In the Netherlands, like about thirty percent of the pregnant women give birth at home. Elsewhere in the West is that only a few percent. It is an advantage to be on their own, familiar territory.
WiegYou better not give birth at home if your previous birth was a cesarean section, or if it comes before the 37th week, or after the 42th week, or if you have sudden blood loss during labor, or if by breaking the membranes shows that the amniotic fluid is colored, or...

Of course you want that everything goes well for mother and child. In advance you do not know if there are complications, or that the baby is almost self jumping out. So you are looking for experienced and expert assistance.

Midwives are specially trained for the guidance of normal pregnancies and births, and aftercare. If they notice during pregnancy that complications arise, they will also enlist the help of a gynecologist.
The gynecologist makes it as easy as possible, preferably by placing the woman horizontally on the table so he can do his job easier .

The human body is not built to give birth in this position. Often a cut is therefore inevitable.
Giving birth is not necessarily done horizontal. Many choose a crouching position. Earlier, and in other parts of the world still predominantly women give birth standing, sitting or squatting.
Midwives rather opt to give birth vertical, so also gravity helps.
They have to a large extent the same gear as in the hospital, like sterile material.
Usually there will be a hospital nearby and the midwife comes once visiting in advance.

Because the human skull is so great, and also by the shape of the pelvis of the woman (because man walks on two legs), is the birth of a baby more difficult than in other mammals.

Keep children, pets and people as far away as possible so that the area is quiet.

Braxton-Hicks contractions are painless, irregular contractions of the uterus. They come quite early in the pregnancy.

Later practice contractions towards the end of pregnancy  may well be painful .They are very irregular and short (<45 sec.). Usually they also stop as suddenly as they started. Women who were pregnant before, have more nuisance.

ChildbirthReal contractions feel like an elastic band around your abdomen, which is pulled tight. The menstrual -like pain radiates from the top of your belly into your pelvis and lower back. The real contractions are regularly.
You can feel the coming birth because the uterus is contracting. Through these contractions, the cervix will be softer and unlocking. Contractions come like waves: they become more painful and then again weak.
Childbirth can also start because the membranes rupture: the amniotic fluid runs out. If the water breaks high in the womb it drips. Through water loss the contractions arise. If they are not there yet after 24 to 48 hours confinement will be initiated because of the risk of infection.
In the beginning there is between two contractions 10-30 minutes and each contraction lasts 40 to 60. The contractions of the uterus come up with ever shorter intervals and become stronger, longer and more painful.

A sign of the onset of labor is losing bloody mucus, the mucus plug that sat on the cervix. This means that the birth process has started. The delivery is coming, but may also lack a number of days.
The cervical dilation is the opening of the cervix. With each contraction it is a bit stretched to the opening is about 10 centimeters. In a subsequent birth this goes faster.

The duration of the dilation will vary, and it is difficult to determine. At first childbirth this stage lasts an average of 24 hours. It can take up from 1 hour to several days. In subsequent births that often lasts shorter.

In the initial phase is from 0 to 4 cm dilation. At the end of this first stage there will be a contraction every two hours, which lasts about a minute. This phase can last long. Two days is not abnormal.
During the middle phase of 4 to 8 cm dilation it goes a lot faster. The contractions are stronger and more frequent, every 3-4 minutes.
In the late phase of 8 to 10 cm dilation contractions come very quick in succession. The mother often feels hopeless. With 10 cm, the dilation is deemed full and follows the birth.

If the membranes are broken after the start of the dilation the duration of the dilation is reduced by about 2 hours.

Childbirth occurs by large contractions of the uterus (approximately 80% of the expulsive force), and active push through the mother to get the baby through the pelvis.
The contractions are somewhat like the rush to the toilet, and are irresistibly strong. The mother cannot so else but actively press with them.
In this phase, the membranes often break when this has not already happened before.
Sometimes they do not break, and the baby is still in the membranes, or born with the "caul" (helmet).

If the pressing takes longer than about 1 to 2 hours, the condition of the baby should be checked, and the mother can better go to the hospital in labor. The gynecologist may explore condition and position of the baby and possibility increase the labor force (with oxytocin).
Help from a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, probably cesarean section may be used if necessary. Sometimes "episiotomy" (nicking) of the perineum is still enough to let the baby come in the normal way.
The passage of the head takes the most effort. If the head is out usually one contraction will be enough to push out the body.

Otherwise you have to help. Hold the head sideways with your hands and press it down (to the mattress). Do this during a contraction and let the mother squeeze out with all the power. So usually, the front shoulder comes. If you see coming from the shoulder under the pubic bone you move the baby to the mother's womb while she squeezes. Then the body follows easy.

Usually, the baby begins to cry. If not, please check if it is beautiful pink, then normally it’s all right. Let the baby cry anyway, which stimulates his lungs.
Dry the baby well and place it on mom's bare, dry belly.

If the baby is limp, white, and he does not cry, you should excite him considerably. Remove any mucus from his mouth and rub with a cloth considerably between the shoulder blades. A little crude stimulates him well. This is usually sufficient to let the baby cry. Otherwise, tap to his paws or scratch about it with your fingernails. The old-fashioned slap on the buttocks also helps.

Cover the baby with diapers or towels and cover mother and child with a duvet. It is important that you keep the baby warm.

Within about ten to thirty minutes after birth, the placenta is expelled, this is called afterbirth. Squeeze 1 more time, while slightly the cord is pulled and possibly pressed on the abdomen, and the placenta comes out. The placenta is examined. He must be complete and not hurt. Retarded pieces can cause bleeding and inflammation.

