Out of Hospital Birth is Better
Nov 11, 2020
This is a two-part series that serves two purposes. 1. If you are on the fence about where to have your baby, hopefully, these episodes will help you envision where you see yourself birthing & help you make that decision. 2. If you already know where you are giving birth, these episodes will reaffirm that choice.
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know that between the 2 of us, we have given birth almost every way. In hospital unmedicated, cesarean, in hospital with an epidural, at a birth center, and a homebirth. So we’ll be drawing on that and our experience supporting women in all these settings & scenarios.
BIG REASONS WE THINK OUT OF HOSPITAL BIRTH IS BETTER
- Anyone you want can be there! Yes, even during COVID.
- It's easier to physically relax during birth. When you're in your own home or a place that feels home-like, your body will naturally relax more easily. Given that relaxation is the key to dilation, expect labor to progress nicely.
- It's also easier to mentally & emotionally relax. There’s a comfort that comes in knowing that your out-of-hospital birth team wants exactly what you want. Nobody is going to fight you on things like eating & drinking during labor, foregoing the IV, wearing your own clothes, walking around outside, or staying in your shower the whole time. Nobody is going to be pushing unnecessary meds or making you feel bad for skipping the eye ointment. You feel comfortable saying YES to all the things you do want, and NO to the things you don’t.
- It's easier for your birth partner to relax as well. All those guys that say they feel uneasy in hospital settings? This will likely be a better space for them in which to relax and focus on supporting you.
- You have more birthing options. From water birth tubs & birthing stools to herbs, and positioning techniques to help you through labor, out-of-hospital gives you WAY more options. Wanna birth outside? In your bed? In the water? No problem!
- You have less protocol to work through. Hospitals have standard operating procedures- routine vaginal exams, IVs, triage, gowns, monitoring. While you can decline or compromise on many of those things in-hospital, there's less of this liability protocol at a home or birth center. That does NOT mean they compromise of safety. Rather, your midwife has less invasive ways to get the info she needs to monitor the health of you and your baby.
- If you want an unmedicated birth, you are WAY more likely to get it. We know this is a goal for many of you- it’s what you’re hoping & dreaming of. And while you can TOTALLY do this in a hospital setting (Cort did! 3 times!), there really aren’t pain meds to offer at an out of hospital birth- other than nitrous oxide- and so that takes that option off the table and makes it so that all but 5-10% of instances, you get that unmedicated birth. If you ever wanted to, you could certainly transfer mid-birth- to a hospital to get an epidural. And some women choose to do that because that’s the choice that they felt was best for them. Because of this, an unmedicated birth allows you to feel all the things- yes, those tough/intense sensations, but the highs & euphoria too.
- You'll have very personal 1-1 care. Your midwife stays the entire time and doesn’t just show up at the end. She's usually watching only you and not just the monitors or relying on nurses to convey info to you from afar. You are far more likely to get to know your midwife well during prenatals since there probably aren’t as many of them in the group as there typically are at OB practices.
- You'll get more rest and care postpartum. Your own bed, your own pillows. Nobody coming in every 2 hours, no lights blinking. And, usually, a birth team that is very focused on helping you have a restful recovery. We also love that your postpartum visits happen more frequently & sooner rather than the standard hospital/OB protocol of waiting until the 6-week mark.
Often, your newborn visits are covered. By the time your baby arrives, you’ve likely developed a lot of trust with your midwife. How nice that you don’t need to transfer baby’s care to a pediatrician right away...especially if you’re not feeling 100% comfortable with that doctor.
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