Frequently Asked Questions
Is home birth safe?
Homebirth is safe. Recently published research examining the outcome of planned homebirth gives evidence that a planned homebirth with an experienced, properly equipped midwife is safe in incidences of low risk pregnancies. Infant morbidity and mortality rates are just as low, if not lower, than to the same low risk group giving birth in a hospital setting. The homebirth group had less medical interventions (and their accompanied complications), less fever and infections, less episiotomies, less incidence of hemorrhage, and a much lower Cesarean Section rate. The over all feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment and personal empowerment was greater among the homebirthers.
Who is eligible for a homebirth?
Healthy women with healthy low risk pregnancies are eligible for homebirth. According to the Ministry of Health: a “term” pregnancy (between 37-42 weeks gestation), a single fetus, vertex (head down) presentation, with no previous cesarean section or uterine surgery. Estimated fetal weight of 2500-4000 grams.
How does homebirth work? What does midwife care include?
After our initial meeting, we begin a series of prenatal visits at your home. These meetings can begin at any time during your pregnancy, but I recommend that we begin meeting from week 20-25. During these meetings we will discuss matters concerning nutrition, general health issues, pregnancy and birth. Blood pressure is measured, urine is checked for protein and your belly is palpated for fetal weight and position, fetal heart tones are heard with a Doppler to determine fetal well being.
Once labor begins, you contact me and together we decide when it is appropriate for me to come to your home. I am with you during the birth and about 3 hours after baby is born to assure that both mother and baby are well. With in the first hours after birth I administer, with your permission, the vitamin K to your baby.
During the first few days following the birth I will come to your home 1-2 times for post natal home visits, one of these visits I will perform the PKU test. A pediatrician or family physician must examine your baby within the first 24 hours after birth.
What if you are busy at another birth when I go into labor?
This is very rare, but if it does occur, I have an experienced, licensed backup midwife who will come as my replacement.
What is considered a safe distance from a hospital to have a home birth?
Up to 30 minutes driving time from the closest hospital.
What do I need to prepare before giving birth at home?
You will receive a detailed list, but in general you need a package of disposable under-pads or “chux”, called “sdinityot”, available in most pharmacies, a plastic sheet, towels, a package of extra large absorbent sanitary napkins, a bottle of almond, sesame, grape seed or olive oil for perineal massage, clean newborn baby clothes, socks and a cotton hat, a package of cotton cloth diapers, and a few flannel diapers or receiving blankets. Candles, music, essential oils or what ever else might assist you in creating the atmosphere you desire for your birth. Homeopathic Arnica 30C globules or drops may be purchased for use after the birth. You should prepare a small bag containing personal items, toiletries and all pregnancy information and tests performed if hospital transfer is necessary.
What pain relief is available at home?
Pain is very subjective and is greatly influenced by fear, stress and immobility. At home you are free to move, submerge yourself into a pool of warm water, or a bathtub, or a shower, walk, rock, dance, sing, moan and make noises freely. You can eat, drink, and become completely uninhibited and allow your body to birth naturally as it inherently knows how. If a woman feels safe, secure, loved, supported and cared for, her ability to deal with the pain of childbirth is greatly increased. Water, such as in waterbirth can reduce the pain of labor up to 30% according to research done by Waterbirth.com. Movement, touch, massage, use of a birth ball, essential oils can all assist in pain relief. I come with a large supply of homeopathic remedies that can greatly ease and assist during birth when needed.
What happens if for some reason I have to be transferred to the hospital? Do you accompany me?
How do I register the baby after the birth?
There is no reason to go to the hospital, or be examined by a gynecologist after the birth. I will give you all of the paperwork necessary to register the baby in the Ministry of the Interior.