(Closed) Hospital Vs. Home Birth Vs. Birth Center

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 46
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

afenimore11:  I thini it depends on what type of birth you want and really keep in mind you can change your mind. I fyou start at a hospital and it doesn’t feel right switch to the birthing center or another hospital or home. I really want a natural non medicated birth. I am lucky that I live in a big city with lots of options for hospitals and a few birth centers. I did my research and found the hospital with the lowest birth rates that offered midwife care. I toured 2 and in the end chose the one with the lower csection rate (also one of lowest in country). I am very happy with my care, I am happy to know that if anything changes I have an operating room and NICU on the same floor. I also think that hospital births are not for everyone. I am not in agreement with the push for interventions that cascade into csections. 

Watch The business of being born and More business of being born. It will help you get an idea for which setting may be what you are looking for. 

Also if you are concerned about hospital interventions consider hiring a doula to help advocate for the birth you want. 

Post # 47
476 posts
Helper bee

I havent had a successful pregnancy yet but hospital with a NICU was always my choice. And im not sure Id be given a choice now anyway – I almost bled to death with an ectopic pregnancy (2 and a half litres of blood in my abdomen) – when medical professionals read that in your medical history they treat you like you’re going to explode. I have IV lines put in for nothing like they think im going to sponataneously haemorrhage. 

Post # 48
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My son is 3.5 months old, and he was born in a hospital with a NICU, with my OB in attendance. That was the only scenario my insurance would cover, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I had a very easy pregnancy, with a short labor and delivery, but when things go wrong in a birth, they can go very, very wrong very, very quickly. Research the policies of the hospitals and medical professionals you’re considering, and there may be one or more with options that will make you feel comfortable. My hospital has delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin as standard practice, for example, and they never forced pain meds or anything on me (I did have an epidural, but that was what I wanted all along). Another hospital in my city allows water births and midwife-assisted deliveries. Even the most uncomplicated-looking pregnancy can turn into a dire situation in minutes, and in case that happened to me, I wanted to be as close as possible to emergency assistance for my child and myself.

Post # 49
1842 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I strongly recommend everyone to read this book, regardless of where you choose to give birth: http://www.amazon.com/Childbirth-Without-Fear-Principles-Practice/dp/1780660553 

It explains a lot about the biological processes that make birth painful (or alternatively, significantly less painful).  It basically all comes down to how relaxed or anxious you are.  Sorry, the cover is a little unappealing.  Fascinating book though.

I’m going to give birth at home, when the time comes.  

Post # 50
9435 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

afenimore11:  I gave birth at 2 PM and they told me I could go home the next morning if I wanted to. But I think many places will require at least a 24 hour stay for the baby at least.

Post # 51
9811 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

afenimore11:  Not where I am (US).  You stay ~two days I think.  I delievered late Thurs night and was released Saturday around noon.  I did NOT want to leave lol.  I really liked having the nurses on call at all hours so I could call them down to help or ask questions.  Some of that time they are doing things for the baby (like our ped has rights at the hospital so they come by do to a thorough check and a checkup before they release baby), hearing tests, etc.  They are also doing stuff for you like “massaging” your uterus and I would believe just monitoring blood pressure to watch for preeclampsia, etc.  Sometimes they will do certain things for baby the first 24 hours (like if baby’s temps are too low put them under heating briefly).

Personally, I wouldn’t want to just be left alone immediately (like at home or something).  I enjoyed having a little bit of time with help from nurses so I could relax just a little before returning home.  Plus I didn’t have to clean up all the blood and amniotic fluid that I splattered all over the floor (walking to the bathroom before my epidural).  Birth is MESSY.

Also, if I was really set on a med-free birth I would have opted to stay at a hospital with my OB would would have hired a doula who could be my coach and advocate for me.  Plus the doula can also come to your home to assist before you go to the hospital.  That way you can have the best of both.  If you want med-free your best bet is to stay at home as long as you can (within reason).  I was induced so I was there from the beginning, unfortunately.

Post # 52
2075 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

ana2017:  Alberta just increased the budget for midwives. It’s nice having midwives as an option as they offer post-partum support. From what I heard, some midwives do make sure they don’t leave a mess if you do end up choosing a home birth. Either way, you might want to look into Hypnobabies if you are opting for a very low-intervention natural birth. 🙂 (I didn’t take the Alberta Health prenatal birth classes.)

