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HOME BIRTH

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For centuries giving birth at home was the normal thing to do, but by the 1900's women slowly began changing their birth setting by going to hospitals. As our understanding of anatomy, modern medicine, the mechanics' of childbirth, and technology have significantly increased, more and more women are exploring the idea of a home birth with trained midwives or nurse-midwives for low-risk, healthy pregnancies. As the desire for home birth grows, the number of studies and statistical data will continue to grow and give us a greater understanding of the risks and benefits. The information below will help increase your understanding as you move toward an informed decision.

Could home birth be for me?

Home birth might be an option for you if:

  • You are having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy
  • You want to avoid episiotomy, cesarean section, epidural and other interventions
  • You want to be surrounded by family and friends
  • You want to be free to move around, change positions, take a shower, and eat or drink freely during labor
  • You want to enjoy the comforts of home and familiar surroundings

Home birth is not for you if:

  • You are diabetic
  • You have chronic high blood pressure, or toxemia (also known as preeclampsia)
  • You have experienced preterm labor in the past, or may be at risk for preterm labor now
  • Your partner does not fully support your decision to give birth at home

Most midwives will bring the following with them the day of delivery:

  • Oxygen for the baby if needed
  • IV's for mom if she becomes dehydrated or needs additional nutrients
  • Sterile gloves, gauze pads, cotton hat for the baby, drop cloths, waterproof covers for the bed, a thermometer, a pan for sitz baths after birth
  • Fetoscopes or ultrasonic stethoscopes
  • Medications to slow or stop a hemorrhage
  • Special herbal preparations, homeopathic remedies, massage supplies/techniques and even acupuncture needles
  • Items for suturing tears

 

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