For centuries, there has never been anything wrong with women choosing to give birth at home. In fact, it was only until the 1900's that women started giving birth in hospitals. However, there are those who are willing and ready to avoid the mechanics that come with delivering in hospitals and decide to have their babies at home. This does not really mean that they do not have the means to go to a hospital but it is more of a personal choice.
Preparations for a Home Birth
As the pregnancy progresses, you need to decide whether you will go for a home or hospital delivery. Women who choose the home option need to make adequate preparations for it. They need to start by choosing a trained health care provider and creating a birth plan. It is also crucial to prepare for a hospital transfer should it be necessary and also choose a paediatrician to check on the baby.
Why Consider Giving Birth at Home
Even though many hospitals are equipped with state of the art technology and equipment to aid in childbirth, some women choose to deliver at home for various reasons.
Studies have shown that for the final stages of pregnancy to go on without any interruption, the mother-to-be needs to be relaxed. The same studies go on to indicate that labour progresses well at home compared to hospitals. This is because she is more relaxed and can easily move around as she wishes without constantly being reminded that she has to be in bed by nurses. This level of relaxation is even aided by the fact that she has been working with the same midwife for a very long time and thus there is more of a personal bond than patient-care giver relationship.
Women are also under less pressure to labour within a given time frame in hospitals. Remember, this is a natural process and the hospital putting pressure on her to be done quickly does not really help. Asa result, there is also minimal need for intervention by administering labour inducing drugs or using forceps and ventouse for delivery at home. These interventions carry different risks even though many hospitals will readily suggest them for you.
Comfort is also another reason that pushes women to deliver from home. Here, she is surrounded by her loved ones and can wear whatever clothes that she wishes provided she feels comfortable in them. The familiar surroundings also give her a surety that everything will be fine. Above all, she can have anyone she wishes present.
There is also the continuous assessment by the caregiver of both the mother and baby that ensures both of them are in good health. This assessment during the birth and postpartum period helps the caregiverknow how best to take care of them. Given that it is also on a one-on-one basis, the will get the best care possible.
Lastly, the cost of delivering at home is way lower than in a hospital. Even if you involve a CNM, the charges will still be taken care of by the insurance.
Risks of Home Birth
While home birth has it benefits, it is not without risks. Both the mother and her family must assume a greater level of responsibility for their health. This demands active participation in decision making and all aspects of the care provided.
Another great risk that comes with home delivery is the fact that homes are not equipped to handle emergencies. Caesarean sections and forceps interventions cannot be availed at home and thus the mother must be rushed to the hospital should an emergency occur. However, this is also not common because caregivers monitor her all the time and will revert to hospital delivery should they sense something out of the norm.
Who Should Avoid Home Birth
Giving birth at home is not for everyone. Women suffering from conditions such as diabetes with chronic hypertension are advised to visit a hospital. Those who have had a C-section before and those with preeclampsia also need hospital delivery.
Home birth is nothing new and looking at the current trends, many women are going back to it. As long as the preparations are in place, then there should be nothing stopping you from it.
Dealing with Pregnancy Emotions
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can have a profound effect on your emotional well-being. Women are likely to experience a variety of emotional reactions throughout the postnatal period and during birth. Pregnancy tends to evoke negative and positive emotions, so it is wise to devise a variety of coping strategies to help you overcome any unexpected mood swings during pregnancy.
Pregnant females sometimes say their emotions are" running riot" but this should come as no surprise. Having a baby is a life-changing event and complex emotions are just one of the few drawbacks of being pregnant. Mums-to-be should rest and ensure they get plenty of sleep to help them cope with emotional changes. Joining an ante natal class will give you the opportunity to share experiences with other expectant mums. It is also reassuring to gather a support network and to mix with other soon-to-be Mums who are trying to cope with the emotional turmoil pregnancy can bring. Pregnancy is likely to generate a number of emotions including:
Planned pregnancies bring joy and happiness, although you may experience the usual discomforts such as tiredness and morning sickness. A surprise pregnancy may be welcomed or it could come as a shock to the system. Women who have a straightforward birth often form an instant bond with their new-born babe; however, labour complications can delay the mother-child bonding process. A few females develop a fear of giving birth and hormonal changes during pregnancy have the potential to make you feel angry, resentful, insecure and vulnerable. A high percentage of pregnant women will find their emotions are "all over the place" and some will even feel an overwhelming sense of sadness.
10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
Follow these ten simple steps to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy. Taking good care of yourself and your unborn baby will make you feel amazing.
- Eat small meals regularly. Six small well-balanced meals daily is sufficient to keep you and your unborn child well-nourished
- Avoid drinks containing artificial colouring and caffeine but drink plenty of fluid. Ideally, a pregnant woman should drink around ten glasses of water daily
- The midwife or obstetrician may suggest taking a daily prenatal vitamin. Take the vitamin pill if you are advised to
- Don't expose yourself or your unborn child to second-hand smoke. More importantly, don't smoke whilst pregnant
- Avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy
- Consult the obstetrician or midwife before taking any herbal remedy or over-the-counter medication
- Exercise during pregnancy. Short periods of exercise are good for your health and regular exercise lowers stress levels. Take a gentle fifteen minute walk daily or enrol in an exercise class for pregnant women
- Wear shoes that don't restrict your feet. Comfortable footwear should be worn when pregnant. Put your feet up on a foot stool whenever possible to prevent your ankles and legs from swelling
- Aim for eight hours sleep a night. If pregnancy is causing sleep disturbance take short daily naps whenever possible.
