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Full Version: Is a Home Birth Worth it When the Hospital is an 1.5 Hr Away?
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I don't really know much about birth since I don't have kids yet. The hospital is a long drive away and it can be risky in the winter when the snow (that can go above your waist) prevents you from going into town. So, a winter baby may have to be at home if the roads aren't clear. The municipality is not that great at clearing the roads often but they do an okay job. I did consider maybe a midwife, but with the amount of snow in the winter, it could hard.

I heard about breech babies and umbilical cords around the baby's neck, but if your husband is helping you, would the risks be a bit lower? Also, we have neigbours (a couple) that live a mile away, they're really old though, so I donno if they could assist. We live in a very rural area.
(03-29-2022, 05:02 PM)tamara_great Wrote: [ -> ]I don't really know much about birth since I don't have kids yet. The hospital is a long drive away and it can be risky in the winter when the snow (that can go above your waist) prevents you from going into town. So, a winter baby may have to be at home if the roads aren't clear. The municipality is not that great at clearing the roads often but they do an okay job. I did consider maybe a midwife, but with the amount of snow in the winter, it could hard.

I heard about breech babies and umbilical cords around the baby's neck, but if your husband is helping you, would the risks be a bit lower? Also, we have neigbours (a couple) that live a mile away, they're really old though, so I donno if they could assist. We live in a very rural area.
We wanted to do a home birth, the hospital was an hour away, complications made it impossible and ultimately an emergency c section was required. We still plan on doing a home birth next time.
My situation sounds a lot like Genesius's. A home birth with midwife was ideal to me, but my pregnancies and deliveries were really complicated and I had to have c-sections.

Don't let stories like that dissuade you though! If a home birth is what you want, just start building a local support network and finding good literature on it. Certainly talk to those neighbors about it! Even if old - with age comes wisdom (usually lol) so I'm sure they could have something to offer, even if they couldn't help with a delivery. And do find a midwife or at least a doula if you can. I have a friend who lives in a super rural spot south of me who's had 6 successful home births assisted by a midwife who is based 2.5 hours away. Granted we don't have the snow issue, but it isn't impossible to find a midwife who is willing to travel quite a distance.
Some things to weigh in your decision:

First pregnancies and births tend to last longer and have more complications than subsequent ones. This was personally my experience too. My first was a 33 hour labor that started at home with a midwife. They saw my exhaustion and that my blood pressure was getting high, so they helped me to a hospital. After an epidural, antibiotics for prolonged rupture of membranes, and some rest, I had a successful vaginal delivery. My next two were also at home with a midwife, 6-8 hours active labor, born in my livingroom and much bigger babies than my first.

Secondly, birth knowledge is not common knowledge anymore, and even in the past, it was usually designated, experienced people helping women give birth. Even more than breech babies and nuchal cords, one of the most common complications of birth is hemorrhage. A midwife will have pitocin to give you in home if needed to lessen the bleeding, but most average folks will not. They will also be trained in infant resuscitation. 

As others have said, reach out to midwives in your area to see if you're covered. I don't know how rural is "rural" to you, but the midwives I used are based in a busy metro area, but they still serve the Amish communities a couple hours out of town in tornadoes, freezing rain, and snow (though we don't get waist deep here). It may take some planning, like finding a place to stay in town closer to them if you're due in the dead of winter. 

It's ultimately up to you to decide how to weigh the risks, but if you're asking me, it's worth the inconvenience of doing what you have to do to have an experienced birth worker with you while you deliver, whether that's a doctor or a midwife.
Thank you for the responses, I saw there are midwives at least 2-3 hours from me, and the local hospital probably has some nearby. They're also covered by the government. And in other rural areas in Manitoba, there are definitely midwife services available which is fortunate to hear. And if it's the first birth, it would be risky doing it alone, probably better in the hospital or with a midwife.
Personally I wouldn't risk it if I didn't have to. 4 out of my 5 experiences giving birth required medical assistance for either the baby, myself or both of us.