Four Elements You Need For A Safe Home Birth

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Study after study is proving that home births are safe, and these studies are bringing new women into this exciting trend that is moving birth out of hospitals and back into homes. However, it is important to note that although homebirths are safe, they are not the right option for everyone. Ideally, you need the following four elements in place in order to have a safe home birth:

1. Skilled Midwife

Not all people who have homebirths want to have a midwife involved. Instead, these people opt to do partner-assisted or solo birthing at home. From a safety perspective, you should not try home birth on your own. Instead, you should invite a skilled midwife to the party.

Whether you have a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) or a lay (direct-entry) midwife attending to your homebirth, that professional has likely attended many births in the past. In most cases, practitioners in this field do long apprenticeships before striking out of their own, and as a result, they know what to look for in terms of risks.

They also have the ability to help turn babies, stitch perineal tears and deal with other issues that may be impossible to deal with if you are on your own or only assisted by your partner.

2. Low Transfer Time

If an emergency happens during the birth, your midwife may decide to transfer you to the hospital. To ensure your safety and the safety of the baby, you should be able to be transferred (in a car or ambulance) to the hospital relatively quickly.

If you live an hour from a hospital, for example, your transfer time may be too high to have a homebirth safely, but if you live only a few minutes away from a hospital, you can theoretically get to the emergency room as quickly as you would be able to if you were in the birthing ward of the hospital. Talk with a midwife about whether or not your home has a low enough transfer time to the nearest hospital.

3. Safe Home Environment

Many women enjoy being at home while laboring and giving birth. They find it comforting to be surrounded by their own possessions, and once the baby has been born, they can relax in the comfort of their own bed, surrounded by the rest of their family.

However, if the home is not a safe environment, it is not an appropriate place for giving birth. If the home is condemned, infested or lacking electricity, the mother should consider a hospital or birth center birth instead.

Additionally, if the mother is living in a physically or emotionally abusive environment, she should not give birth at home, and she should speak with a violence advocate about getting away from that situation.

4. Low Risk Pregnancy

Before a midwife will take you on as a patient, they may take steps to ensure that you are going to have a relatively low risk pregnancy. Each midwife has a different set of requirements, and even if you opt to do a birth center birth with a certified nurse midwife instead of a home birth with a direct entry midwife, you may have to meet certain criteria proving that you are not a high risk patient.

Some of the risks that may be taken into consideration include your age and your health. Women over forty are almost always considered high risk as are those who are pregnant with twins, have health complications such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes or have a baby in the breech position.

Contact a midwife to learn more about home birth or birthing in birthing center, or speak with a representative from a company such as Women's Healthcare Associates LLC. They can help you decide which is the right option for you and your baby.