Home Birth Advocacy

Introducing The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep Ebook

No Comments 07 June 2012

Who would buy a home birth preparation book?

That’s a great question – here’s my answer.

There are 5 different types of people that would benefit from buying my ebook. You could be one of them. See below.

#1: You’re curious about home birth. On the fence.

  • This ebook is for you because it outlines what planning a home birth would entail for you, but you don’t have to make a hard commitment. Just $12 and a little bit of bedside reading time. Learn from a home birth moms’ story and go from there.

#2: You’re pregnant and planning a home birth.

  • The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep is an all-in-one home birth preparation ebook. From pregnancy to labor, birth and beyond, it’s really all you need. A reading list, recommended DVDs and resource guide is also included.

#3: Midwives & doulas.

  • An addition to your personal library of birth books, The 9 Steps will remind you what families need to plan a home birth. It explains specific emotional and physical elements to prepare for that you don’t want to miss during prenatal visits. Consider the ebook as a guide to get on the same page as your clients. Develop a deep understanding of their journey through reading and discussing it together. You could even think of it as an informal pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum “plan.”

#4: Childbirth Instructors.

  • I’m quite confident that this ebook could serve as an addition to a childbirth program targeted specifically at couples planning a home birth. Each topic could be expanded on for a 12 week class. Refer it clients planning a home birth. Have it as an essential part of your library.

#5: Last but not least, this ebook is a great gift to friends.

  • If you’ve experienced the joy of home birth, share the gift of that knowledge and purchase The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep for a friend. Whether they are on the fence about planning a home birth or are full scale in the throes of their journey, they’re bound to read something inspirational, that makes them think, or just plain supported along the way. How nice!

I’ve put a lot of my heart into this ebook, but that’s not the reason why I’m recommending it to you today.

I truly believe it can help a lot of families. I’m proud of the information it entails and want to share it with the birth world at large.

The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep represents the change I want to see in the world. Writing it over the past 5 months is the way I’ve put in effort to make that change. Home birth = peaceful birth. And peaceful birth = a more peaceful world.

Buy The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep Ebook Now

Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

I Am An Author!

No Comments 16 May 2012

I printed the first copy of my ebook yesterday. Whoot, whoot!

A little back story about the writing of this book:

I wrote the 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep email newsletter just over two years ago as part of the creation of this site.

The newsletter was free to receive, and since it’s inception, over 750 people planning a home birth have been helped by it’s content.

Early this Spring, I decided to transform the articles of my newsletter into an eBook.

I wanted to make it even more accessible to families. An all-in-one home birth preparation package that women could read on their Kindle before bed or share easy access information with their parents.

So I began the process of turning the 9 Steps inside out. I shook it upside down and watched all the words tumble. What a mess!

Then I picked up all the pieces, rearranged them, tossed out a bunch, added a ton, and adding it all together again. It took me four months.

I’d say 95% of the content is brand spankin’ new.

I’d learned so much since I wrote the original series. Heck, I’d had another home birth since then – and it was so much different than my first!

Now begins the process of editing. Red pen to paper. All 12,000+ words. It’s going to be awesome, thanks to a few stellar editing volunteers (I have read it so many times by now I can practically recite it).

The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep eBook should be ready for the public the first week of June!

Home Birth Advocacy

A Midwife For Life

8 Comments 06 May 2012

This past week, my grandmother gave me a copy of Inspire, a quarterly magazine published by Borgess Hospital.

Grandma Nona & Ella

She thought of me because the issue included an article featuring nurse midwives called, Behind Women For Life; Celebrating the Role of Certified Nurse Midwives.

I visit my Grandma every Thursday with my children. We’ve been very close forever. She supports my efforts to inform families about home birth. She attended my first home birth and watched her first great-grandchild, Ella, be born. We talk about my work at BBH frequently. Love her so much!

I was grateful, and learned a lot from the article! For instance, I had no idea that CNMs provide life-long care to women, from before pregnancy, such as pap-smears, to long after pregnancy, up to menopause.

