If you’re pregnant, it’s a good time to consider where to give birth.
Guest Post by Natalie Busch of Messy Mom
I have four children with four completely different birth stories. The first was at a birth center. The next was a water birth at home. My third was at a hospital, and my fourth was born in the car on the way to the birth center, believe it or not.
I never set out to try so many different birth options. In fact, I would have preferred a little more consistency. Life happens though, and due to location or circumstances we ended up with a variety. In the end each one turned out to be a positive experience.
The thing about birth facilities is that they vary as much as the women giving birth. My birth center could be completely different than yours. Your hospital might have nothing in common with mine. Still, there are some predictable facts about each facility which could be helpful for those trying to decide what route to take.
For many couples, a birth center is the best of home birth and hospital birth combined. There are several different styles of birth centers. The first one I delivered at was an old house full of midwifes. The other birth center I went to was within a hospital building with nurses on staff.
One big thing to consider when looking into a birth center is if you are comfortable with the people that are working there. That’s a big one! Also, how much will it cost? Unfortunately many will not accept insurance. How far away is it? What kind of protocol do they have if an unexpected emergency took place?
These are just some of the questions you should be asking. It’s important to know your body, your birth philosophy, and what the biggest priorities are for you and your family.
I know home birth isn’t for everybody. In fact, less than 2 percent of babies are delivered outside of a hospital and that includes birth centers. Some reasons for this are probably because insurance does not cover it. So although it is significantly more economical it will probably cost more out of pocket for the family having the baby. This was definitely true in my case, although for me the price tag was worth it.
Another reason besides insurance is that it is so foreign and unknown that many women just don’t feel comfortable with the idea. I was born at home and so it didn’t seem that crazy to me, plus I did tons of research ahead of time.
Lastly, not everyone is a candidate for home birth. Natural childbirth advocates believe birth is not an illness and therefore is best treated as such. However, if at any time during your prenatal care something comes up that puts you or your baby at risk then you know that home birth isn’t right for you.
Those are all the reasons people may not want to, but there are countless reasons you might actually prefer it. I won’t go into all of the research and statistics because we’d be here all day, but on a personal note I enjoyed being surrounded by the comforting familiarity of my own home. For me, home birth was my favorite birthing location. You have to weigh and evaluate your own personal needs.
Since 99 percent of births are in a hospital I don’t think I need to convince too many of you of the benefits of a hospital birth. One reason I chose a hospital birth for my third was because the laws where I lived at the time made any other option extremely difficult. For a lot of women the choice to deliver at a hospital comes down to one word: EPIDURAL.
Even if you want a natural childbirth, but you want the option of an epidural just as a backup, then a hospital birth is going to be the best option.
I can’t stress enough how each hospital, home, and birth center are going to be unique. That is why my advice would be to put your focus into researching your local options. You may have had your heart set on a birth center birth only to find out that there isn’t one anywhere near you. Or maybe you thought you hated the idea of a hospital, but come to find out your natural birth friends rave about the midwife and water birth friendly hospital that is near you. Do your research, talk to other mommas, and interview your midwives/doctors.
The bottom line is no matter where you give birth the end goal is the same. Nothing compares to that feeling of holding your newborn for the first time and in that moment you don’t care what your surroundings are (even if you are in the car with your other children in the backseat).
For help with preparing for a natural childbirth, check out the #1 bestselling online childbirth course, Mama Natural Birth Course. It will empower you to have the natural birth you want…and you can watch the course in the comfort of your own home! You may also like Mama Natural’s FREE introductory video on 8 Keys to a Natural Childbirth.
Where did you deliver? Let’s share our stories and experiences for those that are still looking into all of their options.
Natalie Busch is a Jesus lover, a wife, and a mother. You can find her over at messymom.com where she shares some practical tips along with humorous and heartfelt stories about her family of 6 living in a small space with a small budget. You can join in on the mess via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.