Plan your birth: at home, hospital and the birth plan

TNO research shows that approximately 70% of Dutch parents would like to give birth at home. This is not always possible for medical reasons, but 25-30% still give birth at home. 95% of women who give birth at home look back on it positively. 90% also want to give birth at home next time. And of hospital births, 65% want to give birth in hospital again. Giving birth at home is therefore highly valued, and is chosen by more than 50,000 women every year. Choices, you have to make a lot of them during your life. One of those important moments is the birth of your child. Am I going to give birth at home or in the hospital, do I want immediate skin-to-skin contact or would I rather check the child later?

Choice between home or hospital

Benefits of a home birth

  1. If you give birth at home you have a lot of privacy and you have your own things around you
  2. You can do whatever you want: dance, shower, walk, etc
  3. Any older children can attend
  4. It is quieter at home
  5. At home you run no risk of hospital bacteria
  6. It will cost you less money if you are not fully insured

Benefits of a hospital birth

  1. Pain relief through medication
  2. Has the space, if you have little space at home
  3. You no longer have to rush to the hospital. 30% of women who have a home birth still have to go to the hospital. For women for whom it is their first birth, this percentage is as high as 51%, the reasons being: a delivery that proceeds too slowly and the need for medical pain relief.
  4. You are not distracted by daily worries

Wrong images that may unconsciously influence the choice between home/hospital

Some say it would be safer in the hospital, but nothing could be further from the truth. Home births are just as safe as hospital births. This incorrect image may also have arisen due to the relatively high infant mortality in the Netherlands compared to surrounding countries. It appears difficult to find an explanation for this, but ‘unsafe’ home births are certainly not one of them. Factors that do influence: on average, women are older during their pregnancy, smoke more on average and give birth to more multiple births on average. We are also reluctant to save extremely premature children, while other countries are more likely to make an effort to do so. But even taking all these factors into account, they do not explain the increased mortality. And then home birth turns out to be an easy target, because other countries hardly have this. There, people are only allowed to give birth in the hospital. It creates a lot of mess at home. No, because in principle the maternity assistant cleans up everything. My partner wouldn’t be able to stay otherwise. This depends on the hospital in which you would like to give birth, as there are now maternity suites in hospitals where the man can spend the first night with the new family.

Other choices you can make and record

By writing a birth plan you record your choices, of course you can come back to these choices before and during the birth. But it is also intended as a way to prepare for the birth with the people who will guide you during the birth. Take them into account when writing your plan, as it must be readable in a short time and it must be understandable. Therefore, keep it simple and stick to one A4. First you have to delve into all the knowledge there is about childbirth, it can influence the wishes you have. For example, skin-to-skin contact after birth is very good for the development of the mother-child relationship. This knowledge may make you want to include this in your birth plan. The choice of pain relief also depends on the knowledge you have about this. The birth plan states: who you want in the room during your birth, where you would like to give birth, which positions you find comfortable during the birth, how you want to deal with the pain (pain control) and what your wishes are regarding the birth. and just after. It remains a plan, so be prepared for your birth to turn out differently than expected and do not make your wishes demands.

Tips: handle the baby yourself when it is born, if you have to go to the operating room yourself: nice with daddy with skin-to-skin contact and you can take some drops of expressed breast milk with you in an infection syringe to immediately give it to the baby by finger feeding If the breast does not work right away.