After reading it, I couldn’t help but feel a bit…envious.

As much as I love my midwife, I’m a bit jealous of the women who are able to form long lasting relationships with their midwives. My home birth midwife is a CPM, and didn’t provide personal care for me after the process of birthing was over. I’ve always been bummed that we couldn’t spend more time together, whether it be a personal or professional relationship.

However, becoming a
Certified Nurse Midwife didn’t appeal to our midwife.

She felt like going to nursing school would have gone against her inner constitution. And I totally respect that. Personally, if I were to become a midwife, I’d have a really hard time going to nursing school and immersing myself in the western medicine field.

In an effort to better understand the roles of the different types of midwives, I am going to highlight Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives. This will help you determine which midwife to hire.

What are the differences between Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives?

Here’s what all midwives  have in common:

All midwives subscribe to and believe in the Midwifery Model of Care, which states…

“The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events.

The Midwives Model of Care includes:

  • monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • minimizing technological interventions and;
  • identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention

The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.

The Midwives Model of Care definition above is Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved.”

Certified Nurse Midwives, (CNM) provide high-quality care for women of all ages – from expecting to menopause. Nurse Midwives generally work in hospitals, but are not limited to do so unless their agreement states otherwise. CNMs work independently in hospitals and refer high-risk clients to an obstetrician when necessary. CNMs can legally attend home births in some states. One becomes a Nurse Midwife by attending nursing school with an additional midwifery training through Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).

The Certified Professional Midwife, (CPM) credential, issued by NARM (North American Registry of Midwives), is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). CPMs are independent practitioners and assist women in giving birth at home as well as birth centers. Certified Professional Midwives care for women during their childbearing cycle, from pregnancy to postpartum.

In the end, in my opinion, all that really matters is that you hire a midwife! <wink> Make sure you interview as many midwives as possible to decide which midwife will share your values.

Lastly, be sure to check this out! The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) has put together some incredible videos about midwives lately.

Watch Every Woman Deserves a Midwife and Midwifery Care: What’s In It For Women? They’ll have more videos coming up, so subscribe to their YouTube channel here: I Am A Midwife YouTube Channel. I give them two thumbs up for quality, professional and informative social media marketing! The birth world needs it!

Now it’s time to hear from you! Was your midwife a CNM or a CPM? (or maybe a direct entry or lay midwife?) Where you happy with the overall care you received? Tell us your story in the comments below.

Photo credits
CMN: http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/Midwifery.htm
CPM:  http://narm.org/certification/

Home Birth Advocacy

Home Birth Questionnaire Featuring Lindsey

2 Comments 25 April 2012

When did your journey to home birth begin?
How did you discover home birth?

In highschool I had hoped to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) (the only type of midwife I knew about at that time). My mother had several friends who birthed at home, so I was familiar with the idea.

Shortly before I was pregnant with our first, I started reading about natural birth, holistic parenting, etc. and started campaigning to have our first baby naturally and possibly with the assistance of a midwife. My husband was totally freaked out at first – he was on board 100% with the idea of natural birth (his mom had birthed her three children sans drugs), but the thought of not being cared for by a doctor in a hospital was a totally new concept to him.

We opted to meet in the middle and had our first baby at a birth center with a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).

During my second pregnancy we moved. We began the journey of finding a midwife – it was quite a saga, but God led us to the perfect one! At the time we met our midwife, she had delivered just over 5,000 babies and her stats were amazing. We peppered her with questions and asked a million “what ifs.” By choosing her, we were choosing home birth as she is not associated with a birth center or hospital in our area. Looking back, it’s the best two-fold decision ever – her for our midwife and a home birth for our baby!

Was your partner on board with the idea giving birth at home? (if applicable – perhaps the two of you discovered home birth together or it was the husband/partner’s idea)

Absolutely. By baby #2 my husband was pro-natural birth, pro-midwife, etc. He has never missed one of my prenatal appointments and has become quite the knowledgeable birth assistant through the course of our five births!

