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Why A Homebirth?....It's All In The Numbers!

                               Why A Homebirth?....It's All In The Numbers!

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So as many of you know, my wife and I had a beautiful baby boy, Gavin, this past week in the comfort of our home.  It was a great experience and we wouldn't have done it any other way. I have faced the question from family, friends, and patients, "Why do you want to have your baby at home?"  Well....let me tell you why my wife and I decided to do this.....

This is a pivotal and exciting time in the history of American childbirth. As obstetrical care in the United States has become more and more interventive and impersonal, pregnant women and their families are increasingly rediscovering the midwifery model of care.

Throughout the world, including those countries with the best outcomes for both mother and child, such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Scandinavia, and New Zealand, midwives provide primary care to the vast majority of mothers and their newborns.

The World Health Organization has stated that midwives are "the most appropriate and cost effective type of health care provider to be assigned to the care of normal pregnancy and normal birth, including risk assessment and the recognition of complications."

Numerous studies have shown that midwife-attended home birth is at least as safe as hospital birth, with far fewer interventions. But safety is not the only or even the greatest advantage to homebirth.

Imagine a world in which a laboring woman is attended by a skilled professional who has cared for her throughout pregnancy, knows her history, her family, her hopes and fears. This woman never has to leave the comfort of her chosen birth setting, can have her baby in a tub of warm water or in her own bed, surrounded by those she loves.

Compared to home births:

Episiotomy at a hospital is 9 times greater.

Maternal hemorrhage at hospital is 3 times greater.

Newborn infection at a hospital is 4 times greater.

Emergency C-section at hospital is 9 times greater.

Maternal death at a hospital is 3 times greater.

Postpartum depression after hospital is 4 times greater.

- (due to mothers who may have had unwanted hospital interventions and hospital policy not allowing early bonding.)

 

There aren't numbers for differences in rate of perineal tears, but the rate of tearing is much higher in the hospital if the mother lays on her back, has an epidural (can't feel how hard and fast she pushes) or when the doctor uses forceps.

As soon as a mother enters the hospital, her C-section rate increases 25% on average. The eventual emergency C-section rate for attempted home births is about 5 percent in the U.S. As with any major surgery, C-section carries more risk to mom and baby than a vaginal birth.

The average C-section rate, should you labor in a hospital from the beginning, is between 30 percent in the U.S.

The midwife quietly monitors the progress of labor and the health of her baby, sits by her side, safeguarding the passage of a new life into the world. No bright lights, intravenous drips, or shift changes. The baby is born into a place of soft hands and gentle voices, and never leaves her side throughout the precious, crucial hours after birth. I actually "caught" the baby after the head was birthed....an incredible experience that I will never forget.

This is what homebirth has to offer. It is a gift that women give to their baby and to themselves, transformative, miraculous, and truly healthy. This is birth as it is meant to be the way nature intended.

Along with the awesome midwifery care we had, my wife Kristie, had chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy and it kept the baby in the right position and also made labor easier and less painful. 

As my wife said the other day, "I miss being pregnant, but excited to start the next stage of being a mom!"

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers we had from family, patients and friends throughout this experience.

In Health,

Your Health Coach,

Dr. Ross Coccimiglio

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