Is Home Birth Risky?

Childbirth is a unique moment for a woman and being able to live it in the intimacy of the home, with the family and in a familiar environment can be attractive. However, it is not without risks, so it is advisable to be well informed before deciding to give birth at home.

Although in the majority of pregnancies the delivery proceeds happily, there is a small percentage of them that can present complications, both for the mother and for the newborn . Complications appear both in home births and in hospitals, but in the hospital environment there are more resources, equipment and specialized health personnel that can represent the difference between life and death.
The perinatal mortality rate has remained stable in recent decades (between 4 and 5 newborns per 1,000) and maternal mortality is 3-4 mothers out of 100,000 pregnancies and deliveries.

Better risk pregnancies in the hospital

The woman or family is free to decide where to give birth, and for this it is important to seek advice and be well prepared if a home birth is decided.
There are studies that compare the results of home births with hospital births, finding no significant differences in maternal mortality but a certain increase in neonatal mortality. What births could be possible at home ?

  • Single pregnancies
  • Safe pregnancies
  • Of pregnant women without added pathology
  • That they have reached the end of the pregnancy
  • That the fetal presentation is cephalic
  • That there is no history of cesarean section in previous deliveries.

If you give birth at home, let it be with a professional

The presence of a qualified professional, obstetrician or midwife , who is responsible for supervising the correct evolution of the delivery at all times, and who is prepared to detect any complications and refer the pregnant woman to a hospital center, should be ensured .
It should also be a requirement to have transportation planned to this center, which should not be more than 20 minutes away.
Even so, there are obstetric emergencies that can occur in an unforeseen and absolutely explosive way, which is why many gynecologists and obstetricians position ourselves in favor of giving birth in a hospital environment despite having taken all the precautions.

Advantages of giving birth in a hospital

In our country we have a modern and solvent healthcare structure , and with access to public or private healthcare for all. At present, both in public and private, that the mother is comfortable , adapt to her wishes and that the experience of her birth is as pleasant as possible.
It should also be borne in mind that home delivery is not especially cheap as it is borne by the patient. A qualified professional can cost several thousand euros , but the same price can cost a doula , which is a person whose role is to offer accompaniment to the midwife, but does not have the proper preparation to attend a complication.

Newborn safety first

The safety of the newborn must be above all else, as the baby cannot decide and can take risks due to a bad decision.
What we professionals seek is to give the best attention to each situation with a very clear priority: maternal and fetal well-being and secondly, that the mother enjoys her delivery and has a good memory, supporting her, giving her affection and adapting whenever possible. to the wishes of each woman.

The risk always exists

Even with valuable technical and human resources , serious , unforeseen and abrupt situations are experienced , which perhaps would have had different results had they been faced at home.
The conclusion, therefore, is that we trust our health system, and the obstetrician and midwife, who are professionals prepared to help in any eventuality , and predisposed not to intervene more than necessary.
What you should know…

  • The woman or family is free to decide where to give birth, and for this it is important to seek advice and be well prepared if a home birth is decided.
  • The presence of a qualified professional, obstetrician or midwife, who is responsible for the supervision at all times of the correct evolution of the delivery, should be ensured.
  • There are obstetric emergencies that can occur unexpectedly and completely explosively, which is why many gynecologists and obstetricians are in favor of giving birth in a hospital environment despite having taken all the precautions.

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