Let's Celebrate Home Birth!
June 6th was International Home Birth Day! Village Birth Collective celebrates home birth and supports all of our clients that choose to birth in the comfort of their own homes. Did you know that a midwife attended home birth is a safe option for low risk women (1) and this option is covered by Alberta Health Services? Many women choose to birth at home because birthing their baby in familiar surroundings is important to them. In Alberta, a primary midwife and a backup midwife support you during your home birth. Midwives bring many important supplies to a birth such as; emergency medications like Pitocin (for postpartum bleeding), a doppler to monitor baby’s heart rate, sterile instruments for cutting the cord, vitamin K, antibiotic eye ointment, infant suction device, oxygen tanks, infant and adult resuscitation equipment, and many other items. Home birth can also be an experience of new life, celebration and connectedness when older siblings have the opportunity to witness their younger sibling's birth. This works best when there is care in place in case the child chooses not to be in the room.
Having experienced a home birth myself, what I loved the most about it was the comfort of labouring in my cozy home, the safety of being in my own space, the freedom to labour exactly how I wanted to, and the blissful period after birth curled up in my own bed. Did you have a homebirth? Why did you choose to have a home birth and what did you love most about it?
Here are a few interesting studies on home birth:
-A 2002 study of planned home births in the state of Washington found that home births had shorter labors than hospital births (2)
-In 2009 a study of 500,000 low-risk planned home and hospital births in the UK, reported in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, it was concluded that for low-risk women there was no increase in perinatal mortality, provided that the midwives were well-trained and there was easy and quick access to hospitals. The study also noted there was evidence that low risk women with a planned home birth are less likely to experience referral to secondary care and subsequent obstetric interventions than those with a planned hospital birth (3)
-The Journal of Medical Ethics and NICE report noted that the rate of cesarean sections were lower in home birthing women. Both noted a study that concluded women who had a planned home birth had greater satisfaction from the experience when compared with women who had a planned hospital birth (4)
2- (Pang, J.; Heffelfinger, J.; Huang, G. (2002). "Outcomes of planned home births in Washington State: 1989–1996". Obstetrics & Gynecology (100): 253–259)
3- de Jonge A, van der Goes BY, Ravelli AC, Amelink-Verburg MP, Mol BW, Nijhuis JG, Bennebroek Gravenhorst J, Buitendijk SE (2009). "Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529688 low-risk planned home and hospital births". BJOG. 116 (9): 1177–84. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02175.x. PMID 19624439.
4- "Final Draft of Guideline on Intrapartum Care" (PDF). National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health as Commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. London: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 22 March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2012.