New Hampshire Midwives Association

Why Homebirth?

It's medically sound:

Landmark Study Reports Planned Home Births Are Safe “Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America.” Kenneth C Johnson, senior epidemiologist, Betty-Anne Davis, project manager. BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June)

For a summary of the article, go here: http://www.cfmidwifery.org/pdf/CPM2000.pdf

To read the full text, go here: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/7505/1416

The following quotes and photos are a collage designed to express why women choose to birth their babies at home.  Quotes are independent of photos and don't necessarily correspond with the people pictured.

"I was so thrilled to have this comfortable, peaceful childbirth experience.  It has meant a lot to us as a family to be able to stay together and has eased the transition for the younger siblings by allowing them to wake up in their own beds and come in one by one and greet their new sister." 

"I was one of those first-time moms whose labor went on for days and pushing stage went on for hours.  I remember lying sideways in my bath, feeling very discouraged after laboring through the night and not getting anywhere. My midwife looked me in the eyes and said...your body is not a machine that must produce within a certain amount of time.  I believe you are going to have a beautiful birth in your own time...and she was right.  I know that, had I been in the hospital, my precious one would have been delivered instrumentally or via Cesarean section.  Instead, a peaceful baby and a powerful mother were born in my living room...no intervention, no time constraints, just love, trust, and incredibly hard work."

"In the hospital, our first two daughters were whisked away seconds after they were born to be washed and weighed.  Our midwife placed our daughter on my wife's chest, where she stayed for awhile, perfectly pink and clean.  The rest could wait."

  

"My last doctor's appointment was the straw that broke the camel's back.  It only took a moment of the doctor's time, and my questions weren't answered.  We made the decision for homebirth the same night we met our midwife."

 

"After laboring at home for most of the night and pushing for hours, my midwife consulted with her back-up doctor and we made the decision to transfer to hospital.  I am convinced that my midwife's advocacy for me, once we were at the hospital, prevented me from having a C-Section.  My first baby, a daughter, was born vaginally a couple hours later."

"More babies prefer home birth."

A Few Home Birth Truths

  • Women who choose out-of-hospital birth enjoy a lower cesarean section rate and a lower infection rate (self and baby)
  • Comfort of home helps mothers to feel safe, thus allowing labor contractions to be effective.  (Fear elicits the production of adrenaline which adversely affects the quality of a contraction.  This is why so many women who are afraid or uncomfortable in a hospital environment experience "failure to progress".)
  • Statistics have shown that home birth for a healthy mother attended by a skilled midwife is as safe or safer than a hospital birth, with better outcomes for mother and baby.
  • Review of research suggests that women choose home birth for personal and philosophical reasons.  Home birth clients like the comfortable atmosphere of their own homes, the noninvasive techniques of midwives, the time and personal attention that midwives offer (mainly because of their selective client load and belief in holistic care), and the attitude of shared responsibility between client and caregiver.
  • Women who choose out-of-hospital birth experience less intervention with the birth process.
  • Women at home are able to choose their birth positions i.e. hands and knees, squat, kneel, side-lying.  They are free to move around, eat and drink, bathe and sleep during labor.  The time restraints are loosened because generally the midwife is committed to one woman at a time.