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Home Birth Alternative

Just over a century ago most babies were born at home with or without an attending obstetrician, aided by an army of grandmothers, aunts and close female friends. As the years went by, more women starting having babies in hospitals. They were usually under heavy sedation, dad was in the waiting room outside, the baby was delivered in a very sterile almost surreal environment, and when mom woke up several hours later she learned whether she would be buying pink or blue. With the advancement in pain management, labor/delivery techniques and mothers' desire to "experience" the birth of their baby, rather than sleep through it and their desire to have dad in on the event, today most expectant mothers are fully alert during labor and delivery. Dad is right by her side coaching and calming his laboring partner as they wait for their little one to arrive. The mechanics of childbirth have come so far that now expectant parents are taking advantage of advanced prenatal care and specially trained medical professionals and are opting to step back in time choosing to have their baby at home.

Home births are on the rise as more parents wish to deliver their babies without drugs, in a familiar setting where they can be more in charge of the action. Advocates of home birthing believe pregnancy and childbirth should be treated as a normal physiological process not as a medical emergency. All the experts on home birth agree that if you want to have your baby at home, it is imperative that an experienced certified nurse-midwife or a qualified physician attend the birth. The best way to plan your home birth experience is to seek out a certified nurse-midwife or physician with experience delivering babies in non-medical settings.

There are many reasons people choose to give birth at home, and most have more to do with feelings than statistics. Conception, pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are wonderful, natural processes and when asked, most women are reluctant to see labor as a "medical" event. For some expectant mothers going to the hospital to have their baby brings on feelings ranging from extreme anxiety to alienation when they enter labor and delivery at their hospital. For some, just being in a hospital can affect their ability to concentrate and achieve the tranquility and state of mind needed to manage contractions on their own. They feel distracted by strange surroundings and the monitoring equipment. Many moms are stressed by interruptions from hospital staff, even the distress of other laboring mothers.

Home birth isn't for everyone. Only healthy mothers-to-be with a normal obstetrical and medical history and who haven't had a previous cesarean section should consider giving birth at home. Expectant mothers with any medical or pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure, excess amniotic fluid, multiple gestation or any other compromising condition should not consider home birth as an alternative to a standard hospital delivery.

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