Home births are growing in popularity today. In fact, studies have shown the number of women having home births increased by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009. Although there have been concerns raised about home birth, studies have shown that home births are safe for most low-risk pregnancies. Even if you have had complications in your pregnancy in the past, you may still be able to have a safe home birth.
Preparation is the key to having a healthy home birth. Below is a list of some of the things you will need to do to prepare for a home birth the second time around.
Choose a Healthcare Provider You Trust
It is important to select a doctor you are familiar with and who you trust. Most home births are attended by midwives, but there are some obstetricians who will attend a home birth if you are afraid of complications. You will also need to assess the healthcare provider’s qualifications. How many home births have they attended? How many years have they been practicing? Where did they complete training and education? Have they ever handled an emergency? Those are some of the things you should ask your provider.
One of the best things you can do to ensure you have a safe home birth is to take good care of yourself. Exercising is one way pregnant women can keep themselves healthy. Yoga, walking, and swimming are just some exercises great for pregnant women, not only to help you to stay healthy, but also to alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy. Exercise can also help get your baby in the right position for labor.
Many women think they have to eat for two during this time as well. However, you only need to get about 300 extra calories. Taking in too many calories can cause you to gain too much weight, which puts you at risk for complications. Dr. Gilbert Webb says women who have complications should be referred to a maternal fetal specialist and should deliver at a hospital instead of delivering the baby at home.
You will need to pay close attention to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you can. Abnormal swelling and bleeding are examples of things that require urgent medical attention.
Take a Birthing Class
Many people planning on giving birth at home or for a second time may feel a class isn’t necessary, but the right midwife might have more information for your specific situation. A birthing class can teach you how to relax while you are in labor and help you know what to expect if you need to transfer to a hospital.
You may want to consider getting your partner to attend birthing classes with you. The birth will probably go a lot more smoothly if you have a bigger support team.
Prepare Your Home
A couple of weeks before you are due to give birth, you should start preparing your home. It is best to select the biggest room in your home for the birth. Put everything you will need in the room. Additionally, you should prepare a hospital bag just in case you have to transfer. Your midwife will probably have a lot of recommendations for how to prepare your room or bath for a natural birth.
It is also a good idea to cook some meals and then freeze them. You probably won’t have a lot of time to cook after the baby arrives.
The keys to having a safe home birth is to select the right healthcare provider and take care of yourself during pregnancy. You will also need to take a birthing class and prepare your home for the birth. If you have a schedule and plan in place a natural home birth can be possible for your first or second time. Just make sure you have everything in order and talk to all your healthcare specialists beforehand.
Home births are safe in most cases, but you should be aware that there are also risks for both mom and baby. Make sure discuss your birth plan with your doctor so that you understand the potential risks.