Pregnancy / Childbirth

Home delivery - a necessity or another fad?

Home delivery - a necessity or another fad?

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Until the mid-seventeenth century doctors did not deal with childbirth, recognizing the birthing process as natural. The doctor was only present at the delivery of women from high societyand even then called midwife.

After the beginning of obstetrics as a medical art, the first change that was introduced was to eliminate the natural positions in which women gave birth until then: women giving birth in supine position. This position was considered by doctors as the best for observing changes and taking measurements.

Vertical positions that have been adopted by women giving birth so far considered unworthy of scientific observation. The next step was transfer of deliveries to hospitals. In Poland, in the mid-1950s, it was published ministerial birth order in the hospital. Even if a woman gave birth at home, she had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Legislation on home delivery ...

Few women know that no regulations impose a obligation on pregnant women to undergo labor in the hospital! Both the constitution and the Act of July 5, 1996 on the professions of nurse and midwife do not mention where the care for pregnant and delivery women is to take place. In both documents there is also no prohibition on assisting with home births. Moreover, the new standard of perinatal care mentions the woman's right to "choose the place of delivery in hospital or out-of-hospital conditions in which she feels safe and in which health services are provided."

In view of the lack of legal contraindications regarding childbirth at home, many of us may be surprised that home births are a rarity, or even a "whim of the wealthy." What is the explanation for this? First of all, pregnant women are eligible for home delivery pregnancy was physiological and the risk of delivery is considered low. A pregnant midwife or obstetrician qualifies for home delivery, taking into account many prognostic factors. This the midwife takes responsibility for both mother and child. So it often happens that even women whose pregnancy was physiologically, give birth in a hospital, e.g. due to a cesarean section or fetal pelvic position.
Possibilities of having a home delivery often are also limited by the home budget of future parents. At present, home births are not financed by the National Health Fund. Parents have to pay for the midwife and all materials needed for delivery out of pocket. This often happens e.g. the cost of a neonatologist who will examine a new family member. It is therefore common opinion that home births are an invention of the upper classes. However, I hope that the National Health Fund will start refunding home births, and thus they will become an alternative available to everyone.

An important limitation on home birth is also midwives availability. Most of those who dared to change and started receiving home births are in large cities (mainly Warsaw, where even the Birth House and Silesia have recently been created). It is best to find data on these midwives on pages about home births, or on the website of the independent initiative of parents and midwives "Well Born".


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