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Pregnancy 2023

Home birth (at home): everything youê need to know

Home birth (at home): everything youê need to know
Home birth (at home): everything youê need to know

Home birth is one that takes place at home, usually chosen by women who seek a more welcoming and intimate environment to have their baby. However, it is essential that this type of delivery is performed with optimal prenatal planning and with the monitoring of a specialized he alth team, to guarantee the he alth care of the mother and baby and constant monitoring of temperature, pulse, blood pressure and fetal heartbeat.

In addition, it is important to point out that home birth is not recommended for all women, as there are situations that contraindicate it, such as diabetic, hypertensive women or those with twin pregnancy, as they present a greater risk of complications during childbirth.

Although home birth can bring convenience and comfort to the pregnant woman, labor and the birth of the baby can be unpredictable, in addition to the home being considered a place less prepared to offer care, in case there is any type of complication. For this reason, the main medical entities are not in favor of home birth, recommending that delivery take place in a hospital environment for greater safety for mother and baby.

Let's clarify some of the main doubts about this topic:

1. Can any pregnant woman give birth at home?

No. Home delivery can only be performed by he althy pregnant women who have had a complete prenatal care and who have gone into labor naturally. As a way of protecting the he alth of the baby and the woman, home birth is not recommended if the pregnant woman presents the following situations:

  • High blood pressure, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes or any other condition that causes a high-risk pregnancy, due to diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney, hematological or neurological diseases;
  • Having had a previous cesarean or other uterine surgery;
  • Being pregnant with twins;
  • Baby in sitting position;
  • Any type of infection or sexually transmitted disease;
  • Suspected malformation or congenital disease of the baby;
  • Anatomical changes in the pelvis, such as narrowing.

These situations increase the risk of complications during childbirth, and it is not safe for this to be done outside the hospital environment.

2. How is the delivery team made up?

The team that provides care for childbirth at home must be composed of nurses who are specialists in maternal and obstetric he alth and/or an obstetrician.It is also possible to have a doula to provide physical and emotional support. Some women choose to deliver only with midwives, however, it should be understood that if there are any complications during childbirth, there will be a longer delay in receiving first medical care, and time is crucial during an emergency.

3. How much does home birth cost? Is there free?

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

To hire a home birth team, the cost can be, on average, between 15 and 20 thousand reais, which varies according to the location 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 intervention. However, it is important to remember that any delivery, even in he althy women, can evolve with some type of complication, such as difficulties in uterine contraction and dilation, true umbilical cord knot, changes in the placenta, fetal distress, uterine rupture or uterine bleeding.

So, when you are at home during childbirth, if there are any of these complications, you 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 paralysis brain.

5. How does home birth happen?

Home birth is similar to normal birth in the hospital, however, the mother will be in her bed or in a special bathtub, in order to feel comfortable. Labor usually lasts between 8 and 12 hours, and during this period the pregnant woman should eat light foods, such as whole foods, cooked fruits and vegetables.

During the procedure, it is necessary to have clean material, such as disposable sheets or garbage bags, in addition to a clean and warm environment to receive the baby.

6. Is it possible to receive anesthesia?

Anesthesia is not used during childbirth at home, as this is a type of procedure that must be performed in a hospital setting.

7. What is done if there are any complications during childbirth?

It is important that the he alth team responsible for home birth has materials available to be used in case of any type of intercurrence, such as bleeding or delay in the delivery of the baby. Thus, suture threads, local anesthetic, forceps or resuscitation material should be available for the baby, if necessary.

However, if there is a more serious complication, such as hemorrhage or fetal distress, it is necessary that the pregnant woman and the baby are immediately transferred to the hospital.

8. Is it possible to have a humanized birth without being at home?

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

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