How did you find a midwife?

Our first midwife was found via word of mouth. Our second midwife was found almost miraculously – I can’t remember the specifics, but I do remember making a lot of phone calls and weeding my way through the phone interviews and a few personal ones. We were new to the area and she doesn’t advertise.

Are there any specific restrictions or laws in your state that make finding a midwife difficult?

In order to be licensed in the state of PA, you must be a Certified Nurse Midwife. CPM’s practice here, but they are not licensed. We’ve opted to use a CPM over a CNM for some specific reasons. That’s a loaded debate between counties, states, etc.

Describe your relationship with your midwife.

I am so thankful for our relationship! I’ve now used her for four pregnancies and should I ever have another, there’s not even a question in my mind as to whether or not she’d be my care-provider. I trust her entirely with my care and with the care of my babies. She’s thorough, a wealth of knowledge, kind, compassionate, challenging, doesn’t have a problem with telling you how it is, and really a lot of fun!

How did you prepare for your home birth? What class(es) did you take, books did you read, movies, discussions, etc.

For our first birth (at the birth center) we took a 12-week Bradley Method class.

Before all of my births I read, read, read! I read things I may or may not agree entirely with. I immerse myself in stories of other births, stories of pregnancy, various “methods” of relaxing, etc. I have some favorites…Childbirth Without Fear, Ina Mae Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, Birthing from Within, etc. I talk about birth with friends. I ask questions at my pre-natal appointments. I learn more and more every time!

Did you feel as though you were adequately prepared to give birth at home, or do you wish you had access to more information and/or education before hand?

Absolutely. But I am a self-motivated learner. I do think the American system as a whole fails on preparing women in general for birth. The preparation in my mind starts when they are young! Birth IS natural. Birth IS normal. Birth IS NOT an illness. And, I could continue with my list…

How would you describe the postpartum time period after giving birth at home? What were the pros and cons?

These were different for each baby. I absolutely LOVE being home. Here’s a quick recap of the five:

Baby #1 – He was born at a birth center. We were home within 8 hours of his birth. Due to a placental abruption during his birth, I had a 3rd degree tear that was glued instead of stitched by my choice. Because I needed to heal, I had 5 days of minimal walking, no stairs, and generally sitting on the couch.

Baby #2 – He was born at home. My husband came down with shingles the day after his birth. I didn’t have much of a healthy or slow post-partum recovery. We were new to the area. I didn’t really have any friends in the area. I struggled with post-partum-depression very badly. I wasn’t aware of how badly at the time – lots of hindsight going into this response!

Baby #3 – She was born at home. I put my regular jeans on after her birth. Went to the chiropractor with her when she was about 8 hours old. Had a fantastic recovery and felt great!

Babies #4 and 5 – Twin boys who came very quickly! Baby A was born unassisted (well, Daddy was there to catch!) and Baby B was born about an hour later being greeted by our midwife’s assistants. I was much weaker post the delivery and was perfectly happy to sit in bed and snuggle my babies. Baby A was born with an unexpected cleft lip/cleft palate so our post partum period was a little crazy with the twins. Twin post-partum needs, pros/cons, concerns, etc. are quite different.

Home Birth Advocacy, Motherhood

The Too Good Home Birth Blues

19 Comments 19 April 2012

I just had my baby.
Yeah, I gave birth at home…
I didn’t need nobody,
I did it on my own.

I was triumphant!
Midwife saw it in my eye.
I was feeling so proud…
now all I want to do is cry.

‘Cus I got the blues…
the I had too good’a home birth blues.

Had it all under control - things were going so well.
Then my toddler went a stir crazy
and the juggling balls all fell.

My honey went back to work.
And grandma did too…
suddenly I’m overrun -
outnumbered by the two.

And now I’m singin’ the blues.
I musta had too good’a home birth blues.

The older one is acting up.
It’s getting to my head
I want to take my newborn
and spend the day in bed.

