Childbirth at Home: Who can Do So, Risks and Necessary Care

Home birth is one that is home-made, usually by women seeking a more intimate environment to have their baby. However, it is essential that this type of delivery be done with a good prenatal planning and with the accompaniment of a medical team, to guarantee the health care of the mother and the baby.

In addition, it should be remembered that home birth is not recommended for all women, because there are situations that contraindicate, such as diabetic, hypertensive women, who have had cesarean or gestation of twins, for example, risk of complications during childbirth.

It is also important to remember that, despite home is comfort , some scientific studies show that home birth increases the risk of death of the baby, since it is a place less prepared to provide care if there is any complication in this moment that is unpredictable and delicate. For this reason, most doctors are against home birth, especially those without medical care.

Childbirth at Home Who can Do So Risks and Necessary Care

Let us clarify some of the main doubts on this topic:

1. Can any pregnant woman have a birth at home?

No. Home birth can be done only by healthy pregnant women who have had a full prenatal and who have entered labor naturally. As a way to protect the health of the baby and the woman, home birth is not recommended if the pregnant woman presents the following situations:

  • High blood pressure, pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes or any other condition that causes a high-risk pregnancy due to diseases such as heart disease, pneumopathies, renal, haematological or neurological diseases;
  • Have had a previous caesarean or other types of surgery in the uterus;
  • Have twins pregnancy;
  • Baby in a sitting position;
  • Any type of infection or sexually transmitted disease;
  • Suspected malformation or congenital disease of the baby;
  • Anatomical changes in the basin, such as narrowing.

These situations increase the risk of complications during childbirth, and it is not safe to do so outside the hospital setting.

2. How is the team that makes the birth?

The team that provides home delivery care should be comprised of obstetrician, nurse and a pediatrician. Some women choose to deliver only with doulas or obstetric nurses; however, it should be understood that if there is any complication during childbirth, there will be a greater delay in receiving the first medical care, and time is crucial during emergency.

3. How much does a home birth cost? Is it free?

Home delivery is not covered by the SUS, so women who wish to have a specialized team in this type of delivery need to hire.

To hire a home delivery team, the cost can be, on average, between 15 and 20 thousand reais, which varies according to the place and the amount charged by the professionals involved.

4. Is it safe to give birth at home?

It is true that, most of the time, normal birth happens naturally and without any kind of complication. However, it is important to remember that any birth, even in healthy women, can develop with some type of complication, such as difficulties in contraction and uterine dilatation, umbilical cord nodes, changes in the placenta, fetal distress, uterine rupture or uterine hemorrhage.

So when you are home during childbirth, if there are any of these complications, it will delay the start of care that could save the life of the mother or baby, or prevent the baby from being born with sequelae, such as cerebral palsy.

5. How is home birth?

The birth at home happens the same as normal childbirth in the hospital, however, the mother will be in your bed or in a special bath. Labor usually lasts between 8 and 12 hours, during which time the pregnant woman should eat light foods, such as whole foods, fruits and cooked vegetables, for example.

During the procedure, clean material such as disposable sheets or garbage bags must be provided in addition to a clean, warm environment to receive the baby.

6. Is it possible to receive anesthesia?

No anesthesia is given during childbirth at home, as this is a type of procedure that should be done in a hospital setting.

7. What is done if there is any complication during childbirth?

It is important that the medical staff responsible for the home birth have available materials to be used in case of any kind of intercurrence, such as bleeding or delayed delivery. Thus there must be suture threads, local anesthetic, forceps or resuscitation material for the baby, if necessary.

However, if there is a more serious intercurrence, such as bleeding or fetal distress, it is necessary for the pregnant woman and the baby to be transferred immediately to the hospital.

8. Is it possible to have a humanized birth other than at home?

Yes. Today many hospitals have humanized childbirth programs in a very welcoming environment for the mother and the baby, with a team specializing in this type of delivery.