Why a Home Birth? Here Are My 35 Reasons

I think my family thinks I’m crazy. Nobody seems to understand why in the world I would want to have a home birth.

And I’m not naïve. I know that there are certain challenges associated with having a home birth that many people are not prepared to – or should not – deal with.

For example, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautions against a home birth if you’re pregnant with multiples or if you’ve had a C-section in the past.

You also should not go for a home birth if your baby has not settled into a position that allows for headfirst delivery.

I keep getting asked the same question of “Why?”, so… here’s my answer for all of you who are wondering the very same thing:

1. No rushing around to get bags and drive to hospital. I am able to relax in the comforts of my own home.

For me, this was a big one. The less time you spend in the hospital, the lower your risk of needing medical interventions. You should stay home as long as possible before heading to the hospital.

Of course, that means you’re also more likely to have your baby at home because you waited too long. Why not plan for this ahead of time?

2. No waking the kids in the middle of the night to go anywhere (if that’s when I happen to go into labor). No having to wake other people up to watch your kids.

3. No trying to find a parking spot and walking through a hospital during painful contractions!

4. No filling out paper work or answering the same annoying questions a hundred times while in excruciating pain.

5. No worrying if the hospital will have an empty room for you.

There’s also no need to pay inordinately high hospital fees for your stay – which, let’s face it, even with insurance are extremely expensive.

6. No rude or unsympathetic doctors or nurses to deal with.

7. No wondering if they’re going to send you back home!

8. No revealing hospital gown; wear whatever you want.

9. No being stuck on your back during contractions; you can get up, walk around, and be in any position you want.

10. You have access to a shower and tub if you want.

11. No bulky monitors strapped around you.

This means you can move around to help facilitate childbirth.

12. No uncomfortable needles and IVs stuck in you.

You can give birth without medical intervention like pain medication or labor induction, too.

13. You can eat and drink during labor if you’re hungry or thirsty.

14. No strangers gawking at all your “business”. (Like a group of medical students in training!)

15. No worrying about your wishes for baby being ignored, or arguing with doctors about what you want. You are in control of your situation and decisions.

16. No bright lights, stale rooms, and noisy intercoms echoing in from the hallways.

17. No being told not to push yet ’cause the doc is busy with another patient.

18. You can use natural treatments like herbs, oils, and heating pads as you wish.

19. Less chance of having a C-section.

20. No long tubes crammed down baby’s throat (to clear mucus which will naturally be expelled otherwise).

21. No unnecessary antibiotics in baby’s eyes (they do this routinely just in case you have Gonorrhea).

22. You can nurse baby right away without any hassles.

23. No nurses taking baby away to nursery and feeding him/her sugar water against your instructions.

24. You can have as many visitors as you want, whenever you want.

You also don’t need to worry about whether the hospital’s policies are in line with your cultural or religious beliefs.

25. No being forced to stay in the hospital for 3 days.

26. No having to be away from your husband and kids for days.

Honestly, having a home birth is a great experience for older siblings. Not only can the kids come in to check on you and see how you are doing, but they also get to meet their new sibling much sooner!

27. You can lay in your own comfy bed when it’s over, and your husband can lay beside you!

28. No blah hospital food; eat what you want when you want.

Don’t underestimate this one! Hospital food sucks. And if the hospital cafeteria is closed when you go into labor, well, you’re out of luck.

29. No being woken up in the middle of the night so the janitor can change the trash can, and every time you get a new nurse on duty.

30. No worrying about safety after delivery; no chance of your baby being stolen, or accidentally switched (it happens!!), no concerns of contracting a secondary infection (MRSA!) from unclean equipment and staff!

31. No scary drive home with a tiny newborn slumped in the car seat.

32. A more personal relationship with midwives and caregivers. More comfortable environment all together.

33. Sometimes your birth team will clean your house.

Depending on where you live and what kinds of professionals you have on your side, you may not have to do all the clean up after the baby is born. Score!

