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Home Birth – Giving Birth At Home
Experiencing the baby’s first cry in the familiar atmosphere of your own four walls – sounds simply beautiful. But what are the prerequisites for the pregnant woman? How should the parents-to-be prepare?
In the past, it was common practice to give birth at home, but now only about three percent of newborns in Germany are born at home. Often it is a question of personal feeling of security, for which place the women decide: some wish the hospital with all medical possibilities around itself. Others see the birth as a social, family event. They feel safe and secure in their own home – this is where they want to have their child.
Here you can find out for whom home birth is suitable and how a woman can prepare for it. Midwife in conversation.
Are There Certain Prerequisites For A Home Birth?
The most important thing is good prenatal care. The pregnant woman must come to me for prenatal care. She should do this as early as possible, around the twelfth week of pregnancy. Preventive care is also possible in alternation with the gynecologist. From the 30th week of pregnancy, I then meet with her regularly. I check the growth and heartbeat of the baby and how the cervix has changed. If the pregnancy has proceeded without complications, there is nothing to prevent a delivery at home. After the birth, it must be ensured that someone is still there to take care of the household completely. It’s not called postpartum for nothing: a woman who has just had her baby should lie still and concentrate on the infant. Especially if there are siblings, the man should be there for them now – ideally, someone third takes care of the household. This can be done by friends or relatives, or the health insurance company can finance a home help.
Can Any Pregnant Woman Give Birth In Her Own Home?
There are exclusion criteria, for example in the case of pre-existing conditions: Women with heart or metabolic diseases are better off in the clinic, as are expectant mothers with gestational gestosis or other complications. The hospital is also a safer place for twins or if the baby is in breech presentation. In the case of a previous cesarean section, I decide individually – depending on how long ago it happened and why it was done.
How Do You Accompany The Home Birth?
I support the expectant mother with homeopathy or acupuncture if desired. Otherwise, I intervene as little as possible in the natural birth process. In her own four walls, the woman is familiar with the surroundings and feels safe. This allows her to relax better and the birth usually progresses quickly. If necessary, I suture the perineum – although the perineal incision rate here, in the Cologne birth center, of home and birth center births is only two percent overall. Once the baby is born, I usually stay with the family for another two to three hours. In the first week, I visit them every day, then at longer intervals and by arrangement.
How Do You Prepare, What Is Important For The Expectant Mother?
From the 36th week of pregnancy, I always make a preliminary visit to the parents-to-be. I drive the route and look where they live and where their doorbell is. I especially inspect the staircase, through which I have to leave the apartment with the woman in case of emergency. Furthermore, I am interested in whether there is a bathtub, because bathing reduces the pain. I discuss with the expectant mother what she needs to organize: For example, a waterproof pad for the mattress. Furthermore, she should definitely have something ready in the refrigerator for cooling – hot-cold packs or ice compresses. After the birth, hygiene items are necessary due to the postpartum flow. Towels and clothes should be ready for the baby. Very important is a source of heat for the baby such as radiant heaters or red light. And I recommend having a hospital bag, baby seat and all papers such as a maternity passport, birth certificate or family record book ready in case of an emergency.
What Happens If Complications Arise?
Then we go to the clinic by car or ambulance. The women who register with us for home birth are automatically also registered at various reference hospitals with whom we work closely. There are always surprises in obstetrics – it may be that the birth stops, the contractions are not strong enough or the placenta does not detach completely after the birth. You have to be prepared for that. But complications rarely occur and women deliver their babies at the chosen place – in 2003, for example, 87 out of 100 women who opted for out-of-hospital birth.
Does The Home Have To Meet Certain Standards?
Actually, there just needs to be running water and the ability to heat it. Then I can make a hot water bottle for mother or baby, wash the woman, bathe the baby if necessary. Basically, you can give birth to a child in any apartment. I have attended births in the most curious places – in one-room apartments or in a construction trailer.
How Do Fathers Or Siblings Experience The Birth At Home?
The partner is much more involved than in a hospital birth. He has to make sure that the materials are there, take care of the woman, help clean up after the birth,… Siblings can also be present at the birth. However, their parents must prepare them well with books or movies and the children must be able to withdraw at any time. In any case, they need their own caregiver during the birth. Often children also sleep through the event. But the next morning they then curiously welcome the new sibling.
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