Home birth means that you give birth in the familiar surroundings of your own home under the supervision of your midwife.
One or two midwives stay with you during labour and help you deliver your baby. They will be prepared to call a doctor when in need and an ambulance in case of an emergency.
What if I agreed on hospital birth at the start of my pregnancy and now I want to change over to a home birth?
You have the right to change your mind anytime during your pregnancy but it is in your interest to take a firm decision and stick to it from the very start. This will help you prepare yourself for the delivery.
* You may be more relaxed and feel better able to cope with pain during labour in familiar surroundings.
* You will not be daunted as one would be with hospital equipment and general atmosphere.
* There will be more privacy as compared to a hospital.
* You will be able to develop a rapport with the midwife as she will be with you from beginning to end.
* You will be away from life saving equipment, in case of an emergency.
* If your baby requires special care, it can only be provided for in the hospital.
The first time you visit your doctor after your pregnancy is confirmed, he or she will discuss whether you want a hospital or a home birth. If your GP is not able to help you in arranging for a home birth, you can write to the Supervisor of Midwives at your local hospital and ask for a midwife to be provided to you to help you with home birth. Alternatively you can approach another GP in your district who will help you with your home birth.
Although it is not essential for GPs to participate in home births, they do not have the right to write you off their register just because you are insisting on a home birth. If you feel this is the case, get in touch with local health authority or the community health centre.