Should I consider a home birth? Labor & Birth

iStock/Enzo Nguyen@Tercer Ojo Photography

Mom holding newborn baby after childbirth.
iStock/Enzo Nguyen@Tercer Ojo Photography
There are many reasons moms choose to give birth in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. Check out the varying opinions on home birth to help you decide if delivering at home is right for you.

Yes, but Know Your Risks

"Low-risk women who've had vaginal deliveries before would be the best candidates, but even routine deliveries can go sideways in an instant. In the hospital, I have a team of highly specialized people seconds away should anything happen, but at home, there is a delay. When it comes to a baby, although not frequent, sometimes just a few minutes can make a difference. There are emergencies that can happen during a delivery for both mom and baby, and sometimes being at home can lead to a...

"Low-risk women who've had vaginal deliveries before would be the best candidates, but even routine deliveries can go sideways in an instant. In the hospital, I have a team of highly specialized people seconds away should anything happen, but at home, there is a delay. When it comes to a baby, although not frequent, sometimes just a few minutes can make a difference. There are emergencies that can happen during a delivery for both mom and baby, and sometimes being at home can lead to a tragedy that could have been averted had the delivery happened at the hospital. However, some women do not feel comfortable in a hospital and feel they cannot trust their doctor or hospital to give them the care they want and are afraid that they will get pressured into unnecessary medicines and surgeries. They want a more natural experience free from medical interventions, and a home birth gives them that. With home births many women feel less pressure to 'get things going.' And, by and large, a home birth for the right patient will go just fine, and even if you have to get transferred to a hospital, nothing bad happens. It all comes down to personal choice and acceptance of the choices you make, bad outcome or good outcome." -- Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Consider Home Birth Benefits

"In my opinion, home birth is really ideal for a mom and a baby. It's a much more relaxed environment. I've heard women say their babies hardly cried at birth, nursed very efficiently, and healed quickly from the birth; they credit it to being at home. Also, having your own stuff around makes you so much more relaxed."

It's a Personal Decision

"I've never had an issue standing up for what I felt is right or getting pushed around by anyone in a hospital. [In a hospital], I can have anything I want or need, plus the added bonus of having a doctor there with the ability to save my or my baby's life. I don't look down on home-birthers, nor do I feel the need to try to convince them a hospital is better. It's one of a million decisions a woman makes for herself and her baby."

A Hospital Setting Isn't Necessary

"I don't feel that the hospital model provides safe and adequate or medically proven care to mothers or babies. Our bodies are geared to do this thing without the interventions that they impose in hospitals. I also feel that giving birth is not an illness and should not be treated as such."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.