Searches about home birth in Singapore are on the rise. In the past, most women gave birth to their babies at home. But with the coming of modern science, home birth is no longer promoted. Instead, women are advised to give birth in hospitals or birthing centres.
Yet there are still women who prefer giving birth at home rather than in a hospital. This article will explore why women should choose or not choose home childbirth.
Is Home Birth in Singapore Safe?
Home birth in Singapore is safe, but it’s not for everyone.
Home birth is a birth that occurs at home rather than in a hospital or birthing centre. It can be an alternative to having a traditional hospital birth if you’re planning on having a non-emergency delivery and are healthy.
Home births in Singapore are generally considered a safe option for healthy pregnant women with low-risk pregnancies. No evidence shows that home births are safer than hospital births, but they do come with their own set of risks.
For example, if you don’t know what to do in an emergency, it could be more challenging to get help quickly. You’ll also have to drive yourself to the hospital if something goes wrong during labour, which can cause stress and make you feel unsafe.
Some people choose to have home births because they feel it’s more comfortable for them or their family members who want to be there for support throughout labour and delivery.
Others feel that hospitals aren’t private enough environments for them to give birth in peace without being interrupted by nurses or doctors asking questions about their medical history or other personal information about their bodies.
Pregnant woman at home | Image from Pexel
Is Home Birth Legal in Singapore
Yes, home birth in Singapore is legal.
In Singapore, a woman has the right to choose to give birth at home if her doctor approves it. Certain conditions must be met before approval is given.
Home Birth – When it Is Not Advised
On the other hand, home birth in Singapore is not encouraged when:
- The mother has complications such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- A trained and experienced home birth attendant is not available
- The mother thinks she will not be able to stand the pain of labour and delivery
- Also if the mother experienced or is at risk of complications such as preterm labour, pre-eclampsia or a breech position of the baby
- The mother had a previous cesarean delivery or uterine surgery
- The spouse is not supportive of home birth.
Pregnant belly | Image from Pexels
What Are the Benefits of Home Birth
Despite the given risks and limitations of home birth, it still comes with a lot of advantages for the pregnant mum. A home birth is beneficial to the mother if she:
- Is in a familiar and relaxing environment with family and friends when she gives birth.
- Has more control of the birth because she can decide on the environment she wants.
- Is free to make herself as comfortable as she wants.
- Can enjoy the comforts of her home.
- Is not subject to potentially complex medical interventions.
- Have more attention, care, observation and monitoring by a trained birth attendant.
- Feel more capable and confident as a mother after giving birth.
- Have immediate bonding with her baby.
- Will be able to breastfeed right after birth which is equally beneficial for her and the baby.
- Lastly, it is less expensive to give birth at home than to give birth in a hospital.
Preparing Yourself and Your Home for a Home Birth
Home birth is a beautiful way to give birth to your child. It’s also an excellent choice for parents and parents who have had previous pregnancies. However, it’s not necessarily for everyone. If you’re considering having a home birth in Singapore, it’s important to ensure that you and your home are ready for the process.
If you’ve never given birth before, or if this is your first pregnancy, consider taking some classes on childbirth and labour offered at local hospitals. These classes will help you better understand what happens during labour and how to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the experience of giving birth at home.
You’ll want to ensure that your home has plenty of space where you’ll be comfortable giving birth. You might also want to consider hiring someone who can assist with childcare if there are any complications during labour (such as an emergency trip to the hospital). The last thing you need while trying to give birth is an interruption from an unplanned trip out into public!
The most important thing is that you feel safe and confident in yourself and your ability to give birth naturally at home without any intervention from medical professionals.
Pregnant woman at home | Image from Pexels
You can do some things to prepare for a home birth and make it go as smoothly as possible. The first thing is to make sure that you have a birth kit on hand, which should include:
- Your birth plan (make sure you know what you want before the baby arrives)
- A list of people who will be present at the birth (include their phone numbers and any special requests they might have)
- Your list of medications that you will be taken during labour (including dosage information)
- A list of pain relief options that are available to you during labour, including how much time each option takes to take effect
When Is Home Birth Advisable
Home birth in Singapore is ideally encouraged for women with the following conditions. First of all, the mother should have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. Another is the availability of a trained and experienced birth attendant. Next is that the home birth should be well-planned. Lastly, a modern hospital is nearby so the mother can easily and quickly transfer in emergencies.
What Are the Risks of Home Birth
Before you decide to have a home birth in Singapore, you should consider several drawbacks.
- If you cannot stand labour pains anymore, there is no option for an epidural.
- If complications such as exhaustion from labour, premature rupture of membranes, fetal distress, cord prolapse or haemorrhage arise, you must be transferred to a nearby hospital.
- You might feel the disapproval or discouragement of family, friends and physicians.
- You are held responsible for every decision or preparation for the homebirth.
- The lack of privacy due to the presence of family and friends may restrain the labour
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Home birth is generally safe. The most common complications with home births are bleeding and failure to progress in labour.
However, you should consider some risks associated with home births. These include:
- The lack of medical equipment at home
- Lack of access to emergency medical care
- Inability to monitor fetal well-being during labour
- Lack of staff for labour and delivery assistance
How to Make Home Birth Safe for Mum and Baby
Once you decide to go for home birth in Singapore, below are factors to be considered and preparations to be made to ensure safety:
- Hire a certified nurse-midwife and an obstetrician with experience in home birth deliveries. Interview the prospective midwife who will assist you in the delivery. Get to know her and ask what you can do to cope with labour pains and other things you may need to know.
- Prepare a backup plan. If complications arise, you should have another plan to speed up your transfer to a nearby hospital.
- Choose a paediatrician to visit the baby within 24 hours after birth. It ensures that the baby will not have any problems or complications.
- Prepare the necessary equipment or materials for the procedure. Aside from the equipment the midwife or home birth attendant will bring, you have to ask and prepare the other things that home birth will require.
If you are pregnant and considering a home birth delivery, make sure that you have weighed the pros and cons of this delivery. No one else can decide what is best for you and your baby. But your decision will impact your baby’s health and safety. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor on whether this option is suitable for you.
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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