Natural Birth at Home — Who Can and Who Can’t Have It
When I told people that I had a natural birth at home with all my children (three, so far), they thought that I was brave to do that.
Yes, the thought of giving birth at home can make most women giddy.
“I would never do that with my first pregnancy,” somebody told me after I told her that I gave birth to my first child at home.
“… because I don’t know whether my body can stand the test of childbirth without complication,” she continued.
Over the time, I’ve heard many people said similar things. Many women feel that they won’t be able to have a natural birth at home because of many reason, from ‘untried’ pelvic (aka a first time mother) to ‘too small pelvic for the size of the baby’ (aka the baby is too big to get through the pelvic). In fact, I can have a long list if I want to make a list of reason why women feel that they are not good candidates for a home birth.
It looks like that most women think that home birth is so unsafe that it should be reserved only for the brave and the fit, and that most women won’t be able to go through a childbirth without being in hospital.
But, nothing is further than the truth.
In fact, every women who are categorized as low risk and healthy can have a natural birth at home safely as long as she does whatever she can to ensure that she is prepared properly for the natural birth. Secondly, if you read my article on the truth about hospital childbirth, you may realize that the complication which happens during labor and birth at the hospital is often iatrogenic, which means that the complication happens as the result of endless interventions and routines administered at the hospital.
Therefore, to answer the question: who can have natural birth at home, I must say that: most healthy women with low-risk pregnancy can have a homebirth as long as she prepares for it to ensure the home birth safety and she’s comfortable with it.
Having said that, I also realize that a minority of women may not be suitable for natural birth at home because their pregnancies are high risk, which means that the possibility for complication (for either the mom or the baby) is high.
Here are the reason on why a woman may or may not be suitable for a homebirth.:
1. a smoker, unless she quits during pregnancy.
2. an alcoholic,
3. an underweight or overweight person.
4. woman who previously carried a baby pre-term.
5. woman with rhesus negative blood type.
Having all these condition do not exclude the possibility of having a natural birth at home. But, understand that these condition does increase the risk of having a baby at home. Please contact your caregiver to determine whether you can proceed at having a homebirth.
In contrast, the below condition is more dire, especially if it is present at the end of the pregnancy:
1. woman with a high blood pressure.
2. woman with gestational diabetes or cardiovascular problem.
3. woman who is carrying a child which needs to be in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as soon as possible after the birth.
In addition, these following women are sometimes also categorized as high risk and hence in some states, it is not legal to have a homebirth with these women:
1. woman carrying a breech baby
2. woman carrying more than one baby