Home Births

  1. I'd like to hear some opinions on home birth. If the woman is healthy, has had great prenatal care, and has previously delivered healthy babies with no difficulties, would you say that this still is an absolute no-no? Attitudes about childbirth seem to change on a regular basis, but it seems to me that more and more lately one rarely even hears of a natural birth.
    So, any comments?
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    Not as common as several years ago. Six of my eight children were born at home (oldest is 20, youngest is 6). It's not for everyone, but I'm glad I had the choice.
  4. by   renerian
    I am one of the women who would have died in childbirth/had problems with both kids. One time we knew ahead of time there were problems, the other time we did not.

    I was thanking the Lord for the nurses who took care of me doing natural childbirth the long and hard way.

    There were some old threads of this nature as I know this topic came up several times before.

    renerian
  5. by   BETSRN
    Quote from FutureNrse
    I'd like to hear some opinions on home birth. If the woman is healthy, has had great prenatal care, and has previously delivered healthy babies with no difficulties, would you say that this still is an absolute no-no? Attitudes about childbirth seem to change on a regular basis, but it seems to me that more and more lately one rarely even hears of a natural birth.
    So, any comments?
    One CAN have a natural birth in a hospital (if you mean with no meds and no IV's). I know because I did it and I also work in a hospital where it is possible.

    I think homebirth is a wonderful option if you have a qualified home birth midwife and she has a good working relationship with a group of practicing OB's and CNM's (certified nurse midwives) and the woman is, of course, very low risk.That makes for a much better experience for the mother in the event that she has to be transferred to the hospital. I know from working with homebirth transfers that the hardest part for them is the realization that they had to come to the hospital in the first place.

    The sad thing is that some homebirth peolpe are so scared about the hospital because they ahve been totally scared by their midwife. So I think a lot of it has to do with many factors.
  6. by   parteiranagua
    I think homebirth is a wonderful option if you have a qualified home birth midwife and she has a good working relationship with a group of practicing OB's and CNM's (certified nurse midwives) and the woman is, of course, very low risk.That makes for a much better experience for the mother in the event that she has to be transferred to the hospital. I know from working with homebirth transfers that the hardest part for them is the realization that they had to come to the hospital in the first place.

    The sad thing is that some homebirth peolpe are so scared about the hospital because they ahve been totally scared by their midwife. So I think a lot of it has to do with many factors.[/QUOTE]

    Home birth, as it is viewed by many is a philosophy of life... generally people have already their mind set and choose a MW who will help... not the other around..

    A lot of communities such as amish, uterittes, evangelical christians do give birth at home b/c this is the only way they believe in. generally this population is low risk ,well fed and taking care weill of them selves. So complications are rare.. and they dont sue ...

    As of the rest of the people who choose homebirth, well they are very diverse..; post hippies, consumers who want to be proactive in their birth process and did not like hospital settings. CNM and CM are also very active in homebirth settings and childbirth centers.
    Ginny
    Doula and L&D nurse
  7. by   keeper
    I've had three of my five at home and currently in an apprenticeship as a lay midwife. I am certified in neonatal resuscitation and am learning all of the skills I'd need to know in the event of a complication. Skilled midwives can stabilize a woman for transport and can handle certain complications at home with great success. The statistics are very much in favor of homebirth in the low risk population.

    I also believe a woman has the intuition necessary to know where she should give birth. One of my friends was a die hard homebirther, but chose to have her third in the hospital because she just didn't feel right. She was where she needed to be when her baby needed immediate surgery. I pray fervently with each birth and am willing to birth in a hospital if that is what I feel needs to happen. I think that knowledge is available to all women.

    Sarah
  8. by   fergus51
    I think it's a good option with the right provider and the right patients. That's the real key. When done properly, homebirths can be excellent experiences for families.

    I do agree that people who terrify women about being transferred to the hospital are doing them a diservice. The last thing a woman needs as she's being transfered in because of an obstetrical emergency is to be made to feel like she "failed". Women need to be supported in their choices, and at the same time prepared for the fact that childbirth can be unpredictable.
  9. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    As for back-up plans, you want to know the attitudes at the hospital where you would possibly transfer. Some parents avoid certain doctors and hospitals for this reason and prefer others instead. If your baby needs unexpected emergency care, you don't want a doctor screaming at you that you're incompetent and unfit, etc. This happened to someone I knew.
  10. by   Jolie
    Although I would never attempt a home-birth myself, I feel that women should have the option, and hope that there will never come a time when liability issues force CNMs into strictly hospital-based practice.

