Home Births

Considering a Home Birth?

Have you ever considered a home birth? Midwives are the only care providers who are equipped to provide home birth services in the community. If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can plan to birth at home. A midwife will provide supplies for the birth. When labour starts, the midwife will come to your home, assess you and monitor your baby, and set up equipment needed to provide a safe environment for the birth.

Why a Home Birth?

Some of the reasons that families choose home birth include: labouring in the comfort of home, being able to choose the number of support people present, and being able to birth in water.

Are Home Births Safe?

Research in Ontario has shown that home birth is safe for both mothers and babies. Over 19,000 home births took place in Ontario between 2003 and 2009, and the research analysis concluded that the newborns had the same risk of complications as babies born to healthy women in the hospital. Mothers who planned a home birth were less likely to require interventions such as Caesarean section or vacuum delivery.

Those giving birth for the first time are more likely to transfer to the hospital during labour than people who have given birth before. Most often these transfers occur for slowly progressing labours or the need for pain relief options. Other reasons that a transfer to hospital may be recommended during labour include issues with the baby’s heart rate during routine monitoring or if there is meconium (baby’s first bowel movement) in the amniotic fluid. Because the hospitals in Hamilton are well-integrated with midwifery, transfers from home to hospital are seamless and the hospital staff are welcoming.

If you would like to learn more about home birth, talk to your midwife. Every pregnancy is unique, and your midwife can provide you with information so that you can determine if home birth is a good choice for you!

There is more information about home births on our resources page for pregnancy and birth.

Reference: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2015/12/22/cmaj.150564

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