Since the outbreak of the pandemic Covid-19 in Ghana, many expectant mums are really expressing interest in home births. Anxiety is high. Many concerns are bothered around the safety of the facilities in our country. Ghana has recorded more than 400 cases since it was first diagnosed.
Whether you decide to have a home birth or a hospital birth kindly read this to get some insight first
Let’s examine our system and our individual situations to see if it supports home births
1. You need a midwife who is very skilled and ready for complications in case it arises. She must be ready for any eventuality. No birth is considered risk free. Even with pregnancies that are considered problem free, emergencies can occur. You need to discuss with her what happens when there is severe bleeding or prolonged birth etc. She must be ready and you should know how. It’s your life!
She should also be a registered midwife and should have some experience in home births. It’s even better for her to have an assistant who is also a professional. If you can’t be assured of this, home birth is obviously not an option
2. There should be a system where you can easily be rushed to the hospital when need be. An ambulance/car should be ready and the road from your house to the hospital should be free of traffic and also accessible. In a system where ambulance is service not readily available and your home is far from the nearest facility, home birth is not an option.
3. There should be a good referral system. If you need an emergency cesarean section the hospital nearby should be aware so they can be ready for you. This should take minutes since obstetric emergencies can result in complications within minutes. If you can’t be assured of this then a hospital birth is strongly recommended.
4. The environment where the delivery is conducted should be free from infection and dirt. Instruments used in conducting birth should be sterile to prevent infection to both mum and baby. Without this your risk of getting infection increases. Make sure all things are in place, if not a hospital birth is strongly recommended
5.Home births come with cost and this should also be considered.
Giving birth at home and getting the support you need in the comfort of your home can be a fulfilling experience. But before considering it make sure the circumstances around you supports home birth especially when emergencies arise.
These are some of the few things you should consider before deciding a home birth in Ghana.
Most of our hospitals are still offering services to expectant mums and their babies. Delivery, antenatal and Child welfare clinics are still working and providing services.
Systems have been put in place in most hospitals to prevent spread of the infection.
Speak to your health care provider about your fears and the system they have put in place to keep you and your baby safe at the hospital.
Remind yourself of the basic things you should do to protect yourself and the health worker whilst at the hospital for delivery. Talk to the doctor or midwife if you feel the protocols of keeping everyone safe is not being adhered to.
Share your thoughts? Do you think our system is conducive for a home delivery?