So many things go through your head when you learn you're pregnant. There is so much planning to do and so many important choices. One of the biggest questions that expecting parents must answer is whether the baby will be delivered at home or the hospital.
Practical Delivery Experience
Hospitals oversee dozens of deliveries every day of the year. This vast experience difference can become important if any part of the birth is not progressing according to plan. Not only does the hospital employ experienced personnel, but specialists are on call twenty-four hours a day should timely input from a seasoned professional be needed. Big city hospitals rely on outside services to handle revenue cycle management and other operational necessities. Doing so lets them focus on what matters most. Small clinics and self-employed midwives often lack these resources and risk biting off more than they can chew from a patient management perspective.
State of the Art Facilities
While the home is somewhere that most of us feel comfortable and safe, having the right equipment on hand can be the difference between life and death in a medical emergency. Hospitals offer sterile, dedicated facilities and high-tech equipment that midwives and birthing doulas simply do not have access to. This means that if an emergency should arise, the equipment that the mother or baby requires is immediately available, and staff is trained to use it.
Access to Post-Birth Professionals
Once a baby is born in a hospital setting, new parents have access to professional care and guidance from several health, nutrition, and behavioral experts who are on hand to answer questions specific to the family's unique situation. While at-home birth providers may double as lactation consultants or offer general guidance on other common newborn topics, they are not trained nutritionists. As such, their advice may not be in line with your baby's unique health and feeding needs. Additionally, your little one will be thoroughly examined by a qualified pediatrician before leaving the hospital. Not only does this allow you to start your relationship with your child's medical doctor early, it gives parents an extra chance to ask questions about their child's unique characteristics and care.
Maternal After-Birth Care
Giving birth is incredibly taxing to the body. Hospital births allow mothers who have recently delivered to take advantage of extra opportunities to rest and heal. Especially if it is not their first child, many mothers appreciate getting some added rest while the baby is in the nursery. What's perhaps even better is that they can do so without thinking about all the housework or other projects that would be nagging for their attention if they had given birth in the home setting. In the hospital, parents are allowed to entirely focus on bonding with their newborn. The maternal body is going through many changes, and it can be comforting to know that there are professionals on hand to answer questions. Additionally, many hospitals offer exceptional amenities that are particularly appreciated by new mothers, such as waterfall showers and heated blankets. If mom had stitches from a C-section birth or is experiencing another post-birth complication, knowing that there are trained professionals nearby to monitor and respond to maternal health concerns can help her relax and enjoy those first hours and days with her newborn.
Making Visitations Simpler and More Enjoyable
Naturally, excited friends and family want to come and meet the family's new arrival, but for a mother who has just given birth, these visits can be pretty taxing as well. Parents may feel required to entertain, feed guests, or make sure the house is spotless at home. Not so at the hospital. Another often overlooked benefit of hospital births is the natural controls that are exerted over visitation in the hospital setting. Not only do hospitals have set visitation hours, but the design of the rooms typically discourages too many people from coming to visit at the same time or staying too long, allowing families more time to focus on their new family.
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