The birthing process has come to a full circle. In earlier times when women did not have a lot of access to medical facilities, deliveries were routinely performed at home; then came a time that hospital deliveries were the norm, and now in western societies there is an increasing trend to birth babies in the familiar comfort of one’s own home, with a minimum of medical intervention and supervision. The pros of a home birth are many:
A familiar and comforting environment: Hospital environment can be stressful, noisy and less relaxing when compared to one’s own home. When one is at home, not only is the setting more comforting for the mother, she feels more in control of a situation that is her home turf so to speak.
There are no hospital rules and regulations to be followed. She is able to move about and assume the sort of positions that she finds comfortable rather than follow the guidelines of the hospital.
The birthing process is more able to be determined by the mother herself. The mother is free to eat and drink what she requires which is not the case in a hospital where her movements are more circumscribed.
Greater Privacy: She has the added benefit of the privacy of her own home, and she is not subject to the checking and scrutiny of a number of medical professionals who traipse in and out of a typical hospital birthing environment.
In a home birth, the mother is familiar with the individuals that are helping her, such as the midwife, the doula etc, and she already has a level of trust and familiarity with those professionals which can be very comforting.
Less chance of a medical intervention: There are higher chances of a medical intervention resulting in a hospital, and the mother is less likely to undergo a Cesarean section when she opts for birth at home.
Also in a home birth setting, the rates of infection are seen to be the lowest of all; whereas in a hospital setting, there is a higher chance of getting an infection.
Birth plan and Pain relief of choice: When undergoing a home birth, a woman may choose to have a water birth or a silent birth, or decide to have a combination of one or more birthing processes, as she may wish.
She and her midwife may decide what kind of pain relief is suitable for the mother, without any artificial aids.