If you’re a natural soul, when you find out you are a soon-to-be mama one of the first things you think about is how you will bring your little bundle of joy into the world. The thought of giving birth at home, letting nature take its course without intervention, sounds so much more appealing than a stay in the hospital. But, should you deliver at a hospital, birthing center, or at home?

A home birth gives you the most natural experience possible plus there are so many awesome benefits to go with it.  A birth center is a great option for a natural birth with less cleanup and preparation. The experience of a natural, intervention free childbirth in a hospital is harder to achieve.

Why give birth at home?

Home births seem to be on the rise. According to one study, in 2014, out of the 60,000 births that took place outside a hospital, 38,000 were home births and 18,000 took place in birthing centers.

Here are some of the reason’s women choose to have a home birth:

  • No major pain medication. This allows you to remember the experience when thinking back on it years later. It also eliminates bringing your baby into the world with drugs in his system.
  • For the experience. Giving birth at home is one of the most natural experiences you’ll ever have. After all, your body was designed to do it, and doing it in the comfort of your own home just adds to the experience! Being in your home while giving birth promotes relaxation and comfort making your labor easier and less painful.
  • The numerous benefits of home birth over other birthing practices. It is shown to reduce the risk of infection, reduced perineal tears, among other things. These benefits are met with their own share of risks that we will discuss later.
  • Fear of hospitals. More and more women are beginning to fear hospital practices and continue to have less faith in them. There is so much doubt surrounding natural birth in a hospital setting. This is because of the abundant use of c-section, induction, and other interventions at the slightest sign of trouble.
  • At home, you get individualized attention (special care) by a trained midwife. You don’t have to push a button to get assistance. She’s there for you through the whole thing.
  • Religious purposes. Some religions have certain birthing practices that they must follow so home birth may be a good alternative for them.

What is a birthing center?

A birthing center is a labor option for mamas with normal, low-risk pregnancies who want to experience natural childbirth but aren’t completely on board with a home birth.

Birth centers offer a comfortable, home-like atmosphere for mothers and their babies and are affordable alternatives without having to go to a hospital.

They specialize in natural deliveries and assist you throughout the entire birthing process and beyond! Midwives are miracle workers!

Birthing centers are a better alternative to hospitals because high qualified midwives are extra careful and patient, letting nature take it’s course with little or no medical intervention.

Advantages of home birth

Home birth has so many advantages ranging from physical to emotional. They can make ALL the difference for this deeply sentimental and life-changing experience.

Advantages of delivering at home over a hospital birth:

  • When compared to hospital births, home births have a reduced rate of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes.
  • There was an extremely low number of deaths with home births but the number was comparable to that of hospital births meaning, the death rate didn’t increase but rather stayed approximately the same between hospital birth and home birth. (Source)
  • Home birth showed less risk of infection when compared to hospital births. This is understandable considering the number of sick people who frequent hospitals daily, compared to your home which probably only ever has a handful of people in it.
  • Have your baby in the comfort of your home, anywhere you please. If you want to have your baby laying in your bedroom floor, feel free, if everything is sterilized and ready to go.
  • You can walk, sit, stand, crawl, take a shower, or whatever you desire. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just ball up in a fetal position in the middle of the floor, and guess what? With a home birth, you can do just that!
  • You have everything at your fingertips that could possibly bring you comfort.
  • You get to stay with family and there is no two-person limit at home and no judgment.
  • No hospital stays! If you have had a hospital birth in the past, you know this is one of the best perks because staying the night in the hospital without family can feel lonely, uncomfortable, and overall, make you extremely homesick.
  • You can eat all you want! With a natural home birth, you don’t have to worry about being hungry. You can eat whenever you get the urge, even right up to delivery if you want because you aren’t under anesthesia. It has been believed (and not well proven), that women under anesthesia have an increased risk of aspiration into the lungs.
  • It’s your way! The beauty of home birth is that you get to make your own choices. You get to write your story for the most part! You have no limitations or restrictions which makes it so much easier and more comfortable.
  • Home births are often easier and less painful than hospital births. This is because, in a hospital setting, we are stressed, nervous, uncomfortable, plus we are surrounded by strangers. And the worst part? We have to be away from our family.
  • You have less chance of a perineal tear with home birth, this is most likely because midwives, as a rule, take their time and let nature take its course. In a hospital, your doctor likely has many other babies to deliver and is rushing around. Sadly, I know from experience that this is often the case. Medicine and the overall mood of the experience could also contribute to perineal tears. At home, you are comfortable, free, and have a better chance of relaxing. (Source)

Advantages over a birthing center:

  • Home birth is cheaper than giving birth at a hospital or birth center
  • You are already home, so you don’t have to pack your things or transport your new and vulnerable baby, or even leave the house for a few weeks for that matter! When giving birth, in a birth center, you must travel.


With Hospital births

  • You are more likely to be induced, have a c-section, or other interventions that would interfere with a natural experience. It’s hard and sometimes almost impossible to plan an “all natural” hospital birth because of this.
  • More likely to have a perineal tear. The reason for this is likely because in a hospital setting, you are tense, scared, uncomfortable, etc. so your body is working against nature.

With home births

You should only deliver at home if you have a healthy, low-risk, singleton (one fetus) pregnancy. Risk factors increase for people with diabetes, multiple babies, breech babies, etc.

  • Increased chance of having to be admitted into hospital after birth. (Source) This is usually due to unanticipated emergencies that require some form of surgery or emergency care such as, hemorrhaging, fetal distress, etc.
  • First-time mothers have an increased risk of perinatal death. The chances are extremely low, less than 1% but that is still double the chance of other birthing options.
  • Increased risk for needing a blood transfusion possibly due to postpartum hemorrhage and other unforeseen circumstances.

With birthing centers

As with home births, you should only deliver in a birthing center if you are having a healthy, low risk, singleton pregnancy.

  • If you don’t do your research, you could end up in a birthing center that doesn’t have the quality of care you require. The staff could be inexperienced and unqualified. This isn’t likely, it’s just always best to research before choosing a birthing center.
  • Mothers giving birth in birthing center are sometimes at an increased risk of delayed medical treatment if a major complication occurred. (If you choose a high qualified birthing center, you shouldn’t have to worry about this because they will know when medical attention is required.)

Why should you choose a home birth?

Giving birth at home can bond you and your child for life. It is a magical experience that is over before you know it. Take advantage and embrace this moment.

You won’t be sorry when you think back on it. You will only be proud. Either way, always practice safety first, if any complications arise, transfer to a hospital asap. The most important thing is the health of your baby.

When you think back to this heart-felt event, you will remember clearly every detail, without the fog of drugs.

Looking back now, I wish I had this advantage.

Natural is best

No matter where you choose to give birth, natural is best. I hope I’ve given you enough information to help you decide if you will deliver in a hospital, birthing center, or in the comfort of your own home.

Make sure to pin this article so other mommas can be informed about their options for having a natural birth.

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