34. You have control over who is there with you.

With the start of the 2020 pandemic, more women are opting for home births than ever before. Why?

They are nervous that their partners or other family members aren’t going to be able to be present for the delivery. With a home birth, you can have anybody there you want.

Final Words

I want to have a home birth but I also recognize that sometimes, things go awry. You might have to be transferred to a hospital if complications develop.

For example, if you experience bleeding or have high blood pressure, you might need to be transported, the same goes for if labor isn’t progressing, the baby is mispositioned, or it’s showing other signs of distress.

If you’re going to have a home birth, make sure you have assistance from a certified nurse-midwife and that you are relatively close to the nearest hospital in case of a need for emergency transfer.

Home births are associated with a higher risk of infant death, so you need to plan for the worst.

When you work with your midwife, make sure you choose one whose education meets specific standards. He or she should have access to doctors and specialists at local hospitals and you’ll want to have a detailed birth plan.

What kinds of methods will you use to cope with your pain? Will you deliver in a bath tub? Talk ahead of time about any supplies you may need to buy, too.

I’m actually looking forward to the delivery this time! Please say a prayer for us, baby could be here any day now.

home birth Pinterest

updated 04/26/2020 by Rebekah Pierce

23 thoughts on “Why a Home Birth? Here Are My 35 Reasons”

  1. Some of these sound like valid reasons while the others seem like ridiculous paranoia – Like the baby possibly being stolen or switched. But to each their own!

  2. That sounds amazing…unfortunatly not an option of me 🙁
    my oldest had intestinal issues in utero that made me have WAY too much amniotic fluid …which led to lots and lots of problems and eventually a vertical uterine incision c-section…because Irs vertical I’m not even allowed to ho into labor…so #2 was a c-section as well…and if we are blessed enough to have a #3 (been trying & praying for 2yrs!) That one will be too….but as I said it does sound amazing to be able to stay in your home in your bed with your family!

  3. If you look for hospitals operating under the WHO Baby Friendly Mandate, you can have so many of those things, and not have to worry about staining any of your own bedding, carpet, towels, etc or finding leftover splatters in the crevices of your home! We had a midwife delivery in our local hospital (with valet parking and pre-filled out paperwork), let the umbilical cord finish pulsing on its own, my son laid on my chest undisturbed for over an hour and was helped to latch by an IBCLC before even my husband got to hold him, I had no IV, labored in a tub/shower and on a provided yoga ball and in all sorts of interesting positions (many suggested by the L&D nurses!), ordered off a room service menu full of delicious options (while in labor and afterwards), and was waited on by women who love their job during my entire stay (under 48 hours from check in to check out), including two visits by IBCLCs, just to check on me. Whew, that was quite a sentence. And it’s no ritsy, expensive hospital; I live in a little bit of a hick town. I guess I just want to defend hospital births in the right places. I had an incredible experience, but I know that not all hospitals (not many hospitals!) are as great as ours. But some of them are! And I would have been so worried about getting fluids all over my house and my amazing bed. Plus, it got me out of my house so that my mom could clean it for me while I was being visited by all our friends in a space that didn’t invite people to stay for an hour (unlike my living room, yeesh).

    • Lindswing-

      I’m glad to hear you had such a wonderful experience! I just want to clear up one myth- home birthing is not (or doesn’t have to be) as messy as you make it sound. I didn’t stain a single sheet or towel, and doubt I’ll ever find “leftover splatters in crevices” of my home 🙂 It was actually quite easily cleaned up, and quickly, by the midwives.

  4. I’ve never heard of a hospital as Meggan described! That would be wonderful, and maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much if I had had a better experience when I had my first child. I’ve since had 4 homebirths and absolutely loved each one. I know they aren’t for everyone though, and I totally support each couple’s right to decide what is best for their family.

    I pray all will go well for you Kendra.

