Babies have been born at home for centuries, but that didn't stop most of my family and friends from giving me some serious "are you crazy?" looks when I announced my plans to give birth to my youngest child in my living room. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in home birth, with more moms considering it as a viable option. If you're trying to decide if a home birth is right for your family, you may have a lot of unanswered questions. From how you know you've delivered a healthy baby to who cleans up all of the mess, you may be wondering about the things that happen after you give birth at home.
As What To Expect mentioned, home birth can be a safe alternative to the hospital if your pregnancy is considered low risk for complications. Having the ability to move about your home freely, eat and drink as you please, and include your loved ones are among the benefits to choosing to have a supervised home birth. Additionally, the American Pregnancy Associated noted that the average home birth — without complications — can cost about 60 percent less than giving birth in the hospital.
You may be surprised to learn that when you give birth at home, there really isn't much for you to do — except give birth, of course. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing team of midwives and doulas who worked with my family to make sure every detail of the delivery was taken care of, leaving me to focus on getting through labor and bonding with my new baby and his big sister.
Check with your healthcare provider about whether or not you are a good candidate for home birth, educate yourself on the potential risks, and have a backup plan in place in case of an emergency. And once you've decided home birth is right for you, you can start preparing your home — and the rest of your family — for your baby's big day. Here are a few things to take into account when deciding to give birth at home.