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Are Home Birth Options as Safe as Hospital Births?

Home birth was the only option for women 100 years ago. As hospitals and medical care evolved, so did the use of hospitals for labor and delivery. Today, however, there is a trend for some women to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife. Some wonder whether this is a safe option and one that should be given serious consideration. It is important to note that even though a woman wants to have a home birth, she should continue to receive standard prenatal care through a doctor.

Those Who Should Give Birth in a Hospital
There are some conditions and situations where hospital birth is preferable and indeed safer than giving birth at home. It is important to determine whether you may be at higher risk for a difficult delivery before making the decision as to where to give birth. Those with diabetes, preeclampsia, or have other medical conditions should consider hospital birth. Also, those who have a large baby could be considered at higher risk for complications during birth. Sometimes these situations require immediate advanced care which may include a cesarean section rather than a vaginal birth.

Potential Risks of Home Birth
Home birth is often uneventful and the baby is born without any problem. However, there are some increased risks involved with home birth. Significantly, homes are not equipped with the advanced medical equipment and trained specialists that are sometimes required with a difficult birth. If a birth is not progressing as it should, there could be dangerous health consequences to the baby. Loss of oxygen is one of the serious problems that may occur. While not frequent, when it does occur the baby could suffer brain damage or could die. If a baby becomes stuck during delivery a hospital has the necessary tools to assist the birth, which are not readily available to a midwife. Generally, when a problem occurs during a home birth one of the only options is to seek medical attention. If this is not provided quickly it can mean the difference between life and death.

Midwives
Midwives are professionals dedicated to assisting in the labor and delivery process using minimal technological support. In general, they offer a natural alternative to the birth experience. Additionally, midwives also offer support, counseling, and education to parents before and after the birth of the child. They are trained to help deliver babies as well as to identify potential risks to avoid complications. There are different kinds of midwives including certified midwife, certified nurse-midwife, certified professional midwife, direct-entry midwife, and lay midwife. It is important to find a midwife that is best qualified for your labor and delivery assistance.

Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may occur regardless of where the baby is born. When a birth injury happens it is devastating to parents. The injury may be temporary or permanent and could cause lifelong damage. When a birth injury happens it is imperative to seek assistance from a dedicated birth injury attorney. Medical costs and other damages should be recovered from the negligent party. If your child was seriously harmed during birth contact the skilled attorneys at Levin & Perconti today.

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