Becoming a mother is wonderful and rewarding, but along with all the excitement and joy comes a lot of important decision making, including how and where to give birth. Every woman has the right to choose what kind of delivery she would like, even though those with high-risk pregnancies should take into consideration the safety of herself and her unborn child.
When it comes to giving birth, you’ve got several alternatives, but the most popular options today are home birth and hospital birth. Here are some of the potential pros and cons of these two options to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
A planned home birth can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s important that you consider all the pros and cons and understand the risks that are involved. A home birth means that you’ll give birth in the comfort of your own home instead of a hospital, but you will still need the assistance of someone experienced during labor and delivery. This may include a certified midwife, a certified nurse midwife or a doctor who practices obstetrics.
Many moms-to-be choose to give birth at their home for a more intimate experience. However, not all women are recommended to have a home birth, especially if it is a high-risk pregnancy, so talk with your doctor to find out if you’re a good candidate for home birth. A planned home birth is not for women who have chronic hypertension, diabetes, a seizure disorder, or women who have had a C-section in the past or are pregnant with multiples.
– Many women who give birth at their home enjoy the experience. You have more control and you are able to have your baby the way you want in a familiar setting.
– You are able to have a natural birth without the use of medications or unnecessary medical interventions.
– You are able to control your labor position.
– You can decide how many family members or friends will be present at your delivery.
– You can eat and drink as much as you want prior to delivery.
– There is a lower risk of outside exposure to bacteria and viruses.
– You have optional follow-up care and lactation support available.
– Lower delivery costs.
– Most insurance policies may not cover home birth expenses.
– There are no pain relievers available at home.
– Home births can be messy, so you should be well prepared with plenty of clean towels and plastic sheets.
– You may still need to be transferred to the hospital if some complications during delivery arise.
– There is a higher risk of injury or death.
– You will need to arrange for your own postpartum care.
Many women feel safer and more comfortable in a hospital setting because they know that they are surrounded by health professionals. However, many larger hospital can seem uncomfortable and intimidating, so you will need to choose a hospital that has a comfortable maternity wing and all the medical necessities.
– Depending on your medical coverage, your delivery may be entirely covered by insurance.
– You’ll be placed in a hospital bed with everything from IVs, fetal monitoring, and a transducer to measure contractions to ensure that everything is running smoothly during the delivery.
– It is possible to have a natural birth in a hospital.
– Pain medications are readily available.
– Many hospitals will allow you to use a midwife through labor and delivery.
– There are on-site lactation help and nurses to help care for your baby after giving birth.
– You will have immediate medical assistance if complications arise.
– Many hospitals set time limits for how long they will allow you to labor before using intervention.
– Your fluid and food intake is limited only to ice chips.
– High C-section rates.
– There’s no privacy in hospitals.
– If intervention is needed, doctors may administer Pitocin, which is a medication to help speed up contractions.
– Many hospitals have strict policies and procedures that you must follow.
– High delivery costs.