  5. I support homebirth for those blessed enough to have uncomplicated births. I have done it 4 times and will continue to do so if I am blessed with any more children. I am so excited for you to be blessed with this opportunity! As always, you are in my thoughts.

  6. I’m looking forward to our 3rd homebirth in 8 – 11 weeks, I’ve had 2 at 37 weeks and only Vannan went to 40 weeks.

    Kendra was a homebirth that transported – my water broke at 37 weeks, but no labor and my blood pressure was borderline. I was induced, pushed for hours, and ended with a C-Section. I hated that they door was always open and there seemed to be a constant parade of new faces coming to look and oogle at me. I was self-consious, HOT, and they wouldn’t let me off those HORRIBLE machines for a minute. The bed was too high and I didn’t get to use the bathroom like I needed to – plus no food or water. It was my worst nightmare. Then I didn’t get more than a glimps of Kendra before she was whisked away for hours. I couldn’t go get her (they way overdid the dosage on the pain shot and it was nearly 12 hours before I could move much, let alone walk) and Tim had run home to shower and change. I was frantic.

    Vannan was a home birth, only 2 days “late” and was great except her umbilicl cord was wrapped around her ankle leaving the cord short and she would jerk the placenta as she crowned causing bleeding. The midwife did an episiotmy to get her out faster – not knowing why I was bleeding, but she was too far out to transport. I was fine after they unwound her ankle. They left her cord alone and just wrapped her up with the placenta to help her maintain her temperature and stablize her due to the mild birth trama.

    Joel was going to end up a C-Section because of my blood pressure. But I was able to get it down without medication, and at the last minute – after my water broke at 37 weeks, 4 days – we called the midwife and asked her to take us anyway. She did. It was the perfect birth – not painless – but nothing bad happened. I only regretted that because we chose to do it at the birth center (my house wasn’t ready), the girls were not there for the birth.

    Now we are looking at #4. I know it will be different from the others. And I’m ok with that. I only regret that my mom won’t be here for this birth – she died on Mother’s Day. She helped deliver both Vannan and Joel. We named all of our children after their grandparents, and this one is hers.

    I would add to the list that my two girls are excited to be able to see/eperience the birth too. We’ll play it by ear with Joel.

    You are in our prayers for a great homebirth experience.

  7. I am on my way to my 4th delivery in September and I have chosen a homebirth for the first time. I am so excited. I beleive if you can do it and are not against it, then right on! My friends and family are shocked too but i have many more reasons. My last delivery was only 2 hrs so i dont even think I will make it to the hospital anyways. I was always annoyed with the nurses coming in every 2 hrs to make sure we were fine and waking us both up to check us, telling me not to hold my baby when I slipped into a nap cause I might roll on her( You are gonna wake me up soon anyways I am sure it wont happen anyways). Good luck with it all and I cannot wait to read about it.

  8. I am personally terrified at the thought of a home birth, but I certainly admire those who do. I have a friend who has had all 5 of her children at home. It is amazing and my applause to those of you who bravely do so!