They said the birth went real good,
And I agree!
But I need takin’ care of too.
Don’t forget I just had a baby!

Now I’m singin’ the blues.

My doula says “better sit down”
you’ll be payin’ for it tonight.
When I finally got the chance to rest,
oh boy was she right.

Damn, I got blues,
Had such a beautiful home birth too.

Oh me, oh my,
I got some microwaved entrees.
But no one is here to wait on me -
I haven’t sat down nearly all day.

I only wanted a babymoon.
Was that too much to ask?
It’s been a week already -
Time goes by so fast!

I’ve got the blues.
The I had too good’a  home birth blues.

I gave birth too good I guess,
no one can see I’m really a mess.

I got the blues.
The I had too good’a home birth blues.

Even with the most beautiful of home birth experiences, mothers can still feel let down or depressed after birth. If you know someone who has given birth at home, do what you can to provide support. Don’t assume that just because a mother looks great, that she feels great. 

Home Birth Advocacy

Home Birth Questionnaire by Rebecca, HBAC Mom

1 Comment 11 April 2012

The Home Birth of Henry Isaac
Questionnaire by Rebecca

When did your journey to home birth begin? How did you discover home birth?

I had already heard of homebirth (and thought it was pretty crazy) before I had my first baby. After experiencing a typical hospital birth with my first and feeling completely violated and traumatized, I started to dig a little deeper. After a lot of research, my husband and I decided that our next birth would NOT be at a hospital! We were pretty much ready for homebirth but took advantage of a nice free-standing birth center for our next baby and had a very good experience there. From that birth, homebirth was the obvious next step!

Our third baby was born at home and it was a phenomenal experience. I couldn’t believe we waited until baby #3 to give birth at home. There was no turning back now. I loved it! I was officially a homebirther.

Unfortunately, I had major complications due to placenta previa with my 4th baby which necessitated an emergency c-section at 33 weeks gestation. This was necessary and I’m grateful cesarean is available to save lives in cases like ours, but it was also very traumatic and scary.

VBAC was a non-decision for me as I already knew the research behind VBAC versus repeat cesarean and VBAC was the obvious healthier choice in my case. But now I had to really weigh the pros and cons of homebirth VBAC and face some new fears that I had never thought I would have to face. I attended an ICAN conference and also became an ICAN chapter co-leader in our community. By the time we were blessed with our 5th pregnancy, we knew that we’d be planning to have our VBAC at home!

Was your partner on board with the idea giving birth at home? (if applicable – perhaps the two of you discovered home birth together or it was the husband/partner’s idea)

He was always open to considering the sources I found and we talked a lot about it before arriving at the decision of homebirth, but it was mostly a joint arrival to homebirth!

How did you find a midwife? Are there any specific restrictions or laws in your state that make finding a midwife difficult? Describe your relationship.

I searched online and it was easy to find a few different choices. At the time we lived in a state where homebirth is completely legal and homebirth midwives are state certified.

Our relationship was great! I felt very comfortable with the midwife I chose.

How did you prepare for your home birth? What class(es) did you take, books did you read, movies, discussions, etc.

My husband and I collectively read a lot of different books! The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, the Bradley method books, Birthing from Within, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, among others I’m sure I’m forgetting! We also watched The Business of Being Born, countless online homebirth videos, and we took the Birthing From Within childbirth class as well.

Did you feel as though you were adequately prepared to give birth at home, or do you wish you had access to more information and/or education before hand?

I felt very prepared!

How would you describe the postpartum time period after giving birth at home? What were the pros and cons?

I’ve had 2 homebirths (3 out-of-hospital-births) now and loved the postpartum period every time. We try to keep it very low key- my husband takes as much time off work as possible, we have meals prepared and frozen ahead of time as well as dear friends bring us food for a while, we keep visitors to a bare minimum, and just relax and get to know our new baby for several days. It’s one of my favorite family times we’ve ever had at home with a new baby!

I tried to think of some cons and really couldn’t!

Read Rebecca’s HBAC water birth story here.


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