by Dr Bashir Qureshi FRCGP, FRCPCH, Hon. FFSRH-RCOG, AFOM-RCP, Hon FRSPH, Hon MAPHA-USA
1) Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic Issues in litigation.
2) Expert Witness in GP Clinical Negligence.
3) Author, Transcultural Medicine.
Some would be parents ask advice from a family friend or their family doctor whether to have their first baby delivered in hospital or at home. Of course, the decision has to be made by the mother and father. The baby cannot give his/her choice yet.
My sincere advice is that the mother should consider having her first baby in the maternity unit of a hospital. The reasons are based on common sense;
• The delivery in first pregnancy carries the maximum risk of complications and second pregnancy is the safest, as everything is new for trial in first delivery, uterus and foetus, according to medical knowledge.
• For example, a baby may be small for dates and somewhat underweight; why? Something about it would be known to the midwife and obstetrician but something might be unknown. Only God knows the best. God only helps those who help themselves.
• In hospital delivery room , the mother and baby are in safe hands, if anything known or unforeseen were to go wrong, there are midwives and obstetricians monitoring around.
• The hospital delivery room would be far more infection free than anyone's home could be, even of the Royal family. The maternity unit of hospitals have good facilities.
• Mother would be looked after by a midwife, who is supported by an Obstetrician.
• The new-born baby would be taken over by a Paediatric nurse and checked as well as cared for carefully. Literally, in safe hands.
• As soon as the mother and baby are screened and considered safe, the hospital staff would happily send them home as they need beds for other mothers. So there is no overstay, which could be slightly boring for mother.
• Interestingly, the baby would cry first to communicate after taking first breath. The Paediatric nurse is trained to spot an unhealthy cry, which may rarely occur. The medical and surgical help would be at hand. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
• Princess Diana had Prince William and Prince Harry; then Duchess Kate had Prince George and Princess Charlotte in maternity units of hospitals of their choice. They must have known the reasons why these were wise move.
• The father would be invited to hold the mother’s hand during delivery; how romantic! This might not happen at home as he would have to assist the midwife. Relatives present would be outside in waiting room for good news.
• East or West, home is the best, except in first delivery. Good luck to the family. A beautiful baby is to be born (today).