Post # 53
31 posts

No kids yet, but I’m a NICU nurse so I’ll definitely be giving birth at a hospital with a level III NICU when the time comes. Seen too much to consider any other way! 

Post # 54
3903 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

Cynderbug:  I heard about Hypnobirthing classes a couple years ago! It’s in my must doo list as I tend to get anxious and tense… and tension = more pain so I really need the hypno birthing classes!

Post # 55
6883 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

afenimore11:  For hospital stay wise, it all depends on the hospital and well your insurance coverage.  

And I agree with the PP who said check how fast/far a hospital is because if something goes wrong it can go fast.

As for the PP who talked about home birth, honestly I wouldn’t.  Let tell about how my situation was. I had an easy pregnancy, no issues, no morning sickness nothing.  Everything was going great.  I had my normal check up and my doc said everything looks great and normal.  Less than 24 hours later I was in labor 7 weeks early.  And the doctors/nurses tried everything to get the contractions to stop.  Finally the doctor told me, ready or not my child was going to be born that day.  

Post # 56
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

 serendipityz:  “But we need to do more. We must abolish the C.P.M. and demand that all American midwives meet international standards; keep women at increased risk of complications from giving birth at home; insist on transfer to a hospital at the first hint of potential problems; and require that midwives have hospital privileges.”


How? By restricting a woman’s right to give birth how she so pleases? By government order? This is the exact opposite of feminism, and very, very dangerous thought.  Women have a right to birth choices.  They have a right to not be pushed or shamed into choices that conflict with their birth choices – like VBAC, inductions, ripenings, not eating or drinking before birth, etc.  And these birth rights also include a woman’s right to choose a hospital birth with every modern intervention.

I work in L+D at a hospital, and the only thing it has convinced me of was that I want nothing to do with a hospital birth unless absolutely medically indicated.  I guess I should also state I am currently researching maternal health while I receive my DrPH (Doctor of Public Health).  Interesting how wide my eyes are open now.

Post # 57
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

nikkiibee:  Right, so this is obviously a topic you have researched extensively and feel passionate about. I haven’t done any research. No kids. No near plans on kids. All I did was post a link to an article I had read (posted by a friend in the health field) because I’d read it an hour before the OP posted and thought it was relevant. I didn’t write it. I am the most staunch pro-choice, women’s rights activist I know. Of course women have a right to choose their own birth plans. Literally all I did was post an article free of personal commentary, not tear the OP a new one. 

Post # 58
2160 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I gave birth in a hospital and am so glad I did. I didn’t have an epidural or any synthetic drugs because I refused them. If youre a little bit assertive then there’s no reason you can’t have a natural birth at a hospital.. Anyway labor was terrifying and painful and I was so grateful to know I was in the hands of the medical staff if anything went wrong. Home births are great..untill your baby starts suffocating because the umbilical cord is wrapped around its neck (like mine was). I wouldnt risk it..

Post # 59
2325 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Ruby Princess

The truth is there is no 100% safe way to get a baby out of you. Birth is a well-designed, beautifully orchestrated process. It goes right most of the time. When things go right, it’s completely magical. When it goes wrong, it is rapid and devastating. 

The thing is, there are no guarantees. I haven’t had any babies, but have assisted in delivering hundreds, maybe near 1000 of them. I think I have delivered about 15 myself. If I did choose to have a child, I would be in a hospital with 24 hr anesthesia coverage dedicated to OB, a level 3 nicu, an OB Attending in house 24/7, and certified nurse midwives who handle the ‘normals’. I think that’s the best of both worlds. I think I would run the risk of having “too many interventions” than lack the access to a lot of them. Timing is critical, and seconds count. Liters of blood can be lost in minutes. I just wouldn’t take on that personal risk, for myself, or my baby. 

Post # 60
3009 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Sassygrn:  but if you’d planned a home birth, the outcome would have probably been the same. You would’ve called your midwife and said you were in labor at 33 weeks and she would’ve sent you to the hospital and met you there- no one is advocating home birth for premature babies. At the birth center I went to, you had to be between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant to deliver there, otherwise you had to go the hospital.

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