What are some reasons why I wouldn’t be able to have a home birth?

Most women with low-risk, healthy pregnancies can have a home birth.  Risk criteria vary from state to state, but in most places, a woman is no longer considered to be “low-risk” if any of the following occurrences happen in the prenatal period, during labor, or immediately postpartum:

  • The mother has any abnormal bleeding
  • The mother is Rh-negative and has become sensitized to Rh-positive antigens
  • The mother has high blood pressure requiring medication
  • The mother has pre-existing diabetes (this is different from “gestational diabetes”)
  • The mother has heart, kidney or lung disease
  • The mother is a heavy alcohol or drug user (or anyone else in the home that may be considered a risk to the midwife or emergency personnel during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum)
  • The mother develops pre-eclampsia
  • Labor begins before 36 weeks of pregnancy
  • The mother has severe anemia
  • The baby’s umbilical cord prolapses when the water breaks
  • The baby’s heartbeat indicates that it is distressed

This list may be different for the midwife that you choose and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every reason.  If you have a question about whether you are a good candidate for a home birth, please contact us.