9983 Keele St., Unit 102 
Vaughan ON, L6A 3Y5
F: 905 553-5949

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Place of Birth

You have the choice of giving birth at home or in the hospital.
Learn about the risks and benefits of both places of birth to decide what’s best for you.

Place of Birth

Advantages
Hospital
• You don’t need to do laundry or purchase additional supplies
• Some people feel safer in hospital and therefore will labour more effectively
• Drugs for pain relief are available (morphine, epidural)
• Quicker access to more help in emergencies
• Cultural acceptance (if there are problems at the birth, people will not question your decision about choice of birthplace)
Home
• Labouring in a familiar place surrounded by loved ones helps many women have normal births with less intervention
• Less intervention leads to fewer problems: less surgery to give birth, shorter recovery time, less chance of mother/infant separation, greater success with breastfeeding
• Less risk of mother or baby getting an infection
• More independence for decision-making
• A decision to move to the hospital can be made anytime
Disadvantages
Hospital
• increased use of interventions often lead to more interventions (electronic monitors, epidural, forceps, vacuum, caesarean section)
• Interventions often lead to more problems: pain, getting an infection from the hospital environment, longer recovery time, mother/infant separation, problems with breastfeeding
• Policies limit individual decision-making
• Being in hospital does not guarantee access to all emergency services (doctor or surgeon may not be immediately available)
Home
• There will be some minimal cleanup & laundry
• Epidural & morphine are not available at home
• True emergencies are uncommon, and midwives do emergency treatments at home similar to the first steps carried out at a hospital. However moving to the hospital by ambulance may be needed, which may delay other kinds of treatment (eg. for postpartum hemorrhage, newborn resuscitation)
• Cultural resistance (if there are problems at the birth some people might say “it wouldn’t have happened if you had been in the hospital”)