In Ontario, around 20% of people in midwifery care plan to have their babies at home. They’re in good company: for more than 20 years, midwives have attended over 49,000 home births in the province and currently attend about 4,000 home births a year. This is one of the safest places to give birth.
Midwives are the only primary care providers in Ontario who receive extensive education and training to help you safely give birth at home. If you are experiencing a low risk pregnancy, there is excellent quality research evidence from Ontario showing that important health outcomes are similar whether you plan a home or hospital birth under the care of a midwife.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada agrees that homebirth is a reasonable choice for low-risk pregnancies. The pregnancy must be 37 weeks or more and the baby needs to be head down. Your midwife can discuss with you in more detail to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a home birth or not.
There are many reasons people plan a home birth with a midwife. Ontario-based research tells us that midwifery clients who choose home births have many things in common. They:
– value a birth without unnecessary medical intervention
– are confident in their ability to give birth
– find their home a supportive and comfortable environment
– feel more in control in their home environment
– prefer to move freely in familiar surroundings
– want to eat and drink as they like
– believe labour will go faster in the comfort of their own home
– prefer to avoid an epidural
– believe recovery from birth will be easier where they are most comfortable
– believe that home birth is safe, responsible choice for themselves and their babies
Watch this video to see how Rebeka decided to plan a home birth with midwives.
Reference: Murray-Davis B, McDonald H, Teitsma A, Coubrough M, Hutton E. Deciding on home or hospital birth: Results of the Ontario choice of birthplace survey. Midwifery 30 (2014), 869-876.