I don't think this is a topic that we've really spoken about much here - although I first want to start out by saying that this thread is for those who DO like hospital births, so please don't turn this into a debate.
I was talking with a friend the other day who has had both home & hospital births & honestly prefers the hospital over home. I enjoyed our conversation because it allowed me to see & understand a perspective that I don't see very often. Most of those who I know who have had homebirths end up staying home with other pregnancies & births, unless medical needs call for a hospital birth.
I can relate to some of her thoughts - with my last homebirth I honestly did find it stressful with my other kids around, I think the fact that they were all sick added to that but I did like having a few quiet (well no kids quiet anyway) before I went home & faced reality. Of course you trade that with other things but some don't mind the intervening.
Soo this conversation has lead me here, I'm curious to hear from others who might enjoy hospital over home. Even if you've never had a homebirth - what is it about hospital births that you do like?
I haven't had a homebirth, and I think I would like it if it were feasible for us, so I really can't compare the two, but there were definitely things I liked about the hospital.
I appreciated the recovery time without having to worry about everything going on in my house (family staying with us, keeping up with housework, etc.) Of course not all hospitals are the same, but the one I had my daughter at was wonderful. The postpartum area is so quiet and peaceful, I had the same night nurse every night and the same day nurse every day and they were AWESOME. Sooooo helpful to a first time mom, especially with breastfeeding. They were extremely supportive. My night nurse, being a breastfeeding mom herself, took so much time to help me and was actually more helpful than the lactation consultant. Because the postpartum ward is small, one nurse took care of four or five moms, and one nurse took care of four or five babies (when they were in the nursery). So they could take their time and give you plenty of attention if you needed help with something. They never disturbed me at night unless it was absolutely necessary (I kept my daughter with me 99% of the time, but at one point I put her in the nursery, and they woke me up to feed her). They really did a great job pampering all the moms, so that all we had to worry about was resting and nursing! Once I got home, there was really no chance for rest. So I think that was my favorite part- being able to just focus on my baby and my recovery.
I'm one of those mom's that is not able to do a home birth, so I'm rather stuck with the hospital. I will say though that there are some positives in the short time I'm there.
- First and foremost the control of visitation! Here in Calgary they changed the rules so only your significant other (aka dad), doctor/midwife, and coach are permitted to see you from the moment you've entered L&D to the moment you walk your butt out the next day. Most of us don't stay any longer than 8 hours (overnight) and are discharged the morning after your baby is born. In that short time you are blissfully free of MIL, Mothers, Brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins. You get that time to focus on meeting your LO and learning all the new and wonderful things about your new little joy!
- You don't have to cook... mind you the food is usually awful, but our hospital has a nice bistro in it so I can bribe hubby to dash down and grab me something edible before he gets kicked out for the night :P
-You have nurses at your 24hour call, they can help with latching issues, help you through that horrible 'rinse bottle' phase hours after birth and are usually totally great at reassuring you that yes the swelling will go down and you won't be carting two half filled footballs around between your legs for life hehehe
- Family and friends that would normally have invaded your space were you at home and not under lock and key at the hospital find themselves waiting around your house bored... and often feel obligated to clean/cook/shop for you in your absence... usually you come home to a clean house, a full fridge and a warm meal... and you can sleep soundly that night knowing hubby hasn't burnt the house down trying to make himself food. (Ongoing joke in my house since our fire alarm seems to go off everytime he makes toast, even though we both know he's a fantastic cook!)
I know there are drawbacks to hospitals, but since I've no other options and to be honest for my own safety I wouldn't dream of trying to birth at home, but the hospitals can... if you try really hard be a comfort through the labor and delivery, and pp recovery the day after. I wouldn't want to stay there a week... but the night/day I get is usually rather nice. And of course there's the ultimate bonus... I am not stressed about rupture bleeds because I know they're ready and prepared for whatever I'll throw at them. (Last time they had the bleeding stopped before the Doctor had finished saying "we have a bleed")
... now if I can only get the L&D nurses not to be total wankers while I'm in labor... :P
Adam and Eirinn
Ashleigh Jun 3 2000, Mackenzie Sept 21 2001, Jayde Jul 9 2006, and Liam Jun 9 2011
I did miss the couple days of quiet at the hospital with my homebirth, but I didn't miss the nurses bugging me or the bed...or the food.
Kristina, (formerly known as ~Kristina~)
doula and apprentice midwife
Wife to Jesse 8.18.01
Mom to Ayden 12.18.01, Kailey 7.1.03,
Ashlyn 6.11.05, Dylan 9.29.07 & Riley 12.8.09
Eirinn - I also live in Calgary!
I will not attempt a home birth. I like the piece of mind at the hospital.
I like that I will have help with breastfeeding if needed.
