At home a woman can labor and birth in the privacy and comfort of familiar surroundings, surrounded by loved ones, in whatever positions and attire she finds most comfortable. She can eat, drink, and get into a tub of warm water to ease her labor if she so desires.
The laboring woman maintains control over everything impacting her labor and birth. Meeting her needs is the only focus of all those present. Nothing is done without her consent.
Labor is allowed to progress normally, without interference and unnecessary interventions.
During labor the woman is encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change position, make noise, shower, bathe, etc.
Caregivers are invited guests in the birthing woman’s home. She can have anyone she desires present: family, friends, children, etc. Her medical team (midwife and birth assistant) do not go home because their shift has ended. They also don't take the day off because they planned something else or because it is a holiday.
She doesn't have to worry about when to go to the hospital since her care providers come to her.
Continuous one-on-one care is given by the midwife, providing ongoing assessment of the baby's and mother's condition throughout the birth process and postpartum period. Her care provider knows her well—and she knows her care provider. They have established a trust relationship.
Women are supported throughout the hard work of labor, and encouraged through the personal experience being derived from such a powerful life-changing event.
Breast feeding is encouraged and facilitated by the baby remaining with the mother.
On the Other Hand...
Clients must assume a greater responsibility for their own health: physical, mental, and spiritual. This requires active ongoing participation in decision-making in all aspects of their care, and a willingness to accept the consequences of those choices and decisions.
Cesarean section, forceps deliveries and a neonatologist are not available at home. Transport to the hospital is necessary for these and other medical interventions.
Personal arrangements must be made for postpartum care, such as meals, housekeeping, child care, etc.