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What Are the Pros and Cons of Childbirth at Home?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many women choose childbirth at home as the best option for themselves and their babies. The reasons for this vary among women, and they include a desire for a more intimate birth experience and the desire for certain customs or procedures to be followed. As with any type of childbirth, there are pros and cons to childbirth at home. Freedom over the experience, potentially lower fees and increased comfort are a few of the reasons that women might prefer to give birth at home. The possibility that an insurance company will not cover home birth fees, the risk of unexpected complications and the lack of postpartum support are some of the reasons why a home birth might not be best for everyone.

One of the top reasons why women choose childbirth at home is because of the freedom they experience before, during and after childbirth. When childbirth is done at home, the mother can choose to give birth wherever she would like in the home. In addition, if she does not wish to use any medications, invasive monitors or certain medical practices, she does not have to. After the baby has been delivered, the mother has the opportunity to have the child with her constantly, unlike in many hospitals.

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Many midwives and others who perform childbirth at home charge lower fees than hospitals do. Hospital fees, especially for childbirth, are much higher than what many people can afford, so this makes childbirth at home preferable for many people. When choosing to give birth at home, each individual should ensure that he or she knows exactly what those fees are.

Having an increased comfort level is another reason why many women choose to give birth at home. Not only can a woman give birth where she would like inside the home, she also can adjust the surroundings to what is most comfortable for her. She might choose to have music playing and candles lit, to use a birthing pool or to do any number of other things to ease the childbirth process.

There are cons to giving birth at home as well. Although the fees tend to be lower than those charged by a hospital, some insurance companies might not pay for a home birth. Checking with the insurance company ensures that the family members know all of the expenses, if any, for which they might be held responsible.

Many times, unexpected complications occur during childbirth. Although a midwife might be fully trained and have a great deal of experience in home births, sometimes certain conditions require a hospital and a more specialized hospital staff. If these complications occur during childbirth at home, time must be taken to transport the mother and her baby to the hospital. Timing is critical during childbirth complications, so this is another consideration for someone who is deciding whether to give birth at home.

Some mothers prefer the assistance of hospital staff members after giving birth. This might be for assistance with the baby, for help breastfeeding or for reducing pain after childbirth. Childbirth at home generally does not allow for this type of care, so arrangements should be made beforehand.

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