Why a Home Birth?Benefits of Home Birth
- Easier to relax in the comfort of your own home
- Undivided attention by caregivers - Family members or friends may be present if desired
- Laboring woman maintains control over everything impacting her labor and birth
- The woman is not only allowed, but encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change positions, make noise, shower, bathe, etc.
- You can labor and birth in whatever position is most comfortable to you
- Caregivers come to her, no worries about when to go to hospital
- Significantly reduced risk of cesearean section
Home Birth Safety
The World Health Organization has said that there is no proof that hospital births are safer than home births in the developed world. Most of the research on home births in the developed world has found that infant and maternal mortality rates are the same, if not better, than hospital rates. There is also significantly reduced chance of a woman having a cesarean, induced labor, or of the need for forceps or a vacuum.
A study done in Denmark in 1997 found that women who gave birth at home delivered babies in better condition with fewer problems; the women themselves experienced less stress and there were fewer medical interventions needed in home births compared with hospital births.
Finally, having your baby at home significantly reduces infection risks for both mother and baby.
Benefits to Baby
- Bonding is enhanced
- Significantly higher rates of breastfeeding success
- No risk of baby mix-up
- Reduced chance of trauma due to vacuum or forceps delivery
- Newborn exam occurs on mother and baby’s time, not at hospital’s convenience
HOME BIRTH WITH AN OBSTETRICIAN
It is important for you to recognize the inherent lack of guarantees in life and in birthing. Any birthing environment, whether at home, birth center or hospital presents a distinct set of risk factors. Nothing can guarantee a perfect birth outcome regardless of where it takes place. Despite all the best planning, preparation, good health and your strong desire for an out of hospital birth experience, not all births can occur safely there. Having said that, my staff and I want you to have a joyous outcome and are totally invested in helping you achieve a safe and nurturing birth. You can be assured that if you are chosen as a client of our practice that you are in a category of low risk clients we feel will do well at attempting a home birth.
I bring special skills, individualized care, support and guidance for a safe home birth. Over the years of my practice, I have managed a variety of challenges and complications well beyond the scope of the low risk midwife. However, due to the location of an out of hospital birth I cannot provide all of the same services as a physician who is hospital based. I can provide you with some options that are outside the scope of practice for my midwife colleagues. These include the option of breech vaginal birth, home vaginal birth after c/section (HBAC) and twin deliveries when certain criteria are met. My primary concern is to assist you and your baby with a SAFE birth. Location is a secondary concern. Our philosophy contains the tenet that you should consider out of hospital birthing only as long as your pregnancy and labor progresses within the parameters of my experience, judgment and skill.
There are many options for birthing available today and there is no “one size fits all right way” to have your baby. Making a decision about birth involves looking at all safe methods of childbirth: home birth, birth centers, hospital birthing, physician care and care by experienced midwives. I incorporate the Midwives Model of Care into my home birth practice.
I encourage you to educate yourselves as to the different options open to you in a low risk birth. All of us have differing life experiences which make us unique. We hope that you will interview other practitioners and investigate all options before making a decision on what seems best for you. It is important to me that you are sure that a birth experience with my practice is the right choice for you. I want you to be fully informed of my philosophy, experience, standards, services and requirements. This understanding is fundamental to our relationship.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC) in properly selected cases is as safe as any other subgroup of women attempting vaginal birth. In a recent intensive review of the literature, the National Institute of Health (NIH) put together a consensus report confirming this statement. In fact, they found that properly selected patients should be given true informed consent and if this is done then more than 70% of women who attempt a VBAC will succeed. They also concluded that the risks of repeat c/sections have been understated and are, in fact, often greater to mother and baby than those associated with a VBAC. Policies that “ban” or coerce a woman into surgery without proper informed consent and choice are unethical and should be revisited by institutions and physicians who restrict this option. Fear of liability, longstanding policies or ignorance of evidence based medicine is not a reason to deny this choice to patients. Hospitals and physicians are obligated to do whatever is necessary with their facility and policies to offer this safe, evidenced based option to women in the community. Ultimately, the choice and the right of how to birth their babies belongs to women as individuals and we at the Birth Action Coalition support the NIH consensus statement and the autonomy and sanctity of individual choice.
This philosophy of following evidenced based options, supported by the American College of OB/GYN (ACOG) should extend to other birth choices as well as VBAC. Policies than “ban” a woman’s choice of an elective breech or twin delivery or threaten practitioners who offer this are unsupported by the medical literature and are also unethical. The Birth Action Coalition encourages institutions with such archaic policies to revisit them promptly. We offer our input and expertise in any collaborative effort to work with your institution to create sound policies that uphold the sanctity of a woman’s right to choose and understand the basic premise that normal pregnancy should not be treated as an illness.
THE HOME BIRTH
It is my understanding that you are considering a Home Birth or a Birthing Center Birth at the Sunrise Birth Center and are inquiring into my services for this special and blessed event. As parents, you are ultimately responsible for your birthing experience, regardless of where or with whom you give birth. There are many options for birthing available today and there is no "one size fits all right way" to have your baby. Making a decision about birth involves looking at all safe methods of childbirth: home birth, birth centers, hospital birthing, physician care and care by experienced midwives. I encourage you to educate yourselves as to the different options open to you in a low risk birth. All of us have differing life experiences which make us unique. I hope that you will interview other practitioners and investigate all options before making a decision on what seems best for you. It is important to me that you are sure that a birth experience with my practice is the right choice for you. I want you to be fully informed of my philosophy, experience, standards, services and requirements. This understanding is fundamental to our relationship.
We, my staff and I, believe that pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are natural and normal functions of a woman’s mind, body, emotions and spirit. Our service is based on the belief that normal human pregnancy is not an illness requiring routine intervention. But rather, we believe that your spiritual and emotional environment as well as your physical surroundings strongly influences your birth experience. This experience can best proceed normally in a nurturing environment with a trust in yourself, the process and your caregivers. As a physician who has worked with midwives for more than 25 years, I have come to trust the midwifery model of birthing as the best option for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy. The midwifery model seeks to nurture a woman’s sense of personal strength and self- confidence so that she may experience her birth with dignity. When birth is integrated into life as a family event, the family is strengthened as well. Home birthing can facilitate a gentle and warm transition for the baby and provides a sense of respect and control for the parents.