Why Homebirth?


A Birth Analogy

Authors:- Jill Alderton & Jill Oliver (National Childbirth Trust – UK)
Home Birth Conference for Midwives, GP’s & Consultants

The lay person’s view:- Why women want a home birth

GP: Hello Mrs Smith, come in
Mrs. Smith: Hello Doctor

GP: And what can I do for you?

Mrs. Smith: Well doctor, my husband and I have been married for a while now, and we were thinking that we’d like to have sex.

GP: Yes, fine, I’ll arrange a referral to the local hospital, unless you particularly wanted to go to one of the others.

Mrs. Smith: Well, actually, we rather hoped to do it at home?

GP: Sex at home!! And this is your first time??

Mrs. Smith: Yes

GP: Well, I know it might all go fine, but first time in particular there can be unexpected problems. You’d be better off in hospital with the experts to keep a careful eye on you.

Mrs. Smith: That all sounds a bit off putting, surely its a natural event

GP: Yes, but things do go wrong and we don’t want to take any chances. In hospital there’s all the emergency equipment on hand – just in case it is needed

Mrs. Smith: It all sounds so clinical & the hospital beds are so high & narrow, not like our comfy bed at home. We won’t have much room for movement will we?

GP: Well you don’t have to use the bed in the early stages, but in the end, although people have these exotic ideas about different positions, most end up choosing the conventional position on the bed. It does give the medical staff the best possible view of what is happening.

Mrs. Smith: It sounds so different from what we had hoped for. We rather fancied being at home with soft background music, candles, a nice meal & a bottle of wine, you know, to help us relax.

GP: Well, you can enjoy those at home to start off with if you like; keep the meal light & go easy on the wine – too much alcohol can cause problems. You needn’t go into hospital until things are well on the way, after all it is only a short journey for you. In hospital, of course, you won’t be allowed to eat or drink, but then you won’t want to at that stage. As for candles, they would be a fire hazard. They’d probably set off the sprinklers!!

Mrs. Smith: Won’t transferring to hospital upset the flow of things??

GP: Maybe, but it will soon pick up again once you have settled in. The staff are very good at helping people to settle.

Mrs. Smith: Won’t having all those people around be rather inhibiting?

GP: Oh you needed worry about them, they’ve seen it all hundreds of times before. You won’t be showing them anything new. They won’t be embarrassed.

Mrs. Smith: But I will be!!!

GP: No, not really, once you get going you will be totally engrossed in what you are doing.

Mrs. Smith: Oh. I don’t know, I really imagined somewhere familiar & private for the first time; we have redecorated the bedroom especially, bought some lovely new sheets.

GP: Well you wouldn’t want to spoil them, now would you dear? It can be a rather messy business. Now look why don’t you go and talk this over with your husband and then both of you come back next week and see me again

Mrs. Smith: Oh all right then – if you think that is a good idea – Goodbye.

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