Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hospital Birth Vs. Home Birth

Emily, moments after being born
I'm very, very tired this morning so I was mindlessly surfing the internet. I came across an article about a home birth advocate who died of cardiac arrest after having a home birth. The article goes on to ask, even though home births are on the rise, are they really safe?

My feeling is that it is up to the parents, especially the mom, on how they want their birth experience to be. I've known moms who were able to have home births without any issues. But for me, a home birth wasn't an option.

I have a lot of health problems on a normal day, but on the day my daughter was born, I wanted to make extra sure that none of those issues turned into a life-threatening issue for me or Emily. I knew the moment I found out that I was pregnant I was going to have her in a hospital.

My decision was reinforced by the fact that Emily had a 2 vessel cord which can lead to problems. I was monitored throughout my pregnancy because of it. When it came to the end of my pregnancy, I was induced because issues with a 2 vessel cord can get worse if I had gone over.

I did end up with a c-section because Emily's head got stuck in my birth canal. It wasn't the ideal experience but it's not one that I'm unhappy with. I just was glad we were in the hospital where we could have a safe birth for both me and Emily.

A hospital birth was right for me but that doesn't mean a home birth isn't right for someone else. If you are old enough to be having a baby, you are old enough to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision about what you want.

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  1. My wife had both our girls in a birthing centre at a local hospital. She was tended by midwives (and me of course) and did not have a specific OB-Gyn though one was on call if needed.

    While rapid access to medical intervention if required was a bonus, our primary reason for choosing the birthing centre was the observation made by our midwife "You can clean the sheets and bed afterward or they can."

    Both births were uneventful and both times we were back home a couple of hours after delivery. The midwife made follow up visits the next day and 5 days after and was on call should anything arise.

    Really - it was the best of both worlds. An added benefit for me as a father was that the midwives treated me as a human being and part of the process. The one ultrasound tech we encountered said that they didn't like fathers in the room because they asked too many questions....

    Finally both my girls grew up to be geeks and Firefly fans. :)

  2. I really do agree that it is a parents decision, but I think it should be an informed decision. People need to be educated regarding the risks. And like you said, some health conditions require a hospital birth.

  3. After reading the article, I think the most sensible thing is this one line: "A good midwife will have strict criteria about who should have a home birth."

    What the parents' want, as long as a qualified midwife medically clears it, should be respected.

    Personally, I grew up knowing my mother couldn't even deliver tiny little me, let alone my brother, do to pelvis size. Thankfully, these days, I can look forward to a scheduled c-section rather than the 36-hours mom was in labor before an emergency c-section. Barbaric!