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What is homebirth?

Homebirth is choosing to give birth to your child in your home. In North America many women deliver their babies in a hospital setting. In many other cultures around the world, a large number of women give birth in non-hospital settings.

For women in these cultures giving birth at home is seen as a normal natural way to bring a new life into this world.

Why should I consider homebirth?

Where to have your baby is one of the most important decisions you will make. Giving birth in your home allows you to be in a familiar place and to be surrounded by family and friends. In this way, you can shape your birthing experience to meet your own unique needs.

If you have younger children, with proper planning you can keep them home for the birth. They will be able to see their mother and their new sibling either during the labour and delivery or seconds afterwards. Your child may show less anxiety or feelings of neglect by being part of the birthing process.

How do I prepare for a homebirth?

Most provinces have a set of criteria that must be met for homebirth. They are:

  • a desire for homebirth in a non-institutionalized setting;
  • you should have no complications in your pregnancy (check with your health care provider);
  • your home should have a working telephone;
  • you must live within 30 minutes of an acute care hospital; and
  • your community must have ambulances available for transportation.

Make arrangements for an adult to care for your child at home while you give birth or consider them being a part of the birthing process.

You can learn a lot by speaking with other women who have given birth at home. Ask about their experience and what steps they took to make homebirth a success. They can be a good source of information to find some one to assist with your birth. For more information on contacting other women see our list below.

These are only a few steps to consider. Before you make a decision spend some time researching what you need to have in place for a successful home birth.

What are the benefits of a homebirth?

A well-planned home birth can offer you and your baby special bonding time. Right after the birth your baby remains with you in the home you will share.

Being in a familiar surrounding may have a calming effect on you and reduce stress during labour.

Some studies show there is less chance for you and your baby to develop infections. This is because you have become immune to the everyday germs in your home and you pass this immunity on to your baby.

A very important benefit of home birth is that it allows you and your family and friends to see pregnancy, labour and delivery as a normal, natural, healthy life process.

Where can I go for more information?