The Eisen Law Firm

Are Home Births Safe?

While a home birth may sound appealing, protecting the safety of both you and your infant needs to be a top priority.

Home births have become increasingly popular among expectant parents. Rather than being in a hospital setting, which tends to be less comfortable and exposes you to potentially dangerous hospital-acquired infections, having your baby in the comfort of your own home may be a more appealing option. However, there are situations in which it may not be the best choice for you and your infant. Having your baby at home may increase your chances of suffering serious birth injuries. To protect your own health and that of your little one, be aware of the possible risks. 

Pros and Cons of Home Births

Having a baby is not an illness, but rather a natural function of a woman’s body. Following this reasoning, many expectant mothers are now choosing to have their babies at home rather than in a hospital setting. Accompanied by a midwife or doula, home birth allows you to go through labor and delivery in a more relaxed and comfortable environment, with other family members nearby. 

Spending several days in the hospital increases the risk of potentially serious infections, as well as the odds of medical errors and mistakes which endanger the health of you and your infant. Lower costs, less risk of medical interventions, and greater control over the entire birthing process are other strong pros in favor of having a home birth. However, it is important to be aware of the downsides, which increase the odds of different types of birth injuries

  • Lack of medical monitoring equipment, which could alert you to potential problems during labor and delivery;
  • Lack of medical interventions, in the event you or your infant encounters issues;
  • Lower response times in the event of a medical emergency, which may require having to be rushed to the hospital. 

Homebirth is not recommended for women who have had a previous c-section, for those expecting multiples, or in situations in which the infant is not positioned headfirst towards the birth canal in the days or weeks before delivery. 

When Complications During a Home Birth Result in Birth Injuries

Serious labor and delivery complications can occur in even the healthiest pregnancy. When they arise during a home birth, both the mother and the infant are at greater risk for birth injuries. Issues which may require immediate treatment at a hospital include: 

  • Improper positioning of the infant, which could result in birth injuries during delivery;
  • Stalled or slowly progressing labor, which puts additional stress on both mother and baby;
  • High blood pressure in the mother, which could indicate undiagnosed preeclampsia;
  • Signs of fetal distress, which could indicate dangerous problems that restrict the flow of blood or oxygen to your infant.

If medical providers fail to warn you of these and other problems that can arise during a home birth or do not provide the proper treatment, they can be held accountable when complications arise. Speak with an experienced birth injury attorney to discuss your options in filing a claim.

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