Do Transfers Mean Home Births are Dangerous?

It's super-disappointing for a family that's planned a home birth to need to transfer to a hospital to finish birthing – or even to have an emergency cesarean.  But aside from disappointment, many people point fingers at families that transfer, using them as ammunition to say that home births are dangerous and that midwives and parents who plan home births are negligent and naive.

Is that really the case?

Or do transfers mean that a skilled professional, completely familiar with normal birth, realizes when something has moved outside of normal and transfers for medical assistance?  Perhaps it means that a mom had the intuition to know that she needed be at the hospital.

Transfers mean that this is a viable system.  Sometimes Mom or Baby needs medical help.  Skilled midwives and mother's intuition guard normal birth, protecting it from the massive intervention and interruption that undermines the safety of birth in a medical setting.  Rather than treating every woman like a ticking time bomb, creating a dangerous and devastating self-fulfilling prophesy, home birth with a robust, supportive transfer system keeps birth safe for everyone.  Safe for the vast majority of moms and babies who are better off at home – and safe for the few who really need a medical birth setting.

I cover more, and give some examples, in this video:

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Do Transfers Mean Home Birth is Not Safe?

About the author 


Kristen is childbirth educator, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! She has spent years helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Find her on her website and helping families through her online childbirth class

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