First-time moms probably have this saved as one of the thousands of Google searches they conduct in a day: ‘Is a hospital birth better than a home birth?’
Well, it depends on who you ask. You’ll wind up getting a new answer every time, so it’s best to ask what method will work best for you and your baby. Every mom-to-be has their own idea of what makes the perfect plan — whether it’s receiving outpatient care service postpartum, giving them the ability to rest at home or being able to skip the hospital altogether.
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
A high-risk pregnancy is when both the child and mother are at risk of compromising their health and well-being during birth. A high-risk birth can be attributed to a previously existing chronic condition such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Expectant mothers who are high-risk should consider giving birth in a hospital. They’ll have access to their doctor and nurses around the clock in case something goes wrong.
If surgery is necessary during labor, the mom-to-be can be taken to the OR immediately.
Other factors that can complicate a home birth
Aside from high-risk pregnancy, mothers birthing multiples and mothers who have had a c-section are at a greater risk of endangering themselves or their child giving birth at home.
Benefits of a home birth
Most second-time moms decide to go for an alternative route by their second or third baby. But that’s not to say first-time moms can’t birth at home.
- First, you’ll be giving birth in the comfort of your own home with assistance from a midwife.
- It’s cheaper than a hospital birth.
- Women have stated that they’ve felt they were in control when birthing at home.
Benefits of a hospital birth
A hospital birth also has its own list of advantages.
- You’ll be monitored by your doctors and state of the art equipment throughout the entire process.
- You’ll have immediate assistance in case a medical problem should arise.
- You’ll receive inpatient care for a few days after the birth, meaning you’ll be able to recover at the hospital and not worry about moving around right away.
The best of both worlds
If you’re still tied between the two, you can always go for the alternative option. A birthing center combines elements of both a hospital and a natural home birth.
But to be considered, your pregnancy must be low-risk. Birth center advantages include:
- You’ll be around pediatric consultants around the clock during your stay.
- It’s more expensive than a home birth but still cheaper than a hospital birth.
- You’ll have access to the necessary equipment, in case something doesn’t go as planned.
The recovery: Outpatient care service versus inpatient care
Recovery is also going to vary. It will also depend on whether you’ve taken pain medication during labor.
A birthing center mimics the outpatient care service model, where the mom is able to recover at home after the birth of her child. Hospitals will require you to stay a few nights before you’re able to check yourself out and recover at home.
Making the right decision
As a mom-to-be, you’re going to have to make many tough decisions. It doesn’t stop after birth either. You’ll be picking the best baby formula or the perfect pre-school. But before you jump that far ahead, think about what makes you feel the safest and most cared for.