Home Birth Versus Hospital Birth

When a pregnant women decides to give birth outside of a hospital they are often looked at as if they were crazy.  However it was only really a generation ago that giving birth at home was the norm.  It was around the 50’s that this practice started to change and babies were born in a hospital rather than at home.  The idea was with medical care at hand that both mother and child would have a much better rate of survival.  Initially the infant mortality rates remained the same as those who gave birth at home with just a midwife.  Modern medicine has come a long way since then, but home birth versus hospital births the statistics remain pretty much the same.  It is just as safe for moms with a normal pregnancy to give birth at home as it is in a hospital.

Birth in the Hospital

There are cases where giving birth in the hospital is the best choice.  If the mother has a high risk pregnancy or they are expecting multiple births then you want to have medical care on hand.  High risk pregnancies can include conditions like preterm birth, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.  If the expectant mother has a history of high blood pressure throughout her pregnancy then she also may want to give birth in a hospital.

Home Births

Giving birth at home gives you freedom that giving birth in a hospital just doesn’t offer.  Labor is hard and painful and at home you have the chance to move around at home.  In a hospital you are often confined to a bed and that can delay your labor.  At home you can have whomever you choose be a witness to the process.  However in a hospital during flu season, visitors are often restricted to protect the patient.  Infection is another issue that comes with a stay in the hospital, even in modern hospitals.  Hospital stays can expose both mother and baby to germs and viruses that you don’t have at home, along with restricting your options for managing your labor.

Which Should You Choose

Whether you choose to go to a hospital or to give birth at home is totally in your hands.  If you have a normal pregnancy then there is nothing to prevent you from choosing to give birth at home.  Giving birth at home with a midwife allows you to be in control of your labor and how you choose to manage the pain.  Your child can be brought into this world safely and surrounded by people who love them.

Childbirth With or Without Medication

As pregnant women get closer to their due date their doctor will give them the option of whether or not they want medication during labor and delivery or not.  Sometimes it isn’t a question of preference but medical necessity.  While having a baby is a natural procedure that women have been doing for thousands of years, sometimes medication is necessary to save your life.  An epidural can also make the pain of childbirth much more bearable for the mother.  The question of childbirth with or without medication is completely in your hands.

The Debate of Natural versus Medicated

For thousands of years mother’s didn’t have a choice on whether they could use medication to manage the pain, natural child birth was the only choice.  Today the debate rages as to whether you should take pain relief or not, some mothers believe that not being medicated allows them the chance to feel closer to their child during the process.  There are studies that have concluded that medication can interfere with the natural process of labor and even makes it go on longer.  Natural childbirth allows the mother to move around during labor and find positions that are more comfortable and help with the birthing process.  Here are some possible complications of having an epidural.

Potential Side Effects of an Epidural

Mothers who have had children both with and without an epidural have indicated that without the epidural they recovered quicker and felt less nauseated after giving birth.  Some mothers have experienced prolonged pain after birth as the medication continued to wear off slowly.  While epidurals are fantastic at managing and even completely blocking the pain of labor, they are not without risks either.

Changing Your Mind

You can change your mind about whether or not you want to use medication up to a certain point.  If your labor is too far along it may be too late to opt for an epidural.  Once you start feeling the initial contractions it is the best time to decide whether you want an epidural or not.  Check with your doctor throughout your pregnancy and make sure that there are no pre-existing health conditions that may keep you from having the type of delivery you want.  Some women who have heart conditions the strain of labor puts them at a much greater risk of complications during delivery.  Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about what you want and what you can expect during delivery.  Your doctor will work with you to help make the birth of your child the joyous occasion it should be.