Obviously I’m a big supporter of the right to choose home birth…I’m having one myself!
But it’s not for everyone. It’s definitely not a decision to be made lightly, or one that you should do for any of the following reasons….
1. Because all your friends are doing it 1 of 7Seriously, the 'popularity' reason is a terrible one. It doesn't matter what all your friends are doing; it may be right for them, but it may not be right for you. If your friends happen to be doing it and it's also right for you, great, but this should not be your primary reason.
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2. To be a rebel 2 of 7Okay, maybe in your area it's the unpopular or unusual choice. Don't do it because you'd be the only one. Again, if it's right for you, then fine, it doesn't matter if no one else is doing it, but don't do it just to stand out or be different.
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3. Because you just hate doctors 3 of 7If something goes wrong, you will have to go see a doctor. And you have to have a healthy respect for doctors where needed. If you decide you just outright hate or don't trust all doctors no matter what, then you are going to be in a big trouble if something does go wrong, and could put the life of your baby in danger. It's fine to approach doctors with caution and expect them to treat you well, and to not see them if you don't need to, but you should understand their role and be willing to see them if needed.
Image by Lisa Brewster
4. Because you’re scared of the hospital 4 of 7This is similar to the last reason. It's fine if you choose that the place you are most comfortable with is at home. But it's not okay to choose to birth at home because you just hate hospitals, and haven't carefully considered the best/safest place for your birth. You may need to go to a hospital if something goes wrong. And although you may choose not to, if everything is fine, you need to be prepared for the possibility of a transfer and treat that realistically and calmly. If you would be completely freaked out to ever go to a hospital for any reason, that's something to explore with a counselor...and not a reason to necessarily choose home birth.
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5. Because your mom/husband wants you to 5 of 7Perhaps your mom had her babies at home and she thinks that's best. Or maybe your husband has done research and he thinks it's best. But this isn't about what they think. This is about where you are most comfortable and where your baby will be safest. You have to be okay with the decision, too, because you are the one who will be in labor and giving birth.
Image by Joe Shlabotnik
6. If you’re questioning what is right 6 of 7If you are unsure that you really want a home birth, you may not want to opt for one. You have to be absolutely sure that you really and truly want one. If a home birth sounds good in theory but you just aren't that comfortable...don't do it. You don't want to get into labor and birth and then get upset and nervous and need to transfer because of your emotional state.
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7. If you don’t have health insurance 7 of 7If this is your sole reason for opting for a home birth (it's cheaper), don't! Money has absolutely nothing to do with what is right or most comfortable for you (for us, a hospital birth would have been far cheaper...but we opted to be at home because we felt it was right for us). Besides, if you need to transfer in labor, you will still have to go to a hospital, and you need to plan for this. You don't want to be in a position of trying to avoid doctors or hospitals at all costs for money reasons when you may need to be in a hospital!
There are plenty of great reasons for having a home birth, too, but these are not among them. Having a home birth is about what you believe is best for yourself, your baby, and your situation, irrespective of "who's doing it," "who's not doing it," or money. It's an issue to research heavily and thoroughly before coming to a conclusion.
What are some bad reasons you can think of?
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