Home Births: A Risk or A Right?

by 21stcenturymummy on August 3, 2010

‘Women do not have ‘the right’ to choose to have a home birth’

Following on from a post on Clued Up Dads, I read an article in the Daily Mail on Friday stated that according to a leading medical journal, women do not have ‘the right’ to choose to have a home birth because it risks the health of their babies. The Lancet said pregnant women had the right to choose how and where to give birth – but the rights of their unborn child must always take priority. The comments came only weeks after research found that home births were three times riskier for newborns than hospital births.

You  can read the full article here. Source: Dailymail.co.uk

Home v. Hospital

I would never consider a home birth mainly because of the risks. If I’d had my daughter anywhere else other than hospital, then both of us would probably have died. (I also think it would give me nightmares knowing I’d given birth on my bed. I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep in it again.) However, I do hate hospitals and find them very stressful. When my daughter was born it was the worst experience imaginable. I had hoped at the very least to be in one of the hospital’s birthing rooms, which had a birthing pool, but it wasn’t to be. I ended up having an emergency c-section under general anaesthetic, but at least when it turned into a life-threatening emergency, there were the resources to deal with it.

It’s easy to see why some couples prefer giving birth in the comfort of their own home, of course it’s more relaxing. Some people are more into that kind of thing anyway. I have friends who have had easy home births with their second child, usually having had their first in hospital with no complications.

Personal Choice

I think the best way forward would be to ensure mothers are made fully aware of the risks involved to them and their baby, however I think it is ultimately a personal choice. How can you possibly stop people making that choice?

What do you think?

{ 1 comment }

scribblingmum August 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

This is such a hard one. I am always that one that says people have choices, these are personal decisions. But home birth gets me every time and I struggle with it. I just don’t think it’s about the Mum. It’s about the baby getting here safely and we are so lucky to have the medical services that we do, I think it is crazy not to use them. I cannot think of a single reason why someone would consider taking the risk, however small.

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