I never found that the nurses invaded my privacy or bugged me in any way.
Honestly, I think I like being pampered after labour (which I very much felt like they did after DD). It couldn't have been a better experience!
On the other hand, those people whom I know who have had home births often say the same things - each to their own I guess.
I do love reading home birth stories though! kudos to you ladies!
I didn't read the other replies yet so I'm sure I'll repeat some stuff, but I do like hospital births. I would consider a homebith in different circumstances but as it is I don't see any reason to not have a hospital birth. I love my CNM, the hospital I will be delivering at now does water births, it's a small hospital so you get a lot of personal attention from the nurses (I think most people in my area choose to deliver where I had my first two, the nice, big, new hospital with awful nurses ), the nurses at the hospital were WONDERFUL when I had DS. DS received a personal birthday card from the nurse who delivered him last year. I never felt like I was pressured into anything when I delivered there last year and I felt like I made my own decisions even though I didn't end up delivering with my midwife.
Plus, my dh works a LOT, he'll likely have to work a bit while I'm in the hospital and he doesn't get much time off. Honestly, staying in the hospital after giving birth is almost like a vacation to me I am fed 3 meals a day right in my bed and the older kids are taken care of and get to come see me and the baby once or twice a day. I get to take a shower and have someone available to watch the baby while I do so. I had MIL come last year when DS was born to 'help' and I found it so stressful, I just don't have naturally helpful people in my life. She actually commented on how my laundry baskets were all full and I should fold it all/put it all away right out of the dryer, great advice for someone who doesn't have a 3 day old newborn when she wasn't giving housekeeping advice she wanted to hold 'her' baby. Almost forgot another bonus to being in the hospital. My nurses were great with reading my cues, better than my family! When we had visitors who lingered a little too long on that first night when I was exhausted it was nice that I had a nurse who could come in and be the 'bad guy' and tell everyone I needed my rest.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
haven't had a home birth myself either- so i think these happy thoughts to content myself with the hospital birth.
- can you say housekeeping? if i were at home i'd have to change my OWN sheets... and wash them.... and remake the bed......
- this hospitals food only kinda sucks, and as long as you dont have dietary restrictions you can have ice cream with every meal
- pantry area where SOMEBODY ELSE makes the jello... and does the dishes!
- LC on staff, instead of making a call, making an appt etc, you just mention it to a nurse and she appears! the nurses here were not very helpful at all with BFing. but thats ok, i know the LC by name
- they hand me ibuprofen on time, i dont need to go hunting for it. and they refill my water. and they kick people out if i want them to.
DH would never sign on for me to have a baby at home and I don't know if it would be for me anyway. All of my births have been hospital births and all but one have been a good experience. I feel that I am strong enough to fight for my birth wishes so I don't worry much about interventions. What I do like about the hospital is the mess is there and not at my house. The biggest thing I like is being taken care of for a day or two before heading home to "real" life. I feel that once I get home regardless of the fact that I have just had a baby I still have to do things for the kids, etc. I was talking to my mom yesterday about this very thing. She had her last two at home and she did agree that having all the other kids there needing to be taken care of was extremely overwhelming.
This is great too!!I am fed 3 meals a day right in my bed and the older kids are taken care of and get to come see me and the baby once or twice a day. I get to take a shower and have someone available to watch the baby while I do so.
Last edited by mommy.nae; 01-19-2011 at 11:44 AM.
Chase-13, Trey-11, Layton-9, Zander-5, McKay-3, Declan-1, Keely born 9/6/2012
I totally understand and support a woman who prefers hospital. I'm not pro-homebirth, but rather pro-choice.
However, I would like to argue that a homebirth done right, you wont have issues with unwanted visitors, feeling obligated to clean/cook/care for other children, lack of help (breastfeeding or otherwise) etc. A proper support system set-up will make these points moot.
If you truly can't do it this way, then by all means, enjoy the hospital stay! Most homebirthers *do* get pampered, cared for prenatally, cooked for, no obligations to clean and proper childcare as well as no unwanted visitors.
I don't think we were trying to say that a homebirth didn't include these things... just what we liked about the hospital. I certainly didn't mean for it to sound like a homebirth couldn't have them, so I'm sorry if it came off that way. I was only trying to describe the helpful support I received during my hospital stay. I'm quite certain that you could receive the same support in a birth center or at home. Unfortunately, I personally wouldn't be able to have the support system for a homebirth. My family lives 1000 miles away, and any friends who I would comfortable having there either work full time or have small children of their own and so wouldn't be able to help, even though I know they would want to. With my daughter, I was completely on my own shortly after coming home from the hospital, and that was challenging. I wish circumstances were different so that I could have that kind of support at home, but at this point in time it isn't an option, so I will make the best of what I can get!