In December of 1998 I gave birth to a baby boy at home in a birthing tub. I found it to be exhilarating! I get a dreamy smile on my face when I think about it. I loved giving birth at home without medical interventions in a gentle, loving atmosphere. Here is Calvin's Birth Story
When I was pregnant with my son, someone called me "brave" for wanting to have a homebirth. I did not feel brave at all. I chose to have my baby at home because I feel that in a normal pregnancy--and if left to progress naturally, most pregnancies will be normal--giving birth at home can be the safest option for both mother and baby. I had a pretty good experience in the hospital with my first baby (at least I thought I did back then), so I don't hate hospitals, but hospitals are for sick people, and having a baby is something my body was designed to do. . . it is not a medical condition.
Here are some reasons I chose to have my baby at home. . .
- Both mother and baby are used to the germs at home and won't be exposed to harmful hospital germs.
- Mothers often relax better when laboring in familiar surroundings, thus making the labor less stressful for mother and baby and allowing labor to progress more quickly, naturally without potentially dangerous drugs, and giving a more enjoyable, even pleasurable, birth experience.
- When laboring and giving birth at home, the mother and those around her can feel how truly normal, and yet amazing and beautiful, birth was meant to be.
- Labor will be allowed to progress naturally, and there will be no rush to get it over with. Note: Some mothers desire to have their labor sped up, and there are more interventive homebirth midwives who will try to "help" by breaking the water (AROM) or manual dilation. Some midwives routinely break the water (AROM) and/or use manual dilation, so be sure to discuss these things with your midwife.
- A mother will not be made to push when her body does not tell her it is time. She will be not be told to hold her breath and push. No one will be saying, "Come on! Push harder!" or counting, "One, two, three, four, five," etc.
- I believe that mothers are less likely to lose a lot of blood at home. A good midwife will usually let the placenta birth naturally, and the mother will be allowed to nurse her baby immediately after birth (if baby wants to)... this will encourage her uterus to contract and help expel the placenta and slow bleeding. Also, when birthing at home, the mother will probably not need an episiotomy and is less likely to tear--especially if she labors in water.
- The mother can have the environment she wants. . . the music and sounds of her choice, smells of her choice--essential oils, cinnamon rolls or apple pie baking in the oven. There will be no glaring lights for the baby; the mother can choose to labor by candlelight.
- There will be no unnecessary suctioning of her baby's mouth, and no needle pricks. The parents can choose, with no danger of being turned into Child Protective Services, to not have eye drops put into their baby's eyes. They can be sure that, if they wish, their child will not be given a vitamin K shot or a Hepatitis B shot.
- Baby can be surrounded by love and gentleness from the moment of birth.
- The mother will be able to have her baby with her immediately, and no one will be able to take her baby away from her.
- The baby's cord will not be cut until it stops pulsating.
- Mom can eat whatever food she wants during labor and also after she has her baby--no icky hospital food!
- Mom can cuddle up with her baby and go to sleep in her own bed soon, or at least within hours, after the birth if they so desire.
Some of these things can be accomplished in a hospital, but the mother may very well have to fight for it.
The Safety of Home Birth A collection of international medical journal articles on the safety of home birth.
Legal Status of Direct Entry Midwives: State by State Analysis
The Homebirth Choice from "Midwifery Today."
Motherstuff - Home Birth Lots of links on this subject.
The Farm Midwives "The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study" and more interesting articles.
Crystal's Home Birth Pages
Homebirth--The Compleat Mother Magazine
Homebirth Mailing List... this is a new homebirth list open to anyone interested in homebirth. To join, send email to email@example.com. In body of message, type: SUBSCRIBE