Home birth in general, and especially home birth after cesarean, also known as HBAC, is growing in popularity. In 2013, 1.4% of U.S. births took place outside of a hospital. Laboring at home is common, but many women also decide to stay home for the birth itself.
Surprisingly, 64.4% of these occurred at home. The number of women who gave birth at home, 36,080, was the highest since 1989 when reporting of home births began (Martin, J.A., 2015).
How Safe is a Home Birth?
A planned birth at home is at least as safe as a planned birth in a hospital, as long as the following four criteria are met:
- The woman has a low-risk pregnancy.
- A home birth is chosen, planned, and prepared for.
- The care provider involved is qualified and trained in home births.
- A backup transfer plan is in place in case of emergency.
Sixteen years’ worth of scientific studies on home birth gathered by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Expert Work Group showed that when compared to low-risk women who plan a hospital birth, low-risk women who plan a home birth have similar or better outcomes with fewer medical interventions and fewer Cesareans (Sagady & Romano, 2007).
However, there are very few documented and studied cases of VBAC at home in the United States to date, so there is not enough data to compile showing an increased risk for VBAC women.
What Criteria Should be Met to Safely Birth at Home?
Ultimately the choice for birth location should be based on what makes you feel safe and an environment where you can trust a provider you are confident in.
There are many things you can do to make your birth space more cohesive with your needs, no matter where you give birth. Some suggestions include
- Hanging up pictures or affirmations in your birth space.
- Lighting candles (LED candles only for hospitals).
- Dimming the lights.
- Wearing your own comfortable clothes.
- Creating a quiet space or have your own music playing in the background.
- Create a home birth plan to share with your doula or midwife.
Talk with your doula to see what else you may want to implement for your birthing time. How and where you give birth is YOUR decision and you can find someone capable of supporting you no matter what your desires are.
What is an Unassisted Birth?
An unassisted delivery is when a mother gives birth to her baby without seeking the the help from a medical professional.
This is not recommended, but it does happen; sometimes by choice and sometimes by accident. You may also hear it be referred to as a “free birth.”
Her episode will leave you on the edge of your seat as she walks you through the full story of how her sweet boy had a plan of his own and decided to come into this world not only at home, but with only Erin present.
Her husband, cousin, and doula all handled things so perfectly. Having an unassisted birth was not Erin’s plan, but we are so grateful that everything turned out so well.
If you would like to read her story and see more of the captivating images taken by her very talented photographer, click here.
Want to learn everything there is to know about VBAC before your big day? Register today for our Ultimate VBAC Prep Course for Parents!