If you have had a straightforward pregnancy and both you and your baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home. In England, around one in every 50 babies (2%) is born at home.
The advantages of giving birth at home include:
- Being in familiar surroundings where you may feel more relaxed.
- Not needing to interrupt your labour to go into hospital.
- Not needing to leave your other children. Whether or not they are present during your labour and birth is a matter of personal preference.
- Significantly reduced likelihood of requiring an instrumental (forceps or ventouse) or operative delivery (caesarean section). The need for intervention such as augmentation (breaking your waters or the use of a drip to speed up your contractions), epidural, or episiotomy is also less likely and therefore you are more likely to have a normal birth.
- Individual support by a midwife who will be with you while you are in labour and a second midwife who will be asked to attend the birth of your baby.
There are some things you should think about if you are considering a home birth, these include:
- If you are at increased risk of complications either at the beginning of your pregnancy, as your pregnancy progresses or during labour you may be advised against giving birth at home.
- Availability of pain relief.
- Likelihood of complications occurring.
- Likelihood of transfer to the Princess Anne labour ward.