Authored by Donna Johnson in Pregnancy
Published on 09-13-2009
In recent years, many people have chosen to live a more natural lifestyle. This includes actions such as switching to organic foods, recycling, and using more biodegradable products. Another example that is growing in popularity is the choice to have a natural childbirth at home. If you are one of the women considering this method, there are some things you should consider first.
You should first know that natural childbirth at home does not have to mean you’re having the baby alone or with a significant other’s help. Natural childbirth simply means that you will give birth with as little medical intervention as possible. You will not be given medications or undergo procedures designed to bring on labor, commonly known as “inducing”. Pain medication is not administered during natural childbirth.
For insurance purposes, however, obstetricians are not likely to attend a home birth. You will need to find a midwife to attend and help with your birth. There are different classifications of midwives, which include nurse-midwives, state-licensed midwives, and lay midwives. Each classification has different restrictions on what the midwife is allowed to do. For example, only a nurse-midwife may prescribe medication or order certain pregnancy-related tests without a doctor’s approval. But a lay midwife may be more likely to attend a natural childbirth at home rather than in a birthing center or hospital. You should interview several midwives of varying classifications to find the perfect midwife for you.
When you choose to have a natural childbirth at home, you typically have much more control over the birth itself. Unlike hospital staff, most midwives will allow you to eat while in labor if you need to, and move around as much as you’d like. You may also choose to have a water birth or deliver your baby in a squatting position to allow gravity to help the process along. Most hospitals do not offer any alternate birthing positions or settings.
But having a natural childbirth at home also requires a contingency plan. Your midwife should monitor you closely for any signs that you or the baby are in trouble. If a complication does arise that your midwife cannot handle, you will need to go to the hospital right away. If you live relatively close to a hospital, this should not present a problem. But if you live far away from a hospital, natural childbirth at home may not be a good idea for you. If complications arise during birth, they can become rather serious very quickly. The time spent getting from your home to the hospital may cause the complications to worsen or have much more serious consequences than if such problems arose in a hospital. Situations calling for emergency C-sections, such as fetal distress, are good examples of times when every second counts.
If you research your birth options thoroughly, take the time to choose a midwife who is qualified and makes you comfortable, natural childbirth at home may be a good option for you and your family. If you go into the process with an open mind, and accept whatever happens even if it includes medical intervention or hospitalization, your birth experience may be much more rewarding and memorable.