  9. I do have to post in defense of a hospital birth, I’m not against home birth, but it isn’t right for everyone…I wasn’t in a rush, at 2 weeks overdue, I was induced at the hosptial, so no waking anyone either. All paperwork was done ahead of time, so no annoying questions, valet parking for all women in labor, everyone was very supportive and friendly, no one was ever pushy or rude (lucky:). Not worried about being sent home- induction. Shower and tub in the room accessible if I wanted and I wasn’t stuck to the bed, I could walk around all I wanted, I actually spent a lot of time in the hospital’s garden! I did have a monitor on intermittently, but it made me feel better to get reassurance that baby was ok. Ate and drank all I wanted (brought mango juice with us…yum!!) I was at a teaching hospital, but with a midwife, and didn’t have any students, although I certainly wouldn’t have minded them! I felt I was in control of all decisions, I brought a birth plan and EVERYONE read it and respected all my wishes. Our room was quite pleasant with wood floors, a pretty window, nice music, no bright lights. I did have an IV, so that is true! My midwife was with us almost all the time, and didn’t hold up a thing. I was free to use any natural treatments I wanted, and was encouraged to use the ball, various positions, etc. As for C-section, if it was really necessary, I was glad to have it (and a level 4 NICU) available for an emergency. No tubes in baby, antibiotics or hep B (I denied them). I helped pull her out and nursed almost immediately. Husband or I was with her all the time, and she was never given anything but my breast to eat. Had as many visitors as I wanted (husband, mom, sister were there the entire time). Only stayed 48hrs-mutually acceptable. Husband was there the whole time, slept there, etc. True that I wasn’t in my own bed, and the nurses DID wake me up in the middle of the night, which was annoying. Husband slept in the bed next to me. I actually liked the hospital food:) and I didn’t have to make it! I really was never worried about safety, there are SO many safety items in place, that it wasn’t a worry that she’d get taken (she was with me or husband all the time anyway). Loved the midwife and really had a very positive experience all around…

    Anyway, just wanted to note that there really can be misconceptions about hospital births as there can be about homebirths. Some have great experiences and some not so great. But really the only thing on your list that was an advantage to being at home was no nurses waking you up at night! I just felt much more comfortable with experienced physicians available incase they were needed (several babies in our family with heart defects).

    Good luck to you! And if you DO end up in the hospital, realize it isn’t the end of the world and can be really great!!

    • Meggan-

      It sounds like you had a wonderful hospital to give birth in!! Unfortunately, my first two births in hospital were just as I described, with lots more things that I didn’t mention that I really did not enjoy.

      I hope everyone understands that I am not bashing all hospital births though!! I’m merely listing MY reasons for choosing a home birth. I understand that not all women have this option, or agree with it.

      Please you guys, don’t feel like you need to be defensive. This is simply MY personal opinion from MY personal experiences.

  10. Good luck to you and your baby! I look forward to reading your account of his/her birth.

    I had both of mine in the hospital many years ago, and other than an overly chatty nurse (I just wanted to be quiet!) I was lucky not to have any of the issues you listed. If anything most of my experience was the opposite of your concerns. My labor with the first one was long, and I was really exhausted when he finally arrived. They urged me right away to nurse, and I was just worn out! I remember being surprised that those toothless gums of his could clamp down so hard! Ouch! LOL!

  11. Oh and one other thing, my SIL had a great tip – she would take a shower in the morning and then slip into clean pajamas. Then when people came by with meals or to visit they’d remember she’d just had a baby and was physically still mending. Even her husband would do more so she could rest for the first week or so.

  12. Love the list!

    Ya know Jessica and Sandra, my mom & MIL both said the same thing! They looked forward to that initial stay! LOL

    Kendra, I’m with you though 🙂 I had my first two in the hospital and although they were both good experiences in their own rights, my last delivery was a waterbirth at a birthing center with wonderful midwives and it was the most spirital fulfilling empowering experience I’ve ever had in child birth.

    My prayers are with you! Angels will be in attendance! They always are. This powerful spirit is now entering mortality, his/her next step in the Plan of Happiness! Big reason for heaven and earth to celebrate!

  13. I think its great that you are having a home birth, my mother did for 2 of my younger siblings, I even saw my little sister born when I was 6. But, sometimes its better for the mom and the baby to have all the bright lights, bad food, and foggy drugged up memories. Good luck, I really hope you don’t have complications and end up driving a long time to get to the hospital. My mother had that with the youngest, and I know my parents talked about how they hated it. Though I think most of it was because we lived 40 minutes away, and they had to pay lots (and lots) of medical bills on top of the midwife’s fees.

