By Jonathan Benson, contributing writer to Natural News
Where women choose to have their babies — either in the hospital or at home — is the subject of much controversy these days. Some say home births are safer and lead to fewer complications, while others insist that maintaining the status quo is the better route. But here are 10 compelling reasons why you may want to consider skipping the hospital and having your baby in the comfort of your own home:
1) Your house is more comfortable than a hospital room. It may not seem like the biggest priority, but the space in which you give birth can make all the difference in the success of your pregnancy. Would you rather be confined to a bed, subjected to processed hospital food and fluorescent lighting, or would you rather be able to relax in your own bed, on your own couch or in your own bathtub?
2) Home births go at your own pace. Not all women want to be told how to have their babies. Some have their own birth plans that doctors at the hospital may refuse to comply with, causing problems once birth day arrives. Think long and hard about how important your birth plan is to you, and consider which setting will better accommodate it.
3) Your midwife will be with you every step of the way. At the hospital, doctors might spend 10 minutes with you at appointed intervals. But at home with your own personal midwife, who will take time to get to know you, your needs and the needs of your baby, you will typically have 60 minutes or more per appointment to build a quality relationship, which is essential to a healthy birth and delivery.
4) Home births require less invasion of personal privacy. At the hospital, doctors will constantly and unnecessarily be checking your private parts, disrupting the labor process. At home, you can relax in peace without having your privacy constantly invaded.
5) Hospitals allow only one position for birthing. Some women prefer to have their babies on the floor or in the bathtub, neither of which is possible at the hospital. Consider your preferred mode of delivery before going the conventional route.
6) At home, you can eat as much as you want. First-time mothers, especially, often fail to recognize that hospital pregnancies restrict eating in order to avoid aspiration during a potential C-section. Home births do not carry this restriction, allowing women to eat what they need to in order to have energy for the birthing process.
7) Home births require less medical intervention. Study after study, including a large prospective study published in The BMJ, has confirmed that home births typically require less medical intervention. The risk of obstetric interventions like forceps, vacuum extraction and epidurals is greatly reduced by birthing at home rather than the hospital.
8) Home births are safer than hospital births. When a licensed midwife is involved, home births are typically just as safe as, and often safer than, hospital births. One study found that the risk of pre-term birth is cut in half by a home birth, and women who choose home births are almost always satisfied with the experience.
9) If you need a hospital, you can still go there. A common misconception is that choosing a home birth somehow eliminates access to the hospital. If for some reason you need emergency care, the hospital is still there for you.
10) Home births allow faster, improved recoveries. Home care is simply better than hospital care when it comes to recovery following pregnancy. Home-cooked meals, fewer or no pharmaceutical drugs, herbal baths and companions all around you make for an enhanced experience that can never be had at the hospital.