Home Birth versus Hospital Birth


                                         I recently made friends with a new girl at work, and while we were discussing our majors she informed me that she wanted to be a midwife. Completely caught off guard, I was immediately interested and asked her why she wanted to take this route instead of something else in the medical field. Her response was simple: she wanted deliver babies in the safest way possible, which she believed were home births. After we talked more about the home birth process, I was inspired to write a blog on the advantages and disadvantages of home and hospital births, and hopefully find the answer to which option is the safest and healthiest.

                                         Home births are becoming popular once again. It seems to be becoming trendy as the more "natural" way to give birth. With a celebrity like Kourtney Kardashian considering a home birth during her recent pregnancy, it's hit the tabloids and caused somewhat of a buzz recently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at home births have increased 29% from 2004 to 2009, with 2009 having the most at home births since 1989.

                                         Supporters of home births say that having the comforts of one's own home when giving birth make the overall experience more comfortable and relaxing, which is important for a new baby. This makes perfect sense to me, as hospitals can be very hectic and stressful environments. Those who choose home births do so because they feel they are getting more personalized care, and can give birth naturally without drugs. Many choose home births because of the potential dangers associated with drugs given at hospitals, and that these drugs could possibly block the maternal love hormones between mother and baby. Home birth also means immediate bonding time for the mother and the baby.

                                           Giving birth at home gives the mother the ability to do as she pleases- eat whatever and whenever, move around, stretch shower, etc. This also allows for friends and family members to be present for the birth, something that isn't possible in a hospital where there are rules and regulations. Mothers with serious medical issues are encouraged to give birth in hospitals because of the lack of resources at home. Midwives often bring oxygen, IV's, medications, natural remedies, and basic supplies. Some people will have a nurse available and an ambulance ready nearby to take them to the hospital in case of a serious emergency. Home birth is more financially responsible than a hospital birth, as home births cost about 60% less than the hospital would charge.

                                         While the hospital may be more expensive and less comfortable, there are clear advantages to giving birth in an environment with more resources. If the mother decides she needs drugs for the pain or problems occur, the doctors and equipment needed are readily available. While an ambulance can be accessed quickly, already being in the hospital can save critical time in case of an emergency requiring more medical attention. Some supporters of home birth believe that hospitals are too quick to give unnecessary treatment, and the dangers of cesarean section outweigh the positive outcomes. Supporters of hospital births believe that the risks of home birth are simply not worth it and serious issues occur frequently.

                                         According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "...planned home birth is associated with a twofold to threefold increased risk of neonatal death when compared with planned hospital birth."  Maternal infection, cesarean section, laceration, operative vaginal delivery, and episiotomy are all more common among planned hospital births. In my opinion, the problems that can occur in hospitals aren't comparable to the fact that there is a much larger risk of death in hospitals. I do understand why the comforts of one's own home and the idea of a natural, vaginal birth with no unnecessary medications would be appealing to many, but is it worth the risks? Can you think of any factors that make either option safe or dangerous?  Would you ever consider giving birth at home instead of the hospital? 


Works Cited:

Blue eyes cute baby . (2011, July 6). In HD wallpapers. Retrieved December 6, 2012, from http://www.hdwallpapers.in/blue_eyes_cute_baby-wallpapers.html

Home Birth. (2007, January). In American Pregnany Association. Retrieved December 6, 2012

Olsen, O., & Clauson, J. A. (2012, September 12). Planned hospital birth versus planned home birth. In The Cochrane Library . Retrieved December 5, 2012

Planned Home Birth. (2011, February). In The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Retrieved December 6, 2012


While I definitely agree with some of he points you made about home birth. I do not think it is worth it at all to risk it. I agree that home birth may be cheaper and allows all family members to be present. But I do not agree that home births are more comfortable then being at the hospital. I would definitely feel more safe giving birth while surrounded by doctors and nurses rather then knowing that if something went wrong I would still have to get to the hospital. Many risks can arise while giving birth and I would not want to risk my babies health only so I could give birth in my own home. I also do not think I could tolerate the pain involved in a natural birth, therefore I would definitely not consider giving birth at home. Here is an article I found expressing the increase in popularity and the dangers of home birth. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/25/home-birth-increasingly-popular-but-dangerous.html

This is a very interesting article. I think it is a very risky thing to have a home birth. I would be too nervous to do this in case gd forbid something happened and they did not have the resources they needed. In a hospital they have everything they need. It could take one minute for them to get a certain tool if it is not already in the room. There also may not be enough time to get you into an ambulance from the house to the hospital or even the baby from the house to the hospital in enough time. Maybe you only have a few seconds. I know when my baby brother was bored, he had a lot of fluids in his mouth and if he were to cry he would have choked to death after being only one second old. The doctors did not have to fear because all the tools they needed were in the building. My brother eventually had the fluids drained out of his throat and he cried. I would be too nervous to take the risk of not being in the hospital and having access to everything I need. This website shows some statistics on home birth vs. hospital births. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/25/home-birth-increasingly-popular-but-dangerous.html

Do you think that all the tools the doctors may bring for you to give birth at your house is enough? Or do you think it is impossible for them to transport every single tool they may possibly need in any sort of birthing conflict or situation?

This blog was interesting. I actually think about home birth frequently because of how natural it is. My mom gave birth to all five of her children in a hospital but without any drugs to ease the pain. She wanted it to be as natural as possible, but still safe. I think that home births are completley up to the deliverer of course, but I also think that if they were as dangerous as people say, they wouldnt allow it to be as popular as it is. If you do decide to do a home delivery then you should be educated enough about the risk and consquences of any complications. Any proffesional home delivery corporation should have ALL of the equiptment nessesary for the potential of it going wrong, or something terrible happening to the mother or baby.

I think as Americans we have grown to be super paranoid about EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, child birth complications are very real and I am not discrediting them at all, I am merely proposing that they do not happen as often as we anticipate. I would consider an unassisted birth solely because giving birth at home is more convinient and comfortable for the mother. I only have one question about giving birth at home and it is "What do the midwives do with the placenta?" Do they just throw it away? I've heard of people burying it because it contains great fertilizers.

source: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bridgeoflife.asp

I have to agree with the previous comments in that a home birth would be too risky. There are a lot of complications that can occur in the delivery room that require urgent care. I found a very unfortunate story about a woman who chose to have a home birth and lost her baby as a result. The baby was alive when first born but after a few hours had to be rushed to the hospital and the autopsy found that the baby "had died from pneumonia due to a Group B Strep infection contracted during delivery." You can read about this woman's tragic experience with childbirth and also hear from doctors about why home birth is troublesome to them and ultimately the more harmful option: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/25/home-birth-increasingly-popular-but-dangerous.html.

I don't think I will ever consider having an in-home birth. Its just too risky. There are just too may risks that are taken when planning to give birth in your home. For starters, when a baby is born they are very weak and they're immune system is not strong which puts them at high risk of disease or infection. I would not like the idea of having many people around while I'm giving birth, you never know what type of germs or even disease they're carrying. Giving birth is actually dangerous and does kill women, I would like to be under 100% total care while I'm giving birth in case of any sudden occurrences. Every minute counts!

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