Home Birth Alternative
The safety of mother and baby are always the overriding concern when considering the option of delivering your baby at home. First and foremost every expectant parent wants to hear "you have a HEALTHY baby girl or boy" but delivering a healthy baby is not the only measure of a satisfying and successful childbirth experience. Childbirth is one of the most intense emotional, as well as physical experiences, for any couple. The sheer power and joy of birth can survive a negative experience but all too often something is lost if the experience was stressful and traumatic due to hospital procedures and medical staff.
Many new parents report more satisfaction and fulfillment from a home birth rather than a traditional hospital delivery. Home birth gives expectant parents important psychological advantages. Many parents decide they just don't want to give birth in a hospital or medical environment. Some expectant mothers want the peace and sense of control that a home birth can provide. A home birth allows you to deliver in the comfort of your own home, in your own bed, where you can avoid unwanted medical intervention. Experts and new parents alike feel that home birth provides tremendous opportunities for bonding, because your baby is not whisked away for standard hospital procedures or to spend the night in the nursery. Expectant parents have complete control over the environment and who attends the birth, including other children, relatives, and friends. For second time parents, the home birth experience has even more to offer. Seasoned expectant parents have more of an idea what to expect during labor and delivery and older children are spared the double whammy of a new baby and an absence of mom and dad. Research on home births shows that mothers, whose babies have been born at home, seem to find that the home birth makes it easier for their older children to accept the new baby. No parent can know how a toddler feels meeting a new brother or sister for the first time in hospital. For young children, especially, that first meeting can be one of excitement, frustration and angst all rolled into one because here is their mommy, in a strange bed, in a totally strange place, and the new baby has her all to itself.
There are disadvantages to be considered if you are thinking that a home birth may be for you. Of course, the most obvious drawback is that not everything a hospital offers will be available at your home. If complications develop or the delivery becomes an emergency situation, you may need the expertise of the hospital staff and certain equipment. For this reason, it is best to only consider labor and delivery at home if you will be 20 minutes or less from the nearest hospital. You must also have reliable transportation and you need to know the most direct route to the hospital.
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