Home-Births In Ireland – Everything We Needed To Know
According to the HSE,a home birth can be a safe option for low-risk healthy women in Ireland. For some women, a planned home birth is a perfectly acceptable alternative to a hospital birth.
There are a number of reasons why a woman and her partner may decide to look into a home birth. For many, it is a desire to be more in control during the birthing process. For others, it is steeped in the fact that they will feel safer at home where they may be closer to their home comforts and older children which they do not want to be separated from. In many cases, it is also directly related to a fear of hospitals and a desire to avoid intervention in the birth.
There is a National Domiciliary Midwifery service available in Ireland and this is made available to expectant mothers who meet the criteria. The HSE pays the Midwifery Service directly and the expectant mother does not pay for this birthing option.
The midwife delivering your baby will be a self-employed community midwife (SECM) who works alongside the HSE as part of your care agreement. The HSE will send you information, a home birth pack and unless you engage with a midwife service privately all costs will be covered include prenatal and postnatal care.
As part of the guidelines, you are advised to register with a maternity hospital of your choice as well as availing of GP care for you and your infant. A huge part of this is the assessment of risk all throughout the pregnancy as home birth is only an option when the pregnancy is considered low risk. The factors which determine this can change as the pregnancy progresses and where a home birth was once the plan it may not always be an option.
In the case of an emergency during a home birth there is always the option to transfer to hospital. The midwife will always recommend and insist upon this if it is the best option for the health of you and your baby.
If you wish to have a home birth it is recommended to research and enquire as early in your pregnancy as possible.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.