A natural way to help expel the placenta is to suck on the nipple. A job for the child or partner. If the placenta does not follow within 1 hour after birth, spontaneous expulsion is not likely. The gynecologist can remove the placenta manually. The placenta leaves a wound in the uterus causing the woman flows for several weeks.
The umbilical cord is a type of tube with blood vessels, which is connected to a fetus in the uterus and the placenta.

In mammals, the umbilical cord is bitten by the mother. In doing so, they crush the blood vessels so that they are pinched and the young will not bleed to death. People imitate it by clamping or tieing the umbilical cord and cut between two pinchings, at about 10 cm from the baby belly. Midwives in Malaya cut the cord length as the middle finger of the baby, in Mexico on length of the hand. In some tribes in Uganda, the umbilical stump is kept very short.

A piece of umbilical cord remains, which dries and will fall off within 10 days. There remains a small scar on the navel.

Nowadays it is advised not to fast, but at least 90 to 120 seconds after birth to cut, so the baby picks more healthy stem cells and blood.
During childbirth placenta and umbilical cord pump blood to the baby. Once the child has enough blood, they stop pumping. Wait clamping and cutting at least an hour or two until the strand stopped pumping and is bloodless white.
Then use the (sterile) scissors. It's pretty tough stuff. The navel is a fragile area that is prone to infection. That's why you have to keep it clean.

For some peoples it is very common to wait until the umbilical cord falls off by itself.
In a lotus birth the umbilical cord is not cut after birth. The neonate (newborn) thus remains attached to the placenta until the cord falls off naturally. This occurs from the third to about the tenth day postnatal. This will slow the neonate’s separation from its binding to the parent (Buckley, 2003).

Eating the placenta is an instinctive behavior in mammals. Thus the traces of the birth are cleared and mother and child protected from predators. In man there are cultures where this happens.
In some circles it is fashionable to devour the placenta few minutes after birth.
The placenta contains a lot of iron, vitamin B -12 and hormones. This would help the mother recovering quickly, avoid postpartum depression and help to create breast milk. But there is no scientific evidence for this.

There are many in cultures important rituals governing for the disposal or burial of the placenta.

Since the time of Hippocrates placenta is used as medicine.
Chinese believe that milk is promoted as the mother drinks a broth of boiled placenta. Also dried placenta is administered to women in labor (giving birth) to accelerate the baring process.
Placenta is in the Roman culinary literature frequently mentioned. It is a baked dish with layers of dough, cheese and honey, like lasagna. Our concept is derived from their kitchen dish, not vice versa.

The British company 'The Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network’ (IPEN) in 2014 had 102 specialists to handle up placentas to (in Hollywood trendy) capsules and smoothies.

After childbirth, the woman still flows approximately 10 days. This bleeding is much more severe than during menstruation. After that, the flow takes off. For a second or subsequent birth may be a day or so after pains.
The mother may have pain in her stomach or her back because the uterus contracts to take again its original dimensions. These contractions are important to counteract possible bleeding. When breastfeeding is given uterine contractions are stronger, reflecting the recovery accelerates so that the wound caused by the release of the placenta heals faster.

Many women get maternity tears on the third or fourth day of the birth. They are extremely emotional and may suddenly start crying. Such a day is quite simply due to all the physical and hormonal changes.

Some women continue to keep mental symptoms or remain depressed. They come in a postnatal depression.

Colostrum, the first milk, contains on average more than 700 different species of microorganisms that the immune system of the baby later enables to distinguish between pathogens and "good" microorganisms. Bacteria can help digest milk and reduce the risk of allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases. Artificial baby food does not.

Amenities at birth:

A warm environment (25°C), hot water bottle or cherry pit pillow.
An ironing board is useful, which can be brought at a convenient height at the foot of the bed as a side table
Possibly raise the bed to a good working height (eighty cm)
Some cushions can facilitate to find the ideal press posture.

mats, old sheet, mattress protector, oilcloth

towels, washcloths, swabs, cotton balls, cotton diapers
soap dispenser with disinfecting soap, nail brush
paper towel or toilet paper
sufficiently large towels / night bandage

Two empty buckets with a garbage bag
bowl for the placenta
1 jug, and a basin
measuring cup / sports drink bottle, or straws, drinking from a glass lying is difficult

1 sterile umbilical cord clamp, or string, scissors
100cc 70% alcohol
mirror if you want to watch
emergency lighting (flashlight)
ice pack in the freezer (from swelling)
painkillers paracetamol

set of clothes for the baby (size 50) (+ cap), care products

A bag with supplies for mother and baby, if they still have to leave to the hospital.

You may well give the used fabric a cold prewash the same day as the blood to get out. Just wash afterwards. (Warm or hot water fix proteins and stains).

Final course

On the Internet you can find some recipes for placenta. It is the only non - vegetarian meat dish for which no living creature has to be made dead. On the contrary.

In addition to use as ground beef in lasagna and spaghetti, there was also an Indian pate.

Remove the husks and rinse the placenta clean. Cut into strips (fresh placenta can be stored for a few weeks in the freezer). Fry the slices briefly in a mixture of butter and oil, along with some chopped onion and garlic.

Flambé everything with a dash of burning brandy. Now puree half of the meat mixture in the food processor with a good knob of butter, chopped parsley and fresh sage. Add salt and pepper and the juice of half a lime. Chop the other half of the meat coarsely and stir into the soft mass. Press the pâté in a pudding or pate form and leave it for several hours in the fridge.

I was so surprised by my birth that I could not speak for eighteen months (Gracie Allen)