    I am a long-time NICU nurse, and one of the very first patients I cared for was a brain-damaged full-term newborn who suffered respiratory arrest secondary to unanticipated meconium aspiration. The midwife was the sole care-provider at the delivery, and she couldn't handle the mother's hemorrhage and the baby's airway at the same time. Unfortunately, the baby suffered a preventable permanent disability. Not necessarily because of a home delivery, but because the midwife had no provisions for a second qualified care-giver to be present. The father had to call 911 and then do CPR on his newborn until the paramedics arrived. It is cases like this that give home births a largely undeserved bad rap.

    My second delivery was complicated by an occult prolapsed cord, requiring many extra pairs of hands to bring about the safe delivery of my daughter. I don't know if that could have been accomplished with a home birth. I agree with the others who have stated that it is possible to have a home-like birth in a birthing center, which would be my personal preference.
  11. by   BETSRN
    Quote from Jolie
    Although I would never attempt a home-birth myself, I feel that women should have the option, and hope that there will never come a time when liability issues force CNMs into strictly hospital-based practice.

    I am a long-time NICU nurse, and one of the very first patients I cared for was a brain-damaged full-term newborn who suffered respiratory arrest secondary to unanticipated meconium aspiration. The midwife was the sole care-provider at the delivery, and she couldn't handle the mother's hemorrhage and the baby's airway at the same time. Unfortunately, the baby suffered a preventable permanent disability. Not necessarily because of a home delivery, but because the midwife had no provisions for a second qualified care-giver to be present. The father had to call 911 and then do CPR on his newborn until the paramedics arrived. It is cases like this that give home births a largely undeserved bad rap.

    My second delivery was complicated by an occult prolapsed cord, requiring many extra pairs of hands to bring about the safe delivery of my daughter. I don't know if that could have been accomplished with a home birth. I agree with the others who have stated that it is possible to have a home-like birth in a birthing center, which would be my personal preference.
    I would go for the hospital birth (homelike is wonderful) any time just for the reasons that were stated above. Even with a perfectly normal labor and birth, you never know what can happen in the blink of an eye and it sure is nice to have your co-workers with you when these unanticipated events occur. I'd rather see someone go home a few hours after birth (when we know both mom and baby are stable) than to be in the home with a birth gone bad. It is not unusual to see terminal meconium espcially after a long arduous labor when one is most likely overdue. You can have cler fluid all throughout the labor only to hvae a huge gush of meconium right before delivery (of following the baby out).
    I don't think some people are aware of how fast things can go wrong. You have to be there and experience it before you can appreciate the potential.
  12. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    Quote from renerian
    I am one of the women who would have died in childbirth/had problems with both kids. One time we knew ahead of time there were problems, the other time we did not.

    I was thanking the Lord for the nurses who took care of me doing natural childbirth the long and hard way.

    There were some old threads of this nature as I know this topic came up several times before.

    renerian

    Same here....with both of my girls. The older one was delivered via "emergency forceps delivery". They told me that they didn't even have time to do a c-section.

    The second one, seconds after she was born, and the placenta was out, I started hemorraging. I had a piece of placenta that didn't deliver. I remember hearing "Get Dr....... in here STAT!" I had a shot to make the bleeding stop, some lady's arm up inside of me stopping the bleeding, and watching in the mirror.....looked like a coke bottle upside down emptying.

    Sorry to be so graphic, but I would have not been able to live long enough to make it to the hospital if this had happened at home.

    So, if I wasn't at the hospital either my baby, or myself (or both) could have died. I just don't see how anyone can take that chance.
    Last edit by Fun2, RN, BSN on Feb 8, '05
  13. by   lisamc1RN
    After having 3 hospital births, I decided to have my 4th at home. It was definitely the right decision for us. If I have another one, I will want another homebirth.
  14. by   naggytabby
    It's always worthwhile to remember that problems/emergencies in the hospital are sometimes precipitated by all the interventions that happen.

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