home.
And yet, in most cases, childbirth ends up safely. The secret of successful home birth is the interaction of the four components: 1) a unique childbirth mechanism that allows most women to cope without medical intervention; 2) the assistance of an experienced professional obstetrician; 3) the good preparation of the mothers; and, of course, 4) a conscious attitude toward childbirth that does not allow unnecessary risks.
How to Define the Onset of Labor?
Home birth, as a rule, begins with dilating pains. The woman feels pulling and squeezing cramps in the lower back and in the lower abdomen. If these feelings are regular and repeat every 10-20 minutes with the same longitude, then the birth began. Gradually the dilating pains will intensify, and the intervals between them will begin to contract. During this period, the cervix is actively opening so that the fetus can pass through the birth canal.
Dilating pains can last 8-20 hours and even longer. But there are also emergency labors, when everything happens much faster, within 3-4 hours. While having a home birth, the opening of the uterus should be checked by an assistant, by touch. In order for the fetus to come through the uterus, it should be opened as approximately 8 fingers. Usually, before pangs of childbirth, when dilating pains occur at intervals of 1-1.5 minutes, the opening of the cervix is about 4 fingers.
Pangs of Childbirth Are the Most Difficult Period of Home Birth
Childbirth moves to the second stage. Dilating pains become more intensive and more frequent. The woman begins to feel the belly bursting and a strong desire to strain the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles in order to move the baby down.
During the pangs of dilatation pain, a woman should bear down. When the dilating labor pain starts, take a deep breath and holding your breath, bear down. It is necessary to strain the muscles of the diaphragm and abdomen, and press on the uterus. Bearing down, all the forces should go down, but not up. Otherwise, you will try in vain.
If the home birth occurs in the pool or on land, the most comfortable pose is on all fours or squatting. Some women prefer to stand, leaning forward. A comfortable posture depends on the structure of the genitals and pelvis. Therefore, a woman must rely on her feelings and choose the right pose for birth herself. According to the sensations during the pangs and dilating labor pains, a woman can choose a comfortable position. Do this carefully, without fuss and sudden movements.
Any pose that your body asks for will help you to give birth easier. So, if you have a home birth, be sure to listen to your body.
Birth of the Baby
With every labor of childbirth, the child’s head becomes more and more visible. During dilatation labor pains, the head shows up and then disappears again. This moment is the most painful. However, a woman should try to relax the genitalia as much as possible and constantly push. Home birth, as a rule, goes without ruptures. So, a woman should not be afraid and strain the perineum. If the weakening of labor activity begins, it is necessary to stimulate it, as with pangs of childbirth.
Before the baby comes out a little blood is released. The child starts screaming and gradually turns from blue to pink. If necessary, you can clean the child’s nose by sucking the mucus so that the baby can breathe. Make sure that the baby feels fine.
Exit of the Placenta and Cutting of the Umbilical Cord
After the birth of the child, it is important to put a child to the breast. Even if the baby doesn’t suck milk, and at least touch the nipple with their lips – this will stimulate the release of the placenta. The exit of the placenta is not very painful. On average, the placenta is released 20-40 minutes after the birth of the child.
The umbilical cord is cut after the pulse in it has stopped. Usually, it occurs 20 minutes after the appearance of the baby.
When Is Home Birth Too Dangerous?
Home birth is always risky because, in the case of complications, it takes time to move to a hospital or maternity clinic. The time delay can cost lives. If during pregnancy the woman did not undergo the necessary examinations, home birth is twice risky. You can never know what you’ll have to face during labor.
Contraindications to Home Birth:
- Multifetal pregnancy;
- Birth occurs before the term;
- The future mother has pathologies of the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, endocrine system, a mental illness;
- There are indications to cesarean section, including a narrow pelvis of relatively large fetal sizes;
- The child has pathologies, deviations in development, he is in the breech presentation, transverse or oblique position;
- The course of pregnancy is complicated by gestosis, low placenta or placenta previa;
- Previous births occurred by cesarean section;
- There is no experienced obstetrician;
- The road to the nearest maternity clinic and children’s hospital will take more than 10-15 minutes;
- The husband and other relatives who have an influence on the future mother are against home birth.