In the old days all women would labour and give birth in their own homes but over the course of the last century, as medical science developed, it became the norm to have a hospital birth. In fact, not only did it become expected that all mothers would have hospital births, but home births were discredited as an unnecessary risk. These days however, the pendulum is slowly swinging back to a more balanced position. The number of home births is on the rise and the obstacles to home births are lessening. Luckily in New Zealand women have the choice to consider both home or hospital birth.
Anna from Cambridge shares her experience of a home birth.
“Our little man was one week overdue so after a visit to the midwife and having a stretch and sweep, things started to progress very quickly.
My first birth (homebirth) was quick and intense so I knew what to expect. I popped on my TENS and began breathing through the contractions as I walked around the room.
Two hours later my waters broke and I was fully dilated - I hadn't even noticed the pains!
It was time to remove my TENS and hop into the birth pool. Some comedic relief came when my husband peeled away the electrodes - I'd forgotten to turn the machine off so he experienced a few minor jolts!
Our little boy was born very relaxed 30 minutes later in the birth pool.
Overall my experience was wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend or use your TENS machines again”.
Congratulations Anna and thank you for sharing your experience. To find out if a home birth is right for you visit www.homebirth.org.nz
What are the advantages of a homebirth?
- Familiarity - Giving birth in familiar surroundings can raise your confidence during labour, make you feel more in control (if all is proceeding well) and make you feel less inhibited: all of which can help ease labour.
- Low intervention - There's a far lower incidence of medical intervention in home births, whether that's prepping with shaving, having your waters broken, electronic fetal monitoring, medication or episiotomies. This is important because once medical intervention is initiated in a labour it's more likely that further intervention will be necessary, so your chances of a fully natural birth are usually higher with a home birth.