Imagine giving birth in a relaxed environment, surrounded by familiar faces, in peace with no interruptions…
Candles. Music. Family. Laughter. Affirmations. Warm Compress. Love…
Giving birth at home is special. Those who have birthed at home are sold. They’ve been changed. It’s really something. A very different experience from giving birth in a hospital.
But it’s not just about birthing at home.
Although that is the main factor as to why women give birth at home, the other components that make up the birth experience nearly tie in importance: prenatal care and postpartum support.
A whole equals the sum of it’s parts. And it is the combination of all factors which make home birth so special.
A care provider who cares
Based on time allotment per prenatal care visit alone, home birth wins.
Then factor in individualized care, not to mention most home birth midwives come to your own home for each visit…that makes Home Birth 2, Hospital 0.
My first prenatal care visit lasted about 15 minutes long. The midwife hardly spoke to me. She was not glad or excited for me (this was after all, my first pregnancy – does it say that on the chart?).
Fast forward four months to my first out-of-hospital prenatal care visit with the midwife my fiance and I had interviewed before hiring. After eating a fruit plate and drinking tea, (yeah…another perk) I eased myself down onto my couch to listen to our little girl’s heartbeat. I clearly remember that moment, thinking how neat it was to be in my own living room.
We became close with our midwife, and found ourselves talking about much more than just birthy stuff. When it came down to it, I was thrilled to have her in attendance during the most special moment of my life.
What it’s like to labor & give birth at home
It’s intimate to labor at home. The surroundings are so familiar and safe, it’s easy to relax and feel…at home!
Laboring in your own home, you can step away and be by yourself or alone with your partner if you’d like.
You can utilize different areas of your house that you feel a particular connection with, labor on your own bed, climb your own stairs and moan in your own tub.
Give birth where and how is most comfortable and effective for you. You can literally decide where you want to give birth just moments before hand. Birth is flexible and you’re in charge (other than when nature is in charge <wink>).
The place where you give birth to your baby will be physically be there to show them when they grow up, (if you own your home) which is really, really neat.
Stay in bed. Or get up. Whatever you want to do.
Let someone else worry about cleaning the sheets and making the food.
Baby is not going anywhere. Delayed cord clamping, no vitamin K, Hep B or eye ointment? No biggie. Just say the word and you’ll be heard.
Take a bath or a shower. Get re-dressed and eat a meal. Take pictures.
And then, when all the fuss is over, you can relax again. Go to sleep or just sit and gaze dreamily together.
Birth, it’s a beautiful thing…
I firmly believe you can have a beautiful birth at a hospital. If home birth doesn’t feel comfortable or safe, you shouldn’t give birth at home. I know many people who have had great hospital experiences. I was born naturally in a hospital!
However, I would like to say, and I don’t say this often enough, women have a better chance birthing vaginally and without complication at home than in a hospital today.
Planned home birth with an experienced professional is as safe, (if not safer considering the overuse of medical interventions in hospitals today) as hospital birth for comparable risk women.
The cesarean section rate has skyrocketed. I surely would have given birth via unnecessary c-section had I been giving birth at my local hospital. I’m positive I would have. Thinking about it makes me feel incredibly grateful and sad.
Sad for the women who have not yet discovered what a joy and immensely rewarding challenge natural childbirth can be. Sad for the women who have had that chance taken away. Sadder still for the women who are emotionally and/or physically abused in hospitals. Sad turns to mad, which fuels things like this series. I’m trying to help.
If you’ve ever wondered what birth can look like and feel like when we allow our body’s primal instinct to take over, ask a woman who has birthed at home. I’ll never know another time in my life that I’ll feel so powerful and incredibly fragile all at one. Maybe if I climbed Mt. Everest.
With a healthy body, faith and trust between her heart and mind, a woman during childbirth is a goddess. Home provides a wonderful platform for the experience.