Home birth

  1. Should babies be delivered at home ?
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  2. Poll: Should babies be delivered at home

    • no, too risky

      29.17% 21
    • yes

      12.50% 9
    • yes, but only with a cerified professional + adequate prenatal care

      54.17% 39
    • other

      4.17% 3
    72 Votes
  3. 35 Comments

  4. by   delirium
    I voted yes. I'm sure people will argue with me, and that's ok, seeing as I'm not an OB nurse and have never had kids, and am basically just spouting my personal opinion.

    I think an uncomplicated pregnancy can be delivered at home safely with a professional who has access to emergency drugs and a plan in case things go wrong. So conceptually, I agree.

    Working in an ER, though, I have seen numerous women come in after a home birth with serious issues: PPH, vaginal lacerations, retained placenta, etc. I'm not sure if that's because the person who was assisting them wasn't knowledgeable or prepared, or because they had difficult births, or what.

    If I ever have a baby, I'll be in a hospital, with a doc and a c-section suite nearby. The only thing delivered here will be pizza.

  5. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    I voted no, too risky. I had great prenatal care and an uncomplicated pregnancy, with my 3rd child, and he still was born with breathing difficulties. I feel there are just too many things that could go wrong, why take the chance?
  6. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I voted yes, with adequate PNC and certified personell...

    I have heard both sides to the story, but I figure that if a woman is prepared enough to tackle it at home, then go for it! Midwives prepare women physically and psychologically for birth.

    That said, knowing prenatal history is a must. Knowing a pelvis is adequate is a must. (as much as one CAN know anyway). And some sort of fetal monitoring needs to be done. Not continuous, but atleast every hour during early labor, and much more frequently during active labor. Maternal vital signs also need to be done.

    I would have to think long and hard before I would do it personally, because I have seen so many things go wrong. I would have to know that my midwife was EXCELLENT in his/her knowledge of the physiology of labor, and the signs of something going wrong. Also, Group B strep is an issue, and if a mother is positive, then absolutely thing she needs to birth in the hospital with IV ABX during labor. If there is any history of high blood pressure during pregnancy, or any other signs of PIH, then absolutely at the hospital. If any history of pregnancy/labor/delivery complications, then definitely at the hospital.

    I also think that if a woman does decide on a homebirth, that it is imperative that a hospital be very close.
  7. by   ERNurse752
    I think home birth can be a good thing, and I know moms are carefully screened etc, but I still voted no.

    Because, sh*t happens, and when it does, I think it's best to be in the hospital, with access to emergency intervention *right now.*

  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I voted yes. And, I would like to see a *NON-USA* response here, as well. HOMEBIRTH is the NORM in most of the world, other than the USA. In much of Europe, for example, the VAST MAJORITY gives birth home and hospital birth is the EXCEPTION, not the rule!

    Ok, here is where I am gonna make some people mad and I don't wish to start an ugly debate but here goes. SOMETIMES, the risk in childbirth lies in simply TOO MUCH intervention of the parts of medical and nursing personnel. Oh yea, I am gonna get flamed bigtime for this, esp. being an OB nurse in the USA. I have my suit on. I believe this: If the pregnancy is healthy and low risk AND prenatal care is thorough and done by a COMPETENT MIDWIFE, it can be and IS safe. It's already being accomplished in many places but not very well-publicized or discussed.

    However, That said, YES---I readily acknowledge there is inherent risk in home birth. I also say, there is inherent risk in hospital birth, too. The risks are different in many ways. I would want to know my midwife had ample and readily-available MD and hospital backup for any situation. That is HARD to come by, however. Since the days of the squeezing out of the Granny Midwives in the USA, the medical community has had a TIGHT strong-hold on the birthing business, convincing many of us that it is a MEDICAL condition and event, to be controlled tightly, not a healthy condition to be allowed to take a natural course. This mindset we have sets us up for all sorts of scenarios that fail and essentially removes ours and the woman's trust in her body to do what it was designed to in a normal situation.

    I am not a total "radical", however. (grin).... There are situations where home-birth could or should NEVER be considered; we all know that. That is why I am an OB nurse; I love to attend birth and after 6 years, it still takes my breath away, the awe of it all. I feel priveleged to be there for the birthing family. But in healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies, I see no reason why not to birth at home--- if backup is there and the birth attendant(s) WELL trained and competent.

    In choosing homebirth, a family needs to understand the risks involved; e.g. informed choice applies here just as it would to interventions and birth in an hospital setting. I know the legally dangerous climate we are in and that is partly what I believe makes homebirth so risky as well.

    However, I still believe this: Millions of inhabitants of our planet can't be *all* wrong when it comes to saying "yes" to homebirth in healthy situations.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 31, '03
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Deb: You make alot of good points. I voted yes, with prenatal care and really really good midwife/doc. But I still have that little voice in my head which reminds of of the deliveries that are textbook normal and then all of a sudden change in the blink of an eye to dangerous. I wonder about how to transfer the mom to the hospital in that scenario. We usually only have minutes to try to save the baby.

    I would never do it myself and my first three were textbook normal . . .. my fourth was an emergency cesarean.

    However, I have good friends who have had their children at home with no problems whatsoever . . .. one was laboring with her 7th child, getting ready for a home water birth in their hot tub. She took a shower while her midwife and hubby were getting things ready and the baby delivered in the shower.

    Shandy - you are right . .. shyt happens.
  10. by   Sable's mom
    I voted other - it totally depends on where home is, how far from hospital, what support is available, etc. I had very easy deliveries and was offered home birth for my second, but could not do it - as others have said shyt happens and I couldn't live with myself if DS was injured by my refusal to put up with hospital.
    JMHO.
  11. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I guess is someone wanted to, they should be able to if all of the conditions of healthy pregnancy are met.

    However, I wouldn't do it. Not even considering maternal complications for a minute, when a baby goes bad, it happens fast. I'd just prefer to be in dashing vicinity of the NICU.

    Heather
  12. by   fergus51
    Hospitals were not made for childbirth. I believe women can make their own decisions and those who have uncomplicated pregnancies (and or previous uncomplicated deliveries) are reasonable in wanting to give birth at home. I never would, my appartment is way too small...
  13. by   anitame
    Very well said Deb, I couldn't agree more. Although I understand about the fear that "something will go wrong" the maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rates in the U.S. are certainly not better than in those European countries where homebirth is the norm. A woman with a normal healthy pregnancy receiving good prenatal care from a qualified midwife is prefectly capable of having a safe delivery at home.
  14. by   renerian
    I voted no as I had pregnancy complications for each birth. I would have died at home with my first and my second one.

    renerian
  15. by   Jolie
    I voted "yes". I know that's sounds a little inconsistent coming from me, the NICU control freak. I would NEVER do it myself, or participate in a home birth, or encourage anyone elso to, but I do believe that parents should have that choice. They must then be willing to live with the consequences of their choice. One of the very first babies I cared for as a new grad in the NICU was a severely brain damaged infant who suffered meconium aspiration at her home birth. The midwife was attending to the hemorrhaging mother, and there was no one available to care for the baby. She was never suctioned, and several minutes passed before the midwife began CPR. A second pair of skilled hands was all that would have been needed to prevent this tragedy. But I still support the parents right to choose their healthcare provider and setting.

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