Families seeking care at SCV have the option of giving birth in the comfort of their own homes. That’s because we strongly believe home birth can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Birth that happens at home is often peaceful, comfortable and joyous for everyone involved. But there are a lot of misconceptions about home birth that get tossed around, mostly out of fear of the unknown. While in many other countries, who have better birthing the U.S. giving birth at home is not the most common practice. Most mothers (about 95%) give birth in the hospital, though families seeking home birth have been steadily on the rise for several years.
1. It’s quite clean
While some may have the preconceived idea that a home birth is simply, well, too yucky, it’s actually quite sanitary. While not every birth happens in the water, those that do mean that draining the tub, or packing away the birthing pool are the bulk of the clean-up. But no matter where the birth occurs, preparing in advance with a few key materials (like some old towels) makes clean-up pretty quick and convenient. After you give birth, your home midwives will dispose of the waste and take out the trash, leaving your home just as it was before you gave birth. In fact many feel it’s cleaner and more comfortable than a hospital birth simply because it happens in your own home where you’re already familiar and at ease. In hospitals, where other illnesses are being treated at the same time you’re giving birth, there may be other heightened risks that are not present in a home birth where it’s just you, your birth team, and your baby.
2. It’s safe
Studies routinely show that for low risk mothers, home birth is just as safe (if not safer) than hospital birth. Partially, this is true because at home, mothers have lower risks of interventions that might make for a more complicated birth for mom and baby. When birthing at home (or in a birth center) your chances of having a surgical birth plummet! Because accredited midwifery care tends to be well-rounded and evidence-based, we are looking out for any red flags that might signify the need for a hospital transfer. In most cases, mothers give birth at home without complication. This is because most evidence-based birth is usually the one with least intervention. And at SCV, your midwives understand this and believe in your body’s innate ability to give birth. But we also expertly prepared for unique situations and know how to support mothers and families should the need for intervention arise.
3. It’s affordable
The US spends more on birth than any developed nation- and has worse outcomes! While some might feel home birthing is only for the elite (those who can afford the extra cost) in reality they are about 60% less expensive than hospital birth. While insurance usually covers home birth here in CA, it doesn’t always. So the difficulty for some may be paying the birthing costs out of pocket. Still, many underestimate the high costs of hospital birth and are shocked by the bills they are left with. During a home or birth center birth with SCV, you know upfront what your cost is going to be, so there are no surprises when you get your bill.
4. We bring supplies
While the perception of a home birth may be that we’re simply winging it by, I don’t know, using an old pair of gardening shears to cut the cord, we actually come prepared! Go figure. We arrive at your birth with every medical supply that would be present if you were to give birth in a birth center, from gloves to clamps to a heart rate monitor and our special scale used to weigh the baby afterwards. It’s one of the reasons we think home birth is really the 5 star treatment- because we bring it all to you, not the other way around.
5. We provide follow-up care
Once the baby is born, we don’t simply run out the door and leave you hanging to wait until the real doctor arrives. In our practice, we provide everything that is needed post-birth, from stitches (if there is any tearing), to supporting skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, to examining your baby fully. During a home birth, we make sure that families have all their needs met, and then some, before we walk out the door. We also come back to check on you and ensure everyone is healthy and doing great. We realize what a crucial time the immediate postpartum is and we are happy to provide that care in the comfort of your home.
Note: While home birth is a wonderful option, it’s not the only one that SCV provides. We also have a beautiful birth center that has a home-like feel for families who are more comfortable having their babies in that setting.