What to expect from a home birth

home births


Home births are continuously increasing in popularity. Celebrities like Thandie Newton decided on a home birth for her three children and said “I just associated hospital with being ill. And I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home was the place I felt most relaxed, and comfortable.”

A home birth offers flexibility and a comforting, more relaxed atmosphere, but what do you need to do to set up your home and make it ready for your birth? If you want to be one of the many women giving birth at home, the chances are you’ve already discussed the logistics of home birth with your midwife, and if not we suggest you start discussing it now.

Create your space

Decide on where you want labor and delivery to take place, and clear the area of any fragile objects, special carpets, cumbersome furniture, or precious items. Having a baby (whether you give birth at home or in a hospital) is messy — there’s often a lot of blood; so as you’re preparing for childbirth put away anything that may become stained, soaked, or otherwise ruined.

Stock up on the clean sheets and towels

Wash everything that may come into contact with you and your newborn when you give birth at home and store in plastic bags to ward off dust and debris.

Know your backup hospital

And keep the number close by for easy access. Make sure your partner and midwife know how to get there.

Find your midwife

A good midwife will guide you throughout your pregnancy, birth and time with your newborn so it’s imperative to have someone you trust and have a rapport with. You can check the Home Birth Association of Ireland to find a midwife in your area, or the Midwives Association of Ireland.

After the birth

Once the placenta is delivered, your midwife will check to see if you have a tear that needs stitching. Most tears can be stitched up by your midwife. If the placenta doesn’t come away, or if you have a very bad tear, you’ll need to go to the hospital. These are two of the most common reasons for transfer to hospital after a home birth.

If all is well, the midwives will probably leave you and your partner alone with your baby for a while. Then they’ll check your baby over and weigh her. Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, your midwife will help you with the first feed, if you need it.

Your midwife will stay until she is happy that you are comfortable and well. She’ll see you into bed, and clear up any mess.


Originally posted 2014-09-17 10:19:11.