Homebirth is increasingly becoming a popular birthing option for families in the United States. Women are opting for homebirth for all kinds of reasons, including personalized, holistic care, and lower rates of intervention. Although the number of women who choose to give birth at home is still very low (less than 2%), homebirth has certainly attracted significant attention in the last few years. Despite the frenzy, it is still an often misunderstood option. Though, the real story about homebirth is quite different from the cliches.
Following lesser-known facts about giving birth at home highlight the model, process, and experience you may come across.
Midwives carry medical supplies:
There are many misconceptions about the quality of care you receive at a homebirth. While it's certainly a distinct model than in other healthcare settings, there are provisions in case of an emergency. Certified professional midwives come with tools, training, and expertise.
According to the current president of the Midwives Alliance of North America, Marinah Farrell, the quality and standard of care for midwives for emergency situation comprises of pharmaceuticals, such as Pitcoin, or Synthetic Oxytocin for use in case of hemorrhage. And oxygen, IVs, and other necessary equipment to monitor and record vitals on both mother and baby. Midwives are trained to carry instruments and have the ability to suture and operate medications to the newborn baby. Essentially, midwives are skilled in the use of standard birth supplies.
Your insurance covers everything:
Despite the fact that a homebirth is cost-effective overall than a hospital birth, many families pay out-of-pocket for the costs of midwives.
Rules and regulations linked to homebirth and midwifery coverage are very much complicated. They vary a lot based on which state you reside, as well as how and where you have got your insurance coverage. However, it doesn't mean that you will need to pay upfront, if you are planning to give birth at your residence. In some states where professional midwives are licensed, insurance companies bear all costs of homebirth. However, you may drain a lot of time and energy on paperwork, but having the birth you desire will be worth in the long run.
It's not that cluttered:
The ick factor is definitely a source of hesitation for families who want to have a homebirth. You may imagine your partner fainting at the sight of bloody sheets. Or be panicked you'll lose oodles of amniotic sac on your couch. Certainly, giving birth in your home will involve some cleanup- but the good thing is that you won't be included in any of it!
According to Farrell, when they arrive at someone's home, they 'set up.' They make their beds using plastic and have all the medical and comfort instruments in place, as well as sort all the supplies. She says, "when we leave, it looks nothing like that has happened here because we clean up and do laundry. We make sure the house is tidy again before leaving."
If you are being transferred to the hospital, it doesn't mean there's an emergency:
If a planned homebirth turns into a hospital birth, it's not always because of a sudden emergency. In the United Kingdom, it's believed that one in three planned homebirth requires a trip to the hospital either during or after the birth. In fact, prolonged labor at home without progress or the bag of waters broken for an increased period of time is a more common reason for homebirth transfers.
You don't have to undergo a waterbirth:
The modern image of a home birth has been often a woman squatting in an inflatable pool in the living room or bedroom, trying to push her baby out into the water. But not all homebirth are water births! It's good to have the option, but it's not needed. One of the big bonuses of homebirth is being wherever you feel comfortable - if that's your couch, bathtub, your bed or any other location in your house.
Postpartum care is necessary:
The procedure of care you receive when giving birth at home is quite different from what you get in the larger medical system. Instead of a 48-hour stay in the hospital and the perfunctory six-week visit to give you the permission to have sex again, your care with a homebirth midwife expert will be detailed and frequent. You'll likely receive multiple personalized home visits to check up on you and your baby. Your midwife will generally come three to four times in the first week postpartum to provide you help with healing, nursing, and transition to motherhood. They also check on how is the new family is doing, and assess if everyone is healthy and safe.
Having such kind of involved and personalized postpartum care can certainly make a huge difference in transitioning a family to new parenthood.