    I had #1 in the hospital, and I was induced because I had PIH and my blood pressure wasn’t normal unless I was lying down. #1 also had the wonderful bonus of a super long umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and under her arm, so I had to lie on one side during labor so her heart rate wouldn’t drop, and each push made her heart rate drop like crazy. It was thanks to the drugs I was able to not push for an hour and let her move down the birth canal on her own. Everyone’s story is different, and I know many people that have had successful home births; but, in my case, I or the baby would have ended up in the hospital had we not already been there.

  14. I just had a home birth to my third baby only 3 months ago and I loved it. The reasons to choose home are just so many and amazing. Good luck!

  15. I just had my 5th, and while a homebirth would have been appealing to me before #1, I can’t imagine having one now. I’ve had 2 c-sections, so I have a lot more to consider. I know people do homebirths after having c-sections, but not me! I have to say, though, that several of you points were not even an issue at the hospital I deliver.

    #6, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 30 were never a problem I encountered the three times I’ve delivered at this particular hospital. In fact, we declined the Hep B shot without a problem, we were encouraged to nurse immediately after birth, the baby was only put in the nursery at our wishes, and all of the nurses I’ve encountered were extremely nice and never woke me up during the night. I think that a lot of those objections have to do with the doctor’s preferences. I’m blessed to be seen by Christian doctors that pray with me and are very considerate of my wishes. I realize that not all doctors and/or hospitals are the same.

  16. Great list!! I had my last 2 kids at home and could relate to and agree with everything on your list! My first was born in a hospital, and while it was a “good” birth experience (for a hospital) it was nothing like my fantastic homebirth experiences. I think some of my family members thought I was crazy, too . . . but I was able to just laugh it off and go with what my hubby and I felt was the right thing for us. 🙂 If you’re interested in reading my birth stories, they’re both posted at http://carriespregjournal.blogspot.com . One in April ’06 and one in April ’08.

    I’ll be praying for you as you get ready for the birth–hope you have a nice quick labor and easy delivery! I am envying your garden tub–both mine were born in our bathtub and I loved being in the water, but a bigger tub sure would’ve been nice! 🙂

  17. Im older than you and my kids are grown up now, when I had my babies, I was tired! and I enjoyed having the nurses take care of them while I rested in the hospital for a few days. I dont know where todays young women get so much stamina from to have a baby and jump into taking care of everything right away. that sort of amazes me. will you have lots of help? I hope so, ( although when I went home from the hospital I didnt want help then, I was ready to do it all myself. I just needed a few days to get ready I guess) when you didnt post for a couple of the last days, I thought maybe it was baby day. good luck!

  18. Hmphf! I cannot believe you making references to nurses being rude! Just kidding…I am a nurse so I had to kid with ya..but I have worked with some VERY rude nurses in my career and I always wonder why they went into the nursing field in the first place! I will keep you in my prayers! I agree with most of the points you mentioned! I had all three of mine in the hospital, the last one being with a midwife. Honestly, having him at home would have been nice, but I liked being at the hospital….because I knew that as soon as I got home I would then have 3 kiddos to care for! LOL! That scared me a little…I begged to stay another day! Keep us updated on her arrival!!!

  19. I am not sure if I’ve commented before…but I visit your blog regularly and just wanted to say that I think your idea of home birth sounds fantastic. Not so long ago that is just how they did it…we’ve gotten so far away from doing things on our own…growing food, preserving food, caring for sick and yes, even giving birth! Do what you feel is right and best for you, your family, and your new sweet baby. Nobody else needs to “understand”….right!? May your labor go smooth and QUICK!

  20. Ooh, is it time to start stalking for a birth story? How exciting!
    Another bonus is that you can post/email your birth story and photos of the brand new baby as soon as you want to (I had mine up 4 hours after having my last kiddo for friends that were stalking my blog, it was fun).

  21. Wow, great list! I feel like you did miss TONS of great things though! More of just all the amazing medical reasons that it is so beneficial! It is actually more dangerous to have it IN a hospital! Most people don’t realize that!
    I’ll send a prayer-you will do great!
    You can read about my homebirth if you go to my blog and search in the archives during Aug. 08!


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