The debate over home versus hospital birth has been ongoing for years, but many research studies consistently show that home birth is a safe and sometimes preferable option for women in low risk categorises. A joint statement issued in April 2007 by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists & the Royal College of Midwives, U.K, states that "labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby."
Today, publicly funded homebirth programmes exist in Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and the U.K. with statistics continuing to show outcomes that are at least as good as, if not better than hospital births for mums and babies. Other factors which contribute to enhancing the safety of home birth include the woman being in good health without existing illnesses and with a normal pregnancy, free from complications; an attending registered midwife, highly experienced in hospital and home births, with extended skills in emergency situations. The home provides peace and tranquillity for everyone during the birth, without interruption from the outside world, and the midwife can provide safe care. Being truly "with woman" and respecting the physiological process of giving birth, the midwife can quickly sense a problem using her well tuned skill. In an emergency situation, the midwife has all the necessary equipment on hand, while back up is provided by the Hospital and the ambulance service.
Homebirth is not for every woman, and for some women it would be regarded as downright dangerous! High risk women with ongoing health problems, pregnancy complications and poor obstetric history, need to deliver in Hospital under the care of the Obstetrician. However, most women are low risk, they do have the option to choose, and many studies have proven that it is safe to have a successful birth at home.
Karen Fagan midwife/matrona, oficial colegio de enfermeria alaga.
homebirth / waterbirth
Tel 606 911 240
This post is also available in: Spanish