Everything You Should Know About Planned Home Birth

Everything You Should Know About Planned Home Birth

Are you pregnant and considering the possibility of having a planned home birth? Then you have to get the facts about the possible risks and how to prepare for the big day.

You probably have questions. Is it safe? Will you need a midwife or doula? How do you create a backup plan?. Find out what’s involved and how to decide if this birthing method is right for you.

Everything You Should Know About Planned Home Birth

Why do women choose planned home births?

If you deliver at home, labour-management might differ from what you experience in a hospital setting. During labour at home, your health care provider will periodically rather than continuously monitor your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and your baby’s heart rate

Below are some of the reasons women opt for planned home birth:

Everything You Should Know About Planned Home Birth

  • A desire to give birth without medical intervention, such as pain medication, labour augmentation, labour induction, or fetal heart rate monitoring.
  • A desire to give birth in a comfortable, familiar place surrounded by family.
  • Dissatisfaction with hospital care.
  • A desire for freedom and control in the birthing process.
  • Cultural or religious concerns.
  • A lack of access to transportation.
  • Lower cost.

However, there are situations when planned home birth isn’t recommended?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautions against a planned home birth if:

  • You are pregnant with multiples.
  • Your baby doesn’t settle into a position that allows for a headfirst delivery.
  • You’ve previously had a C-section

What might cause the need for a hospital transfer?

Everything You Should Know About Planned Home Birth

During a planned home birth, you might need to be transported to a hospital for monitoring or treatment if complications develop. Your health care provider might recommend transfer to a hospital if:

  • Labour isn’t progressing.
  • Your baby shows signs of distress.
  • Your baby presents in a position other than headfirst.
  • You need pain relief.
  • Your high blood pressure.
  • You experience bleeding.
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What are the possible risks of planned home birth?

While most pregnant women who choose to have planned home births deliver without complications, research suggests that planned home births are associated with a higher risk of infant death and seizures than planned hospital births.

There are several factors that might reduce the risks of these complications, including having:

  • Assistance from a certified nurse-midwife.
  • Access to a practising obstetric doctor.
  • A plan for emergency transport to the nearest hospital.

How do I prepare for a home birth?

1. Choose trained health care providers to assist

Choose a certified nurse-midwife, a certified midwife, a midwife whose education meets specific standards, or a doctor practising obstetrics within an integrated and regulated health system. Make sure he or she has access to consultation with doctors or specialists at a collaborating hospital. If you’re interested in additional support, consider hiring a professional labour assistant (doula). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends having presented at least one trained person whose primary responsibility is caring for your newborn.

2.Create a birth plan

Will you use any specific methods to cope with pain? Do you want to labour in a tub? Will you breast-feed your baby immediately after delivery?. Discuss your birthing plan with your health care provider and ask about supplies you’ll need, such as protective coverings for your floor or mattress.

3. Prepare for the possibility of a hospital transfer

Discuss with your health care provider the signs and symptoms that might necessitate going to a hospital and how a transfer will affect your birthing plan. Ideally, your home or other planned birth location should be within 15 minutes of a hospital with 24-hour maternity care. Make sure you have access to transportation. Ask your health care provider to make arrangements with a nearby hospital to ensure that you can be promptly transferred and treated, if necessary.


Hospitals or certified birth centres are the safest settings for delivery. However, you have the right to make an informed decision about where you prefer to deliver. Keep in mind that life-threatening problems can occur during labour and delivery without warning. In those cases, the need to transfer you and your baby to a hospital could delay care, which could put your lives at risk. Understand the risks and benefits of a home birth before you make a decision.


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Charis Ebiaghian

A creative writer ready to dish out juicy stories as they drop. When she is not writing, she is probably thinking of what to write next

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