Are you considering a home birth? There are a few requirements you must meet in order to labor in the comfort of your home in Florida. First, let’s talk about why families choose a home birth?
Why Choose a Home birth?
Choosing a home birth can offer a more personalized and comfortable experience, with less medical intervention and a greater sense of control. Some women may also prefer to give birth in their own familiar surroundings. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine if a home birth is a safe and appropriate option for you.
Many families find home birth to be appealing. The Mayo Clinic have found the common reasons to include:
A desire to give birth without medical interventions such as pain medication, labor induction, fetal heart rate monitoring, or delivery assisted with forceps or other instruments
A desire to give birth in a comfortable, familiar place
Dissatisfaction with hospital care
A desire for more control of the birthing process
Cultural or religious concerns
Lack of access to transportation
Lack of a local hospital
Florida Law on Home births:
In Florida, home births are legal and regulated by the state. However, it is important to consult with a licensed midwife or healthcare provider who is authorized to attend home births and familiarize yourself with the state's regulations and requirements for home births. It is also recommended to have a backup plan in case of emergency situations where you need to be transferred to a hospital.
By Florida law, to have a planned home birth, expectant moms must:
maintain a low-risk pregnancy
have only one baby in the womb
attend childbirth classes
have an adult stay with them for three days after delivery.
have had a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) if a prior C-section.
Are there Situations when a Planned Home Birth isn't Recommended?
In Florida, a home birth attended by a licensed midwife is generally allowed for low-risk pregnancies. However, it may not be allowed if the mother has certain medical conditions or if the pregnancy is considered high-risk. It's best to consult with a licensed midwife or healthcare provider for specific information about your situation.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautions against a planned home birth if:
You are pregnant with more than one baby.
You have a high-risk pregnancy.
Your baby doesn't settle into a position that allows for a headfirst delivery.
Your last birth was a C-section
Who is Present at a Home birth?
If you are choosing a home birth, you will want a lot of support to know that you and your baby are safe and remain healthy through your labor.
First, you will want a midwife. Be sure to ask for their qualifications and license to know they are a legal midwife in the state of Florida. Your midwife will do your prenatal appointments and be there through your labor and delivery for all medical needs.
Second, you will want a doula. A doula is there for your emotional, physical, and informational support. They will aid in natural pain management techniques, laboring positions, massage, and a soothing presence to help you confidently birth at home.
Third, you’ll want your partner, spouse, or close friend/family member to be a sense of comfort. If your person attends childbirth education classes with you prior to the birth, then they will already be coached in labor positions and pain management techniques to help you feel secure.
Lastly, anyone else you would like. The beauty of a home birth is you are in control. You can choose how many or how little people you want in your home during labor and delivery.
Why would I Transfer to a Hospital During a Home Birth?
During a planned home birth, you might need to go to a hospital if problems develop during labor and delivery. Your health care provider might advise you go to a hospital if:
Labor isn't progressing.
Your baby shows signs of distress.
Your baby is in a position other than headfirst.
You need pain relief.
You have high blood pressure.
You experience large amounts of bleeding.
You develop a fever. (Mayo Clinic)
How do I Register my Baby’s Birth?
If you choose a home birth, then there are specific steps you will need to take to register your baby’s birth to receive a birth certificate and social security card. If your midwife is licensed by the state, then they will be able to prove the birth through medical reports and preregistration forms. They also have the ability to register the baby for you. If your midwife does not get to you in time, then the parents must register the baby themselves. To register you’ll need: a proof of pregnancy, parent IDs, evidence of live birth (medical observation or infant exam), and location of birth. All of this information must be presented to your local county clerk or state recorder’s office within ten days of the birth.
Working with Suncoast Doula for a Home Birth.
At Suncoast Doula, we are happy to assist you in your home birth. However, we will only assist if there is a licensed midwife present. As doulas, we are not medically trained and never want to be put in a position where you are relying on us for your medical needs. To make sure you and your baby remain safe and healthy, we want to leave the medical support to the midwife. If you need to find a local home birth midwife, please reach out to us. We’d love to find you the supports you need.