Home birth vs hospital birth – what are the differences? When you first find out you’re pregnant, one of the first thoughts that probably enters your mind is to see an OBGYN. Why is this? Because it’s the norm? There is a lesser known another option with several names – Midwifery, natural Out-of-Hospital Birth, or using a Midwife for an At-Home-Birth, that may be more suited for the birth that you want. So, what is a midwife and what can she do? Midwives specialize in low-risk, normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. Midwives believe in birthing naturally either at your home or a birth center. By using a midwife, you have more of a hands on approach to your pregnancy and delivery and are not subjected to many procedures that you may not need during your pregnancy. When you use a midwife, you are much less likely to use pain medication and your risk of C-Section is statistically reduced. With midwifery care, you are less likely to have complications or have the need for medical interventions, such as Pitocin to speed your labor along. You are given the time to let your body go through the process of delivering a happy and healthy baby!
“Up to 85% of women who give birth in the hospital are low risk”(1), qualifying them to have a homebirth or birth center delivery. When you have a birth at home you have more control of your delivery. When you deliver at home or birth center you can walk around, get into different positions while pushing, EAT or even have a water birth! You can be in the comfort of your own home and dictate how and where you deliver. Depending on your hospital in the US, “60% of women giving birth are not allowed to eat or drink, 76% are restricted to bed, and 92% give birth lying on their backs. There is strong evidence that routine use of these practices, when carried out without medical indications, has few benefits and many potential harms for healthy mothers and babies. The US is behind 33 other first world countries when it comes to C-Section rates, poorer maternal outcomes and excessive costs.”(1) When you have a hospital birth, your chances of having complications are MUCH higher than when having a home birth. Why is this? “In the US, 47% have labor artificially accelerated with medications, and 43% of first-time moms have labor artificially induced.”(1) Many women think that their pregnancies should only go up to 40 weeks! This is false information; low risk pregnancies can go up to 42 weeks! 40 weeks is not an eviction date for baby to come out! Many mom’s will hear their physicians say that their baby is going to be too big so they need to be induced or they risk having a C-section. The interesting part about this is that an ultrasound doesn’t accurately weigh the baby when they get close to full term. Many physicians like the option to induce as they can have an idea when they baby will come. Did you know there are higher rates of delivery right before dinner time? When you are induced, you have a higher risk of having a C-section or a medical intervention and tend to have a longer labor. Induction is forcing the body into the process of labor when your body is not ready.
What’s even more scary is the “US cesarean rate has increased substantially over the past few decades from 21% in 1996 to 32% of all births now. Over half of the increase is among first time moms, and most of these C-sections are done for more subjective reasons such as slow progress in labor and changes in the baby’s heart rate that are sometimes difficult to interpret on continuous electronic fetal monitoring.”(1) ” These skyrocketing rates of C-Section in the US are not producing better outcomes for the babies either. The maternal mortality rate in the US with C-section is 14-100,000 which is much higher than other first world countries such as Canada, Germany, or the United Kingdom.”(2) If you have not heard of the documentary The Business of Being Born I suggest you jump on Netflix and watch it now. It discusses in more detail the difference between midwifery care and hospital births. After doing my own research, watching the document The Business of Being Born, and reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, I opted to use a midwife and birth at SCV Birth Center. I hope to share my birth story with you soon and hope that you have learned a little bit more about Home Birth Vs. Hospital Birth.