Home birth – the women centred approach
Birthing at home was once a very common practice.
In fact, prior to the 20th century, it was just what birth looked like! It was only after this time that hospital birthing was introduced and it slowly became the new normal. However, home birth is now once again becoming the method of choice for women worldwide. This is really no surprise when you come to learn of all of the benefits.
It’s interesting to know that home birth is backed by professionals for being as safe as a hospital birth. There are even statistics that put home birth in a category all of its own with much better birth outcomes than in a hospital. There are a variety of reasons for this but stress is a huge factor. Home birth reduces the stress of rushing to the hospital or the thought of hospital workers not wanting to adhere to your birthing plan. There is a big difference in the overall environment on stress levels with the absence of fluorescent lights, alarms, cables, and staff coming and going.
While it’s obvious that the rates of caesareans and episiotomy’s are lower in home births, it’s actually the case that they’re not really needed. Perineal lacerations and postpartum haemorrhage rates are also much lower in home birth settings; while this could be due to the fact that almost all women who home birth are of low-risk, it’s also important to consider the ‘less-stress’ factor we mentioned, and the fact that a comfortable, familiar environment surrounded by supportive family members or a trusted midwife/birth worker can make the whole process feel more natural and happen more easily.
A huge factor for women choosing home birth is also the woman-centered approach. Hospitals follow strict protocols, and as any mother or Mum-to-be knows, not every birth or body is the same. While some women leave the hospital feeling upset that they were pressured to divert from their birth plan or into pain relief, home birth can be conducted exactly how you want it to be. This makes for an overall better experience for the Mum and supports the very crucial initial bonding period with bub too.