Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the most glorious and intense experiences a woman can have. After you ensure you are taking care of yourself and doing all the right things to help your baby thrive and grow inside your belly, you will also come to realize that the baby must one day need to come out. This is a not so subtle cue that you should research the various ways this can come about. The good news is that there are different choices that a woman can make relating to the birth of her child, provided she and her baby are in good health and considered to be at a low level of risk. Besides hospitals, some families are electing to birth at natural birthing centers or at home.
For the majority of women in this country, a medical doctor (usually an OB/GYN) and a hospital room will be their baby’s first sights. For a growing number of others (a 59% increase between 2004-2012, according to the CDC), a home birth will be their choice instead. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists acknowledges that the “absolute risk” of home birth is low and that, while they promote hospital and birth center birth for obvious reasons, they respect a woman’s right to choose their birth setting. Their criteria for women who wish to birth at home demands “the availability of a certified nurse–midwife, certified midwife, or physician practicing within an integrated and regulated health system; ready access to consultation; and assurance of safe and timely transport to nearby hospitals are critical to reducing perinatal mortality rates and achieving favorable home birth outcomes.” Childbirth at home should include competent prenatal care and precautions in case of emergency. Before you run off to procure a midwife, here are 15 clues that home birth is the best way for you to get that baby out:
- Homebirth is the oldest method for giving birth.
Simply said, birth was not a medicalized process until very recently—roughly the 1950s in the United States. The vast majority of women outside of the United States, Western Europe and a few other pockets of the industrialized world continue to birth at home even today. If you believe in the classic way of doing things, homebirth is as classic as it gets.
Read Related: My Baby Is Not A Medical Event: Why I Chose A Hombirth