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35 Reasons to Choose a Home Birth

35 Reasons to Choose a Home Birth

Derek Markham, Eco Child’s Play

Why do I think a home birth is so much better than a hospital birth?

Iíve experienced a planned hospital birth, a planned home birth that ended with an induced hospital birth (and a month-early preemie) because of pre-eclampsia, and two home births. I am a big proponent of giving birth at home because of these experiences. The hospital births did not end up being horrible, and the nurses and doctors were (mostly) good people, yet after the home birth, I canít imagine doing it any other way.

One major reason is that while a male OB/GYN may be technically proficient in his field, the fact that he hasnít given birth, and canít ever give birth, gives the midwife and doula a huge advantage in terms of actually relating to and understanding birth from a womanís perspective.

35 Reasons to Give Birth at Home (in no particular order):

1. Home birth is safer – Your house is a lot less likely to be a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and itís not full of sick people.
2. Your chances are getting a C-section are reduced with a home birth.
3. Itís cheaper – A midwifeís fee is much less costly than a hospital stay.
4. You donít have to go anywhere.
5. The food is way better at home. Organic food? Vegan? No problem.
6. You donít have to have strangers at your birth (unless you want to).
7. Your home is always more comfortable than any hospital room.
8. Everything you need is there.
9. You can be as green as you want. Hospitals arenít known for natural soaps, cleaners, or recycled-content anything.
10. You control the environment at home. If you want to dim all the lights or open a window, you just do it.
11. Birth is a sacred experience. What better setting could there be?
12. Itís so much quieter at home. There are no cabinets full of blinky lights, fans, and humming devices. Well, maybe some of you have thatÖ But probably not in your bedroom. And you can power them down if you want.
13. Home birth is just more fun!
14. Your older kids can be a part of the birth.
15. Your pets can attend. Seriously. Pets are family, too.
16. Giving birth at home is an exceptionally empowering experience. We can take back birth from The Man.
17. No silly hospital gown is necessary at home. Wear whatever you want, or wear nothing.
18. You donít need an ID bracelet for the mother or the baby when you birth at home.
19. You can choose the room for your birth, or change rooms in the middle. Not an option at the hospital.
20. Giving birth outside is an option with a home birth. Our first home birth was in our front yard, in a birthing tub, and our second in a tipi in our yard. Itís probably not an possibility for most city dwellers, but our second home birth was just on the other side of the fence from a public school (and recess ended just as active labor came onÖ)
21. No paperwork is necessary at your home birth.
22. You can cut the umbilical cord when you are good and ready. The speed at which they want to snip our newbornís lifeline is unbelievable.
23. No gadgetry on the mother: A home birth midwife doesnít require you to wear a monitor or get an IV started ďjust in caseĒ.
24. You donít have to sign out when you leave your house.
25. Your family doesnít have to negotiate a giant parking lot and endless hallways to visit you.
26. A heating pad does not cost $50 to use.
27. You can have as much sage, incense, candles, whatever, as you like.
28. There is no pressure to circumcise, vaccinate, or apply for a Social Security number for your baby right after a home birth.
29. You donít end up with a ďgift bagĒ (marketing samples) from big corporate America, full of disposable diapers, formula, baby wipes, shampoo, soaps, and brand propaganda.
30. Your babyís placenta does not become a biohazard. We left our placenta at the hospital, but we planned to bury it, so I drove back, all bleary-eyed, and asked for it. They werenít going to give it to me, even though we had our name on it in the fridge (just like lunchÖ) We had to call the OB and have her sign off on the release, and then I had to sign about four different forms, and then they finally gave it to me in a bag with ďBiohazardĒ all over it. Sheesh.
31. The dad has a bed at home. Sleeping on a foldout cot next to the hospital bed sucks.
32. Nobody comes in, wakes you up, and checks your vitals every half hour at home.
33. You can stream the live video of the birth to all your friends (Pay-per-view home births?) OK, Iím kidding.
34. Having a home birth is different. Different is cool.
35. The hospital is open 24 hours, so if you need it, it will be there.

I know that it isnít for everyone, but if you feel at all drawn to home birth, I say, ďGo for it – itís not as mysterious as it sounds.Ē Itís the way women have always given birth. Only recently has birth become the domain of the doctor and hospital, the insurance company and the pharmacy.

