Some pregnant women are torn between choosing a hospital birth versus a home birth and wonder what's best for themselves and their baby. Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's really a matter of personal preference and the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy. People can be passionate on either side and even critical of each other, so it's best to be solid in your choices and not let others negatively impact you! Here are some things to consider when comparing a hospital birth versus a home birth!
1. Your Own Environment Vs. a Foreign One
One of the things to know about a hospital birth versus a home birth is the environment you will be laboring in. In your home, you're surrounded by familiarity, comfort and as many family members as you desire - this can be incredibly relaxing in a stressful time such as labor. Hospitals are foreign, sterile, and generally associated with sickness which can be discomforting for some.
2. Medical Interventions Are Immediate in a Hospital
One of the greatest advantages of a hospital birth is that medical intervention is immediate. No transportation is required for emergency situations or the need for pain management if laboring becomes unbearable. Sometimes time is extremely critical, especially when immediate attention is needed. That is a huge comfort for most pregnant women and makes them feel secure and safe!
3. Freedom to Birth the Way You Want at Home
Birthing at home gives you the freedom to sit up, lay down, walk around, get on all fours, birth in a tub, etc. In a hospital, you're incredibly limited in your mobility during labor and how you give birth. Often times, your natural instincts and desires are not met because of hospital regulations.
4. You Have 24/7 Care during Your Hospital Stay
Because a new baby sleeps for the first 24 hours, that means you can rest yourself after delivering! In a hospital, you're taken care of, fed, provided with medication, and have support for whatever you might need. You also don't need to worry about "cleaning up" after giving birth in a hospital compared to at home.
5. Your Baby Will Enter the World in Your Own Home
It's a beautiful concept when you imagine your baby coming from his first home in your womb immediately to the place that you call home. Instead of the bright, white hospital lights and strange smells and sounds, your baby will be delivered into the familiar environment of home.
6. Immediate Pediatric Care is Available if Needed
If for whatever reason a newborn baby needs immediate, emergency attention, pediatric care is available right away. That's not the case with a home birth and travel time to reach a hospital could mean a life or death situation. Although rare, especially if mom and baby were healthy during the whole pregnancy, it does happen so it's one factor to consider!
7. You Can Eat, Sleep and Move around at Your Whim
The great thing about a home birth is the ability to do what you want. You can eat a meal, take a nap, go for a walk outside, do yoga, etc. You don't have the restrictions you would have in a hospital, which makes the birthing process more normal, natural and manageable.
If you could use two words that describe the advantages of a hospital birth versus a home birth, you're left with comparing the safety and care of a hospital versus the the freedom and comfort of home. It's totally a personal choice! For you ladies who've made this decision, what led you to it? What other things can you add to this list?