Home Births are Uncommon But on the Rise
Summary: Though still relatively uncommon, there has been a rise in the number of home births among non-Hispanic white women. The only other ethnic group that showed a slight increase was Asian and Pacific Islanders.
Birthing is a very personal and private event, and the mother and family have every right to decide how they want to give birth: C-section, epidural, natural birth, etc. I have no qualms with any of these.
However I do take issue with home births.
I see the benefits–you’re in a familiar environment and your baby comes into the world in a place of love and happiness, not a place that is oddly colored and welcomes both births, deaths, and the inputting of colostomy bags. I have heard some people argue that home births are more the way things should be, as in, “that’s how they used to do it back in the day.” Others have argued (as the article says) that they prefer home births because they do not feel the pressure to have a C-section or have any other form of intervention into their process.
This is true–the number of unplanned, not necessary C-sections is not insignificant, and that has been attributed, by some, to doctors pressuring their patients into getting C-sections after very long births (40 hours…ugh).
While I’m pretty sure that whenever I have a baby (in the far distant future when robots have defeated us humans) I’d want to have a natural birth–I am 100% sure I want it to be in a hospital for one main reason:
Emergencies. While a lot of births are uncomplicated, you never know what might happen and if you’ll need a crash C-section to save you or your baby, or need a neonatal ICU (intensive care unit). Sometimes you can tell before you give birth if its going to be complicated, but you have invested time, effort, energy, and most importantly love into this child, and why take the risk? If something happens, you don’t want to be driving to the hospital and being checked in, you want to already be in the hospital with an individual that has the training to deal with complications.
The article also says one of the reasons that home births are on the rise among non-Hispanic white women is than they don’t the pressure of unnecessary C-sections or other interventions. In regards to that, I have the following thoughts:
1. Many members of this category have an OB/GYN that they are visiting during their pregnancy that will be their birthing doctor. Make it clear to her that you do not want a C-section unless there is a major emergency (child or mother’s life in danger). Though you will have to sign a C-section waiver form ahead of time, if you have made it clear to your OB/GYN verbally several times, then unnecessary C-sections are probably less likely
2. In order to ensure that you do not get unnecessary drugs or a C-section, it is important to study and learn about what is supposed to happen during a birth. What drugs are you supposed to have? What drugs are optional? What procedures are optional and necessary? Basically–be an active patient.
3. Last, but definitely the most important, have an advocate. All patients, whenever they’re in the hospital, should have an advocate there for them to let doctors, nurses, and every other health professional on the floor know that someone is there for them. Whether its the father, your mother, your father, your partner, your best friend, or whoever, make a advocate out of someone. Talk to them, tell them what you want out of your child-birth experience. That way during the birthing process there is someone in the room, besides yourself, that can stand up an say what you want.
All three of the above are not possible for everyone, however I do think they’re possible for many.
Again, birthing is a very personal and private process, but these are my reasons for wanting to have a hospital birth. I think it can still be a wonderful, natural experience in the hospital, I’ll just have to be pushy about what I want and what I expect.
I don’t know–maybe I’m naive?