Many women choose to give birth in the familiar, non-clinical environment of their home. While homebirths are less common than other methods, there is growing interest amongst women to give birth at home in a familiar environment.
It is likely your medical professional will advise a hospital birth first time around where equipment and expertise are available in case of complications. Home births are usually only advised for low-risk pregnancies. If you are considering a homebirth it may be wise to check to ensure your medical insurance will cover a homebirth.
Homebirths have the advantages of providing a more private and intimate birth where your partner and family can share in the event.
You are free from hospital rules and routines and have no need to travel. You are also able to prepare your birthing environment exactly as you wish in advance. Your doctor or midwife should help you with the
necessary preparations and modifications.
Usually your midwife will bring a birthing kit and provide you with a list of what you’ll need.
You may be asked to provide a drop sheet and a large pot in which your midwife’s utensils can be sterilised.
It is advisable to organise postnatal help in advance to assist you until you have recovered and feel confident enough to cope.
The disadvantages of a homebirth include that should complications develop you may need to be transferred to a hospital. You may also find your home a busy environment after the birth as neighbours, friends and
family easily access you. Most women who have homebirths say the intimacy of being in in the home they have created provides a positive birthing experience.