I know this is going to be a big decision for most mums to be. We have been conditioned to opt for hospital births by so many influences in our lives...friends, family, doctors and midwives. But lets look at our bodies and our history as birthing women. Women are designed for this wonderful, empowering, magical act of child birth!
Women are often told the many reasons why not to have a home birth, but how about “the why the hell not? “ I totally understand that some women have to have their baby in hospital due to medical reasons/health conditions, but if you and the baby are healthy, then surely home is a great option.
“The first intervention in natural childbirth is the one that a healthy woman does herself when she walks out the front door of her own home in labour”. Michael Rosenthal OB/GYN
I've listed below my reasons on why I decided to have home births for both my babies.
Being in my home environment really allowed me to focus on the labour. I was able to surrender to the sensations and not have any distractions that might make me feel uncomfortable or nervous. I could make as much noise as I wanted and roam from room to room, inside and outside and felt so in control of what I was doing. If I needed anything my husband knew where to get it quickly. Not forgetting the amazing feeling of nursing my newborn baby in my own bed just minutes after giving birth.
Being at home for me meant being as calm and as relaxed as possible, which in turn meant a calm and relaxed baby! I had healthy pregnancies so there was no reason to worry unnecessarily. I didn't opt for a stretch and sweep and went overdue with both babies, but had faith that they would come when they were ready. It is commonly known that when a labouring mother goes into hospital she is nervous and is in unfamiliar surroundings. This has a huge impact on her hormone levels and can really slow things down and make the sensations more uncomfortable. This can cause a “cascade of intervention” starting with induction, then epidural, then forceps, then caesarean. I have heard this same story from so many of my friends who had their babies in hospital.
I knew that if I entered the hospital my birth would be taken out of my hands. I would be a “patient” with staff who have strict protocol to adhere to. In my own home I was totally in control of my births, my midwife being there for support and encouragement only when needed. I felt stronger and more able to control the sensations and stages of labour without any interference, I trusted in my body and knew I could do it!
Well most women who have had babies know all about this one! Privacy goes out of the window a little when you are in the throes of labour. Being at home allows you the time and space to move freely without having to think about things like clothing . You can go to the bathroom easily. Go have some last minute nookie to get that oxytocin flowing and bring on the baby if you have to! All this helps free your mind and allow you to focus on bringing your baby closer to you!
More involvement for my partner
Some partners have said they feel like a ‘spare part’ at a birth. That all they can do is watch on as their other halves get on with the job in hand, feeling useless and often somewhat overwhelmed by it all. Having my partner being so hands on was crucial during my first labour when I was a little overwhelmed, he was there every step of the way (I wouldn't let go of him haha!). He did everything I could have asked for and more, I felt supported and nourished by his love.
Being able to roam in and out of the house was super important to me. To get clarity from the fresh air, the birdsong, the night sky – regain some energy and breath and ready yourself for the next stage.
Shortly after having my daughter at home 2017
I really do believe it is every mothers right to have what kind of birth they wish. And if they prefer to have a hospital birth with or without medication then I totally support that with no judgement. All I would ask is why not home birth? Ask friends and family who have birthed at home about their experiences. Educate yourself as much as possible. Believe in yourself and your body.
I can recommend a couple of amazing books that really helped cement my decision to have home birth. They are “Birth Without Fear” by Grantly Dick-Read and Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. Both books were a total eye-opener for me with positive birthing stories galore. I felt so much more prepared and empowered after reading them.
I hope you enjoyed my musings on home birth and gained some knowledge from them. I look forward to sharing more on this topic with you very soon!
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