In Ontario, around 20% of people in midwifery care plan to have their babies at home. They’re in good company: for more than 20 years, midwives have attended over 49 000 home births in the province and currently attend about 4 000 home births a year.
Midwives are the only primary care providers in Ontario who receive extensive education and training to help you safely give birth at home. If you are experiencing a low risk pregnancy, there is excellent quality research from Ontario showing that important health outcomes are similar whether you plan a home or hospital birth under the care of a midwife.
There are many reasons people plan a home birth with a midwife. Ontario-based research tells us that midwifery clients who choose home births have many things in common.
- value a birth without medical intervention (if not needed)
- are confident in their ability to give birth
- find their home a supportive and comfortable environment
- feel more in control in their home environment
- prefer to move freely in familiar surroundings
- want to eat and drink as they like
- believe labour will go faster in the comfort of their own home
- prefer to avoid an epidural
- believe recovery from birth will be easier where they are most comfortable
- believe that home birth is safe, responsible choice for themselves and their babies
Reference: Murray-Davis B, McDonald H, Teitsma A, Coubrough M, Hutton E. Deciding on home or hospital birth: Results of the Ontario choice of birthplace survey. Midwifery 30 (2014), 869-876.