Hospital vs Home

The advantages and disadvantages of both hospital and home births.

Where Shall I Give Birth?

Consider all options and factors in deciding where to have your baby. Your decision may be influenced by whether or not you have medical cover and the costs involved. Often your health professional will advise a hospital birth for your first baby because equipment and expertise are readily available in case of complications. Home birth and birthing centres are usually advised for low-risk pregnancies.

Hospital Birth Advantages

  • a clean environment if your home is not suitable
  • if you need help or advice, you have access to 24 hour support
  • full medical back-up is available should complications occur
  • you are able to mix with other mothers and newborns
  • you are free of the housework

Hospital Birth Disasdvantages

  • there may be a lack of privacy
  • medical intervention is more likely
  • you may be exposed to more noise and activity
  • you may arrive at a busy time and not receive the prompt attention you had hoped for
  • hospital is an unfamiliar environment
  • your carers or midwife may change throughout your labour as shifts end

Home Birth Advantages

  • a more private and intimate birth is possible
  • freedom from hospital routines and intervention
  • no need to travel
  • you may arrange your birthing environment in advance
  • your partner and family have a more active involvement in the birth
  • familiarity and comfort of your own home environment

Home Birth Disadvantages

  • should complications develop you may need to be transferred to a hospital
  • you may find your home a busy environment after the birth as eager neighbours, friends and family are able to easily access you
  • you may make a mess!

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