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.
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