More and more women are choosing to labor at home as long as possible and then travel to the hospital. In fact, some hire a doula to help with going through the early stages of labor at home and arrive at the hospital for transition and pushing. Wondering why? Here are 4 benefits to laboring at home:
1. Easier to Cope with Pain
Many women who labor at home as long as possible say that they chose to do so because of the comforts of home. It’s easier to cope with labor pains in comfortable surroundings, they share. So if you’re more comfortable at home, you’ll be better able to cope with contractions.
2. Encourages Oxytocin
Laboring at home can make your labor as straightforward and short as possible. If you go to the hospital in early (or even active) labor, things might slow down. Your contractions might stop and then you’ll be sent home, exhausted and frustrated.
But if you go through the long, difficult contractions that are close together before leaving for the hospital, the actions of leaving home, getting into your car and showing up at the hospital won’t affect your labor or get in the way of the release of oxytocin.
3. Pitocin Not Needed
Women who remain at home for the majority of their labor and show up at the hospital ready to push may be less likely to need Pitocin. (Pitocin is given to speed up and strengthen labor.)
By experiencing the earlier stages of labor at home and getting into a steady pattern before the hospital, the need for Pitocin is less likely.
4. Unmedicated Birth
If you labor at home as long as possible, you’ll be much less likely to need drugs or an epidural to get through the rest of your labor. There may not be time to get an epidural because things are moving quickly once you arrive at the hospital.
If you’ve learned to cope through your contractions while at home, you’ll probably continue coping just as well when you’re admitted to the hospital!
With all this said, if you need to go to the hospital, then you should go. If something just doesn’t feel or seem right, you should go. Don’t labor at home because you’re scared of the hospital and the staff. Make sure that your decision to labor at home is based on love, rather than fear.
Please note: we aren’t medical professionals, and the info here isn’t intended as medical advice. Make sure to consult with your OB-GYN on these matters, too.
Next week, we’ll share some tips with you on how you can effectively labor at home!