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Hospital, birthing center, home birth... all of the options are a means to an end—a beautiful, brand new baby. Each scenario provides its unique advantages, but, since I have first hand experience with home birth (you can read my home birth story if you are into such things), I have to say I'm rather partial to the advantages it offers. Of course I could give you all the science-y reasons why home birth can be great, but I'm just going to stick to the ones I find particularly awesome (a.k.a. my semi-selfish reasons for having a home birth.)
1. You don't have to put on pants or leave your house
I like pants as much as the next person, but when I'm in labor, putting on pants and getting in a car to drive somewhere is basically the last thing on the entire planet that I want to do. Having a home birth solves the problem. No leaving the house necessary.
2. You can eat whatever (and whenever!) you want
Although there are probably unicorn hospitals out there that do offer delicious cuisine, they are probably few and far between. At home you can eat whatever you want! Takeout from your favorite Thai spot up the street with a side of chocolate cake? Sold! You will also be allowed to eat during labor which is discouraged in many hospital settings.
3. Freedom to roam
At home, there are no machines to be hooked up to and no one poking or prodding you every 20 minutes. You are free to roam. Take a walk around the block. Get in the shower. Have a dance party if you really want to (I mean, you probably won't actually want to do that, but you could!)
For a home birth, you won't have to deal with multiple doctors and nurses or observing med students you don't know.
4. You don't have to figure out how to install your car seat just yet
Eventually you'll have to figure out that whole car seat situation, but since you're already at home you don't have to bundle up your baby and drive him anywhere until you're ready. You can figure out the car seat later.
5. You don't have to give birth in a gown someone died in
The great Jim Gaffigan said it best. Being at home was great. I wore whatever I wanted. No butt-less hospital gown. Thanks, but no thanks.
One of the best parts about having a home birth is that you get to choose the people you will be surrounded with during your labor and delivery. In a hospital setting you get to choose your midwife or physician for prenatal care, but the person you get when you actually go into labor is sort of just a crap shoot based on whoever is on call. You could end up with someone wonderful or someone you can't stand. For a home birth, you won't have to deal with multiple doctors and nurses or observing med students you don't know. You'll have the midwives you've chosen and the friend and family you've invited to be present and it's kind of wonderful.