Many expectant mothers decide on a hospital birth, as this allows them to count on immediate medical support if there are complications. Safety and a sense of security are also provided by birthing centres where midwives assist expectant mothers at the different stages of the birth. You may prefer to give birth at home. That's fine, if an experienced midwife is present before, during and after the birth.
The decision where you want to give birth lies entirely with you. There is of course something appealing about having your baby at home in familiar surroundings. With the help of a midwife, home births tend to go smoothly. However, there are also advantages to going into hospital to give birth. Most expectant mothers prefer to have their baby in hospital. If your pregnancy has not been completely free of complications, you may be more likely to choose this option.
The familiar surroundings of a birthing centre
A third option open to you is having your baby in a birthing centre. In a recognised birthing centre, you'll be looked after professionally by well-trained and experienced midwives before, during and after the birth. You'll give birth to your baby in a peaceful and harmonious environment, totally geared towards the needs of mother and child.
Safety and comfort while giving birth
There are various aspects you have to consider when choosing where to give birth. For example, you need to think about your baby's safety in the event of complications during labour. But you should also consider your own expectations, such as the standard of comfort you want during the birth, the need for personal care or the option of a water birth.
If you give birth at home, a midwife will take care of you during the birth and the first few days afterwards. In the event of complications, you'll be transferred to hospital where you and your baby will continue to receive professional care.
Outpatient birth in a birthing centre or hospital
If you decide in favour of an outpatient birth, you will go home with your baby a few hours after giving birth. You and your baby will then be looked after by an independent midwife if required.
Inpatient birth in a birthing centre or hospital
During the birth, you'll be looked after by midwives and a team of doctors. A few hours after the birth, you and your baby will be transferred to the mother and baby ward, where you'll spend the immediate postnatal period.