Independent midwives for home births are scarce in Spain, but they do exist, and their numbers are increasing all the time, as home births become more popular. Some of the main reasons for the boom in popularity of home births in Spain are:
- more autonomy for the mother and her partner
- more care and time spent individually with the mother during both the birth and the postpartum period
- freedom to give birth in familiar surroundings, with family
- a bad experience in hospital with a previous pregnancy / childbirth
The cost of home birthing will include antenatal care, the childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding advice. Prices vary between midwives and depend upon the scale and amount of care required; they range between 1,500 and 6,000 Euros.
Throughout your pregnancy, your home birthing midwife will visit you at your home to discuss your birth plan (who will be there, which room will it be in) and your medical history (such as allergies, diabetes and high blood pressure). The midwife will work with you, in collaboration with your doctor, health centre or gynaecologist to make sure home birthing is a healthy viable option for both mother and baby; to make sure your birth runs as smoothly as possible.
If, during the birth, there is an emergency, or if the birth is not going well, the midwife will arrange for you go to the nearest hospital. However, home birthing midwives are trained to resolve the situation temporarily, and have medications and respiratory equipment available for unlikely events such as this. The probability of unexpected complications is low; it is no greater for a home birth than a hospital birth.
If you require pain relief such as an injection of pethedine (morphine type), epidural or spinal puncture, these cannot be given at home; the birth would have to be continued in hospital.
After the birth, the standard post-birth checks of the baby will be carried out by the midwife: weighing the baby, measuring it, administering oral drops, and taking the baby´s temperature. Once the mother and child both are settled, the midwife will help with the breastfeeding for the first hour following the birth. The midwife will later carry out postpartum check-ups and give the necessary care.
Some midwives can issue the 'Notification of Birth' paper, others work along side a Doctor who can. This piece of paper is then taken to the Registro Civil within 7 days. It is here that the birth is registered and the Birth Certificate given. If you are not Spanish, you may also want to register the baby's birth at your Embassy.