Choosing A Home Birth

 UPDATED 5:11 AM HST Nov 18, 2011

In the documentary made in Hawaii, "Born Two Birth," Kaja Gibbs-Davidson shows her personal journey as she delivers her baby at home in Kaneohe last year.

She made the film to show that birth is natural.

While it is a miracle, birthing at home sparks a range of reactions from wonderment and awe to shock and disdain.

"This is a natural process and it doesn't have to be a medical procedure," said Dr. Ye Nguyen, who is a naturopathic doctor.

Nguyen gave birth to her 2-year-old son, Pax, at home while husband Tim Tybusxewski caught the baby.

"I love the fact that women can feel self-empowered in their own bodies," said Nguyen.

"Just to be there and witness it and see your child come into the world. It's amazing," said Tybusxewski.

Nguyen helps other pregnant women deliver in hospitals and in homes and says more are choosing home births because of rising C-sections and other medical interventions.

"There's a shift in consciousness for women in terms of wanting more options and take charge of their own process," said Nguyen.

Nguyen monitors the baby's heartbeat and has oxygen on hand, just in case. She also did yoga to ease herself through the pain.

Nguyen said one of the most common questions is what to do about the mess. She says a woman can deliver on the bed, in the bathroom, on the floor or wherever she feels most comfortable.

Nguyen also uses chucks pads, also known as puppy pads, to protect everything.

Dr. Tod Aeby, an OBGYN with the University Women's Health Specialists, believes a hospital is the safest place to deliver a baby.

"As long as everything goes great, you are safe in the home, hospital, wherever," said Aeby. "It's when things go badly, it's very unsafe to be at home."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said although the risk of planned home births is low, evidence shows there is a two to three-fold increase in the risk of newborn death compared with hospital births.

Nguyen said home birth isn't for everyone and, despite questions about safety, she believes birthing in the privacy of your own home can be beautiful and safe.

Aeby said he has had patients who delivered at home and, while he didn't encourage it, he said he wanted to make sure he was involved with the process.

Although the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not support planned home births, it emphasizes that women should be offered standard prenatal care. Women who have had a prior C-section should deliver in a hospital.

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