Homebirth

Is homebirth safe?
For a healthy woman who has enjoyed a normal pregnancy, homebirth is a very safe option. In Holland, homebirth is well integrated into the public healthcare system and accounts for approximately 30% of all births. A study carried out in the US and published in the British Medical Journal in 2005 concluded that the outcomes of planned homebirths were similar to those of low risk hospital births, but with considerably less interventions.Is homebirth included in the public health system?
No. Homebirth is not covered by the public health system in Spain.Will it be covered by my private health insurance?
At present no private health insurance covers homebirth.

How much does homebirth cost?
The attendance of the midwife and post natal care will cost approximately 1200 euros. Including prenatal visits, this will increase to approximately 2000 euros.

What prenatal care will I have?
You will see your homebirth midwife on a monthly basis ideally from the fourth month onwards. She will want to see your bloodtest and scan results that you will be getting through your private or public healthcare. She will also be interested in talking through any fears or worries you have about the birth.

Who will be with me during the birth?
You can choose whoever you want. The midwife may prefer you to have at least two birth assistants present to help with the birth and any related tasks that may arise.

What pain relief will be available to me?
Although common in the UK, gas and air (ethonox) is not available in Spain. In the absence of medical pain relief many women find that adopting different positions, a warm bath and pressure applied to the base of the spine are all effective ways of relieving some of the pain.

Can I eat and drink during labour?
Yes, you can eat and drink whatever you like.

Can I have a water birth?
Yes. Your midwife will probably know where you can get a birth pool from. Otherwise, you may have to buy one on-line.

If I have to transfer to hospital, which hospital will I go to?
If it is urgent, you will go to the hospital nearest to you. If you have been having checkups in the public system, then you should go to the hospital that you were assigned and which will have your notes.

Will the midwife be able to come with me?
The midwife will be able to explain the reason that you have been transferred to the hospital staff. She will probably not be allowed in with you.

Will I have to buy special equipment?
Your midwife will give you a list of simple things that you can buy in a supermarket and chemist.

Are there any circumstances in which I could not have a homebirth.
Most midwives will only accept births that occur between weeks 38-42. Most will not attend breech births or twin births or births where there is a medical condition that may bring complications, such as very high blood pressure.

See here for details of homebirth midwives.