- Pregnant women must continue to wear a safety belt in a motor vehicle, however, the shoulder strap should be worn over the collar bone and the lap strap should be positioned under the baby bump. We hope you find these ten tips for a healthy pregnancy helpful.
Home Births-The Benefits and Risks
A percentage of pregnant women are happy to give birth in hospital but some mums-to-be love the idea of having their baby delivered at home. Recent research indicates that healthy women who enjoy a straightforward pregnancy and those who have experienced no previous obstetric complications could benefit from a home delivery. However, not all pregnancies are classed as "low risk". In general, women who are expecting their first child, those with a history of childbirth complications or expectant mothers with health problems will be advised to have their baby in hospital. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth at home:
The Pros of a Home Birth
- Research shows low-risk women can safely give birth in the comfort of their own home
- Loved-ones can be on-hand to offer support during labour and throughout the birthing process
- Pregnant women who choose to have their baby at home can drink, eat, move freely and even bathe as and when they wish
- There is no rush to attend the maternity unit as the care providers come when called
- The midwife is on hand at all times, providing expert one-to-one care
- The new born baby can begin to breast feed immediately, aiding the bonding process
- Family members will view childbirth as a natural process, rather than a medical condition or an illness
The Cons of Home Birthing
- Pregnant women who choose to have their baby at home are solely responsible for their physical, mental and spiritual health
- The majority of babies are born in a hospital, so women who require a caesarean or a forceps delivery are in the right place and can be dealt with immediately
- Pain-killers may not be as readily available at home births
We hope you find these tips useful. Learning to understand the benefits and possible risks of a home birth will help you to make an informed decision.
When you are pregnant, you are not just responsible for your healthy but also for that of the unborn baby. Therefore, you need to ensure that both of you are healthy. To achieve that, there are numerous things that you may need to do and others that you must shun, and this guide will highlight that.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
A number of women do not like taking these vitamins when they are pregnant. Even though popping tablets is not the best thing to do, prenatal vitamins are a necessity because they contain critical nutrients like folic acid, calcium and iron. These nutrients are responsible for the development of the different organs in the baby.
Eat a Balanced Diet
This cannot just be emphasized enough. During your prenatal visits to a doctor, he or she will advise you on the foods that you need to consume. Pay attention to those recommendations so that you and the baby get all the required nutrients. Above that, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables every day and fish whenever possible. You will also need to drink a lot of water and avoid sodas. Skim milk and fresh fruits juices are the best alternatives for soda.
Avoid Cigarettes and Alcohol
This may be common knowledge, but you would still see many expectant mothers drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Street drugs are also of limits if you care about the health of your unborn baby. Apart from these, do not take any over-the-counter medication unless your healthcare provider has given you a go ahead. These are not the only things to avoid, but anything else that may be dangerous to you or the baby is off limits.
As the pregnancy progresses, many women get so worn out that they spend almost the entire day in bed or on the couch. You need to stay active and exercise depending on your doctor's advice. Walking, swimming and prenatal exercises make labour shorter and also reduce the risk of caesarean surgery.
Talk to Your Baby
Bonding with your baby starts as early as after ten weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, talk to your baby as much as possible. Research shows that babies from this age can hear and even react to a sense of touch. As they continue to develop, they can react to light, your voice and all the sounds around you.
Avoid Being Stressed
You need to manage the stress in your life. How do you do that? Find a support system that can work for you like opening up to your partner. You can also try meditation and prenatal yoga classes. Getting stressed when you are pregnant is never good for your health and that of the baby and could even lead to a miscarriage
It is also critical that you learn all the important stuff when you are pregnant. Find time to attend childbirth classes because they can help you be more prepared for delivery. These classes also equip you with crucial infant care information while giving you a chance to get acquainted with the facility and the people who will be attending to you. You should also find time to check on your family history to avoid any complications during the pregnancy.
Change Your Chores
Some everyday tasks can have a negative effect on your pregnancy. Things such as scrubbing the bathroom or washing your pets can harm your pregnancy. This is because they expose you to toxic chemicals and the contact with bacteria is also not good for the baby. Apart from that, avoid heavy lifting, climbing on a ladder and standing for long periods.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Weight gain that comes during pregnancy throws your centre of gravity off, and the result is increased pressure on your feet. Over time, this pressure can lead to over-pronation or flattening out of the feet. If you do not own the right shoes, then you will never be able to walk well, and that is why you must look for comfortable shoes at this point in your life.
Have Your Doctor on Speed Dial
Being pregnant is confusing especially for first-time mothers. This is the reason for keeping your doctor on speed dial. When you experience pain of any kind, strong cramps, dizziness, heart palpitations, unending nausea or vomiting and decreased baby activity, you must let your doctor know.
Being pregnant is a special time in your life, but if you do not take the right steps, then both you and the unborn baby may suffer. Luckily, practicing these tips will guarantee you a healthy pregnancy.