Homebirth: Is it a Good Option to Opt For?


Homebirth: Is it a Good Option to Opt For?

Over the past few years, especially post-COVID, there has been an increasing trend of home birth. Giving birth at home has been a long-standing tradition that for generations stood as the sole method of delivering babies. Today, more and more couples are opting for natural home birth, as they wish to steer clear of the clinical and technology-driven ambience of a hospital, as well as medical interventions. If you are planning to start a family soon or are wondering if delivery of baby in home is a good option, read on.

What is a Home Birth?

A planned home birth is one where the would-be-parents choose to give birth at home rather than in a hospital. However, you need to keep in mind that during labour and delivery, the guidance of an experienced and qualified individual remains essential.

Home Birth in India

Because of the lack of awareness, poor medical facilities and infrastructure, a number of women, especially in the rural parts of the country, are forced to deliver at home. Under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) program, the Indian government gives a financial reward to pregnant women who give birth at the government or private hospital. It is important to promote institutional deliveries, especially in the case of women who are not well-educated, are financially weak, or are socially bound to deliver at home.

On the other hand, the prevalence of home birth in urban areas is because of a personalised and holistic approach to care that natural home birth can provide. Home births occur in a familiar and comfortable environment, reducing the stress for the mother-to-be, which can be appealing for couples seeking a more relaxed birthing experience.

>> Also Read: How Safe It Is to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

Things to Keep in Mind When Going for Home Birth

While the idea of delivering a baby in the comfort of one's home can be appealing, it is essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this birthing option. Keeping a few things in mind while planning can ensure a safe delivery such as:

1. Choose the Right Team 

Probably the most important thing to consider when planning the delivery of a baby in home, is the selection of the team of healthcare providers who will be with you. You should try to make sure the people you are choosing are not only qualified but also have experience in handling emergencies.

2. It is not for Everyone

While it may sound intriguing, keep in mind that delivery of baby in home might not be an option for all mothers-to-be. Depending on your individual medical history and present condition, your doctor may or may not recommend it for you. Your proximity to a hospital/ healthcare centre should also be an important factor to consider.

3. Be Flexible in Your Plans

While it is good to have a birth plan and want the delivery to happen in a certain way, it is highly recommended that you are flexible in your plan. Every pregnancy is different, and your medical condition can change anytime. Do not get too rigid, and do what is best for you and your baby in the long run.

4. Know more about Home Birth

 Gather knowledge as much as you can about natural baby birth at home before you make up your mind. However, do not rely solely on friends and family. Rather, speak to healthcare professionals who are experienced in this field. You may speak to parents who have experienced a safe home birth.

5. Start Preparing

Because you will be delivering at home, you need to have sufficient reserves at home. Check with the midwife/ doctor and ensure that you have enough of everything. From medical supplies to things for the mother and the baby, make a checklist in advance.

Also, prepare yourself and your home for the natural home birth. Deliveries can be messy, and you would have to keep clean towels and sheets handy along with the other essentials.

6. It has to be a Well-thought-of Decision

Safety, emergency preparedness, and access to medical facilities in case of complications are crucial factors to consider when opting for home birth in urban cities or elsewhere.

7. Keep a Plan B Ready

In the event of an emergency during labour or delivery, you may be shifted to a hospital. Therefore, make sure you have a well-thought-out Plan B. Keep a bag ready that has the essential supplies along with your medical papers handy.  Also, consider investing in a comprehensive maternity health insurance plan beforehand to cover incurred medical expenses in the time of need.

8. Plan Your Insurance

You need to know that, in most cases, home births are not covered under most health insurance plans. It is highly recommended that you discuss the same with your health insurance provider, as you may have to bear the costs of the home birth on your own.

Is Homebirth a Good Option for Me?

When carried out under the guidance of well-qualified doctors/ healthcare providers, in a low-risk pregnancy setting, and with careful planning, home births can be an option. It provides the comfort of a familiar environment, personalised care, and reduced medical interventions.

However, it's crucial to recognise that natural baby birth at home may not be suitable for everyone. Hence, careful consideration and consultation with your doctor is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Each birthing experience is unique, and the choice of home birth should align with the woman’s medical history, preferences, and the guidance of a qualified birth team.

The decision of whether natural baby birth at home is a suitable option for you is a deeply personal one that depends on various factors. It is highly recommended that you discuss all your concerns with your doctor and choose home birth only if you get a green signal from the medical expert.

Can I Change My Mind about Natural Baby Birth at Home?

Yes, certainly. As you near the D-day, you may start to feel anxious about the birth. If you start to feel that a hospital is going to be a safer option, do not hold yourself back only because you wished for a natural baby birth before. Keep in mind that before or even during labour, you can go to the hospital. Your midwife will keep a close check on your condition, and in case any problem is suspected, she will recommend you move to a hospital.

Now, It’s Your Call!

While hospitals and certified healthcare centres are considered to be the safest environments for childbirth, it is you and your partner who need to decide where and how you wish your baby to be born. As soon-to-be parents, you need to make an educated choice regarding your preferred birthing location. Bear in mind the life-threatening complications that can arise during labour and delivery.

If you're very keen on a home birth, begin by delving into the ins and outs of this birthing option.

Once your doctor gives you an all-clear to proceed, you need to diligently strategise and equip yourself with everything necessary to ensure a safe, natural home birth for your baby.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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