Reasons to Not Have a Home Birth

29 Nov

For my first pregnancy, I really wanted a home birth. However, after investigation the difference in price with my insurance company, I couldn’t justify spending almost $4,000 extra for a home or birth center birth, especially when I found my hospital midwife, who was covered. Plus, it would be my first birth, and that is a little bit scary.

After Hadassah’s birth and when I found out I was pregnant again, I didn’t give home birth much thought. I had a great delivery with her and was more than overjoyed with my wonderful midwife. However, Fernando got a new job and we had the task of switching insurance and deciding on plans etc. At this same time I found out that a friend in town was having a home birth that was only costing $1,600. I started thinking about home births again but once again my insurance won out. Plus, this time, I did have some worry in the back of my mind about this delivery going well since I had a tremendous amount of bleeding first trimester.

In the past few weeks I was reflecting on home birth and thinking how nice and less stressful it would be to just stay at home. No stress about waiting too long at home, going to the hospital too early, or possible delivery in the car. No stress about traffic or having horrible contractions in a bumpy car. No stress about having to wake Hadassah up in the middle of the night and transport her somewhere…

However, sitting in the hospital, I’m writing my case for why I think I should always prefer hospital births. Besides the typical argument of “What about in case of emergency?!”, I have two big reasons.

1. Cleanliness – I know in a home birth the midwives clean up after the birth. However, I cannot help but think about the difficulty in cleaning up blood, puke, and/or amniotic fluid. I mean, you can’t put those medical mats up on every square inch of your home, and how well do Resolve and carpet cleaning reallywork?

Maybe that’s not a good enough argument for some, especially for those who have had home births. So here is part b: Cleanliness AFTER birth. Not to be disgusting, but for a good 12 hours after birth you are getting blood everywhere in the bathroom. Yuck. And after that it is a bit easier to contain but some blood drips here and there still happen. And that is the end of my first point. Like I said, this is just for me. Living this right now, this is one deterring factor for a home birth.

2. Assurance of newborn safety – I am 100% for having baby room in. Currently it is 2am and I’m having some snuggle time with Emmanuel. However, being a newborn is dangerous and risky! Did you know they choke on amniotic fluid gunk for a few days and you have to have a bulb syringe ready to go? At some point in time, I need to get SOME rest (and I’m not being crazy selfish here. In the past 44 hours I’ve only slept 4 hours). I realized when I had Hadassah that I could send her to the nursery for 2-3 hours while I rested and she got cared for by a quality medical staff. I have the assurance she is safe and I can rest! If she were in the room with me, even if I tried to sleep I wouldn’t be able to. While I suppose I could hire a night nurse if I had a home birth, that would be another cost.

I still may opt for a home birth someday, but this is my argument for myself for not doing it.

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