What Happens at a Home Birth?

At a home birth, your midwife will provide labour, birth and early postpartum care in your home. Early postpartum care refers to the first two to four hours after the baby is born. (General postpartum care begins immediately after the birth of a baby and ends six weeks later.)

For all home births, midwives bring equipment and medications similar to those used for low risk labour and births in birth centres and hospitals where Level I care is provided.

Once your midwife arrives, you and your baby are closely monitored to make sure there are no complications developing. These ongoing assessments help inform you and your midwife of your well-being. A second midwife (or second attendant) arrives when you are close to giving birth to help care for you and your baby.

After the birth, your midwives continue monitoring you and your baby to ensure that you are both recovering well. They conduct a head-to-toe exam on your baby and help you establish feeding. Once you are both considered healthy and well, your midwives leave so you can rest. This usually happens around two to four hours after the birth. Before leaving, they explain when and how to contact them if you have any concerns. A midwife will be available by phone at any time, day or night. The day after the birth, they will come back to check on you both and answer any questions you may have.

Check out our FAQ to find answers to some common questions about home birth.