Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home Birth

Home birth. These words bring up a lot of connotations. Mostly, people would ask, WHY?

Home birth is for hippies.
Home birth is for accidents.
Home birth is something my great grandmother did.

Actually, home birth is for any healthy woman with a low risk pregnancy and well-trained birth attendants.

Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, had a home water birth with their baby boy.
Demi Moore, Meryl Streep, Pamela Anderson, Riki Lake are just a few more celebrities who have had homebirths.

Many, many women choose to birth at home. and these are sane, intelligent, healthy women.

My husband and I have chosen to plan a home birth for our upcoming arrival.


Continuity of care.

The midwives I’m seeing offer complete prenatal care and I always see one or both of them for at least an hour at every prenatal appointment.
This creates a good relationship and trust between caregiver and mother to be.
They come to my home for the 36 week prenatal appointment to familiarize themselves with the drive, house, and allow you to feel more comfortable with them in your home.
They will be at the labor and birth of my baby.
They come as soon as they can when you are having true contractions and stay through the birth of your baby and for hours after to make sure everyone is healthy and establishing breastfeeding, etc.
They return the next day to follow up and for the one week and six week appointments.

They provide continuous care from the first stage of labor to delivery.
In a hospital you are lucky if you get to see your doctor before pushing and your midwife more than once every hour or two.
There isn’t the hands on support through contractions or just the availability of the provider should you need them.


For low risk healthy women with a normal pregnancy, birthing at home with a skilled midwife is as safe or safer than birth in a hospital.
There are many studies that back this up.
When a complication arises, often a midwife at a homebirth will be able to identify it quickly because of the continuous care of the mother and baby and transfer care as soon as she realizes that there is a complication.

If there is bleeding after the birth, the midwife carries medication to help the uterus contract  and if she feels that it would be better managed in a hospital, she will treat while transferring care.
The midwife carries IV fluids should the mother need them.
If a baby or mother needs oxygen, the midwife carries oxygen and resuscitation equipment with her.

In fact, homebirth midwives carry all the same tools they would have at a hospital besides the operating room/anesthesia to a home birth.

We live less than 20 miles from the hospital, in the event that we would need to transfer care, we would be there within 30 minutes, typically the amount of time that the OR would take to set up for surgery regardless of whether you were in the next room or not.

Both of my midwives are certified in infant resuscitation and CPR. One is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist and the other has also been an EMT for over ten years. Both have over ten years of experience delivering babies in and out hospitals and birth centers.

Another great benefit to birthing at home is the lessened risk of infection. Hospitals are full of sick people and many, many germs that you normally wouldn't want your newborn baby exposed to. At home, you are already immune to the germs that live there and you have control over who comes to visit.

Having had a difficult labor with Noah, I'm more aware now of comfort measures during labor and reasons why labors go longer and slower and how your surroundings affect that as well as positioning of the baby etc.

I'm prepared to deal with labor without pain medication by using a birthing tub (water is FANTASTIC during labor), self-hypnosis ( a relaxation technique that leaves you completely aware and in control but able to relax your body completely which facilitates and promotes smooth laboring),  different comfort measures such as massage, etc (from midwives, husband) and also acupuncture if needed (one of my midwives is an acupuncturist).

A home birth lessens the chance of unwanted interventions and keeps strangers who don't know about your birth preferences or philosophy from making unwanted suggestions or decisions regarding your baby.

In conclusion, we are very excited to have our baby at home and have done all the research to make an informed, intelligent decision. In the event we need the services of an OR or emergency room, we of course will be transferring to the hospital. We would love your support and can't wait to share our birth story with you!!

To see some typical home births check out these links (not graphic.. no worries)  Click on "our work" and then the upper right hand image to view video.


  1. Great plan! I have been hoping for about 30 years that this idea would spread. Maybe with the internet to help, it will now.

    I had the last 6 of my nine children at home.
    Susan Peterson

  2. Aw, such lovely videos!

    Now that I've actually had a homebirth, I can say that all of my reasons for having one were confirmed and strengthened. It felt so seamless and so right to welcome our new baby into our family that way, and having the midwife come to our home to check on us during those first couple of weeks was so much nicer than having to leave the house to go to the doctor.

    Thank you for sharing this information with others. I look forward to reading the birth story!


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