Iíve listed 35 of the reasons that we choose home birth, but Iíd love to be able to change the title to read ď75 ReasonsÖĒ or ď100 ReasonsÖĒ, so help me out here by leaving a comment.

Green Options Media is a network of environmentally-focused blogs providing users with the information needed to make sustainable choices. Written by experienced professionals, Green Options Mediaís blogs engage visitors with authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice. We invite anyone with questions, or simply curiosity, to add their voices to the community, and share their approaches to achieving abundance.

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76 comments

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2:42AM PDT on Sep 12, 2014

No drugs lingering in the baby's system for 3 to 6 weeks!!!!

5:20PM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

i can believe this... have any of you thought what if something goes wrong?!? what if mere seconds decides on whether the love of ur life lives or dies... i dont understand why cant the hospital change their ways on how a mother sits, stands, lies during delivery. the hospital could make it more homely but with a saftey net of doctors just in case. i live in switzerland and we have birthing suits here (paid by health insure which is mandatory by law) although my delivery was hard and long enough, i was able go as natural as i wanted. they have candels, bathtub, alternative meds, birthing stools, balls and even a steroe playing ur musik if u want! this whole - sure have a baby at on home, its cool... WTF it honestly scares me.

5:20PM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

i can believe this... have any of you thought what if something goes wrong?!? what if mere seconds decides on whether the love of ur life lives or dies... i dont understand why cant the hospital change their ways on how a mother sits, stands, lies during delivery. the hospital could make it more homely but with a saftey net of doctors just in case. i live in switzerland and we have birthing suits here (paid by health insure which is mandatory by law) although my delivery was hard and long enough, i was able go as natural as i wanted. they have candels, bathtub, alternative meds, birthing stools, balls and even a steroe playing ur musik if u want! this whole - sure have a baby at on home, its cool... WTF it honestly scares me.

5:18PM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

i can believe this... have any of you thought what if something goes wrong?!? what if mere seconds decides on whether the love of ur life lives or dies... i dont understand why cant the hospital change their ways on how a mother sits, stands, lies during delivery. the hospital could make it more homely but with a saftey net of doctors just in case. i live in switzerland and we have birthing suits here (paid by health insure which is mandatory by law) although my delivery was hard and long enough, i was able go as natural as i wanted. they have candels, bathtub, alternative meds, birthing stools, balls and even a steroe playing ur musik if u want! this whole - sure have a baby at on home, its cool... WTF it honestly scares me.

3:35AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Some people feel more comfortable giving birth in the hospitals and some feel comfortable giving birth at home. Either way you choose, you should have a back up plan. If you planned a hospital birth, you should still be prepared for emergency situation if your baby comes out while you're still at home, in a car, or at a public place. If you decide on a home birth, also have a back up plan. Everyone should respect other people's choices.

12:43AM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

I would have preferred a home birth. Just the drive to the hospital was traumatic enough. It would have been wonderful to stay home and relax....

6:09PM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

I had 5 children.The 1st was born in a hospital,way back in the dark ages.{ 32 years ago }I was shaved,given an enema,an Iv was put in just in case,and I was forced to be flat on my back during 8 hours of back labor.If I tried to move,the monitor around my stomach was disturbed,and I was chastised.The next 4 kids were born at home.One was even born while I sat on the toilet.I found the toilet to be the most comfortable experience.The placentas were buried in the yard under a newly planted tree for each baby.

12:43PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

One more reason: you can choose any position you like while giving birth. In hospitals you have to lie on you back and give birth against the gravitation force (which is unbelievably difficult!) therefore womwn have more pain and pressure on their bones including spine.

8:07AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

After 2 planned home births and one actually done, I can add even more reasons to that list. Hospital birth is just so terrifying and horrible by comparison. Better midwives at home, better support, one on one care, you don't have to worry about that whole "am I in labor?" issue - it just keeps going on. It's every woman's and baby's right to be able to have that choice.

4:17AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Great article and some good common sense in there.
I agree that home birth is best unless there are grounds for worry regarding the health of either mother or baby.
It's a lot less stressful for all and eases up on overworked hospital staff.
What better than the comforts of home surrounded by loving family to help the mother recover and give the baby a happy start to life.
Thanks for the article, Derek, I vote yes (I'm a home birth myself).

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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