It’s flared up all over the news this past week that home births are probably the safer option if the pregnancy and mother has been healthy and without complications. I’ve long maintained this school of thought. In the 1950s we saw a decline of home births because the NHS was brand spanking new, and how exciting to give birth around professionals, have visitors and a room in which to put your baby while you slept! However, indulging in unnecessary medical intervention I believe to be silly and wasteful. Only 2% of babies born in the UK are born at home, leaving a whopping 98% in hospital, and even then only 30% are complicated (c-sections, forceps etc) leaving 68% babies that could be born at home.
I chose to give birth at home with all of mine, and I intend to for this baby (due end of summer 2014) mainly because I don’t like being fussed. I don’t want monitoring every five minutes, I don’t want my blood pressure taking and I don’t want to be surrounded by strangers where they regularly swab for MRSA. At home I can just get on with my life, and I’m fortunate enough to have super fast labours and deliveries so as soon as I get a twinge I hop in the bath and my husband rings the midwife who turns up and delivers the child; we all have a cup of tea, pat ourselves on the back and she goes home and I return to the sofa with my bundle of joy.
I find a home birth is more intimate. There isn’t any change over staff, there isn’t anyone coming and going, buzzers demanding the attention of over worked and underpaid midwives, just me, my community midwife (whom I’ve seen for the previous 9 months and have a relationship with) and my labour. It sounds idyllic, and I know it doesn’t always go to plan, my first didn’t. Elijah was born in the back of an ambulance on the side of the road after he was born a bit quick! Isaiah was born at home within 40 minutes. Hopefully this one will be as easy! Some people like the security of a hospital birth, I understand that; I also understand that hospitals can’t always save babies regardless of the building they’re in. My local hospital is becoming solely midwife lead as of August 1st and the next nearest hospital with consultants is 45 minutes away, so to be truthful, I probably wouldn’t get there on time!
In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re happy and confident it’ll result in a progressive labour; although not having the option to have an epidural really does make you work for that child!