Home or hospital?
More and more women are opting for home births assisted by midwives. What are the advantages of having a home birth?
Home birth

  • The woman may feel more in control as she is in her own environment
  • She has more privacy
  • She will be assisted by the midwife of her choice
  • It is cost-effective
  • It can be a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere
  • There is no unnecessary intervention
  • A woman may use natural ways of relieving pain
  • She can have as many people present as she wishes to
  • She is never separated from the baby
  • There is less distraction
  • An episiotomy can be avoided
  • Birth is seen as a natural process rather than a “medical” event
  • Older children don’t have to deal with the absence of their parents
Make sure that you are assisted by an experienced, qualified nurse/midwife or by a qualified physician. In case of a medical emergency, you should be within 20 minutes of the nearest hospital.

According to Dr Martin Puzey, Gynaecologist, a woman should be cleared as being a low risk case for home birth by her gynaecologist. “People tend to forget that giving birth is a very dangerous process and is a time in a woman’s life when things can go seriously wrong,” he says. “Many years ago, the first thing a father asked of the delivering doctor after the birth was ‘how’s my wife … did she survive the birth?’. If a woman has a high risk pregnancy, she should examine her alternatives.”

Hospital birth

You may want to consider the following advantages of a hospital birth:

  • The baby can be delivered by an obstetrician
  • There are different pain relief options available
  • Hospitals are well equipped in case of emergency
  • Breastfeeding clinics or lactation consultants are available in most hospitals
Would you opt for a hospital or a home birth? What influences your choice the most?

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