Guest Writers, Home Birth Quotes, Home Birth Safety

{Your Home Birth Quote} Featuring Melody

2 Comments 13 September 2010

“i could literally feel him moving down…something i had never felt during davis’ birth (due to the epidural). i felt so powerful and primal and deeply connected with the millions of women in all the earth’s history who have ever done this…”

This beautiful quote came from our very own guest blogger, Melody Aylestock (read her last guest blog post, “Why I Want to Have a Home Birth,” before reading her home birth story!).

She shares many more precious memories and wonderful mommy wisdom in telling the story of her water birth at home.

Stay tuned for more from Melody, and register to read her blog, Ramblings of a Lovesick Mommy.

Guest Writers, Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety

“why i want to have a homebirth”

6 Comments 09 September 2010

by guest Melody Aylestock

many people have been questioning what on earth has gotten into me with wanting to have a home birth!

even though i could think of many more reasons than this blog has time or space for, i will try to stick to a couple of the main reasons.

what really got me interested in it is after watching the documentary, The Business of Being Born before watching this, i really had no clue what it meant to have a “homebirth.”… i just assumed it meant you didn’t make it to the hospital in time!

i knew friends who had delivered at home with a midwife, but i honestly wasn’t even remotely interested in the prospect. it seemed too “unsafe.” i liked knowing that a hospital is prepared for all emergency procedures, were something to come up.

however, after watching this beautiful film, i was totally transfixed.

i began to wonder if this is something i could do! it took me about 4 or 5 months thinking about it, but nathan and i finally came to the decision that we really want this! the movie discusses how hospitals are very much so a “business” when it comes to labor and delivery. (get the woman in and out as quickly as possible!)

not that we had a traumatic experience at the hospital with davis’ birth, but i felt very much “out of control,” as far as the dr’s and nurses telling me what i needed – for the “sake of my baby” (double dose of pitocin [the drug from you-know-where], nubain, epidural, vacuum extractor leading to bad tearing…UGH) plus, while being hooked up to the i.v. and fetal monitor, i was very limited in what i could do as far as moving around.

they said that i would be able to walk around, but really they made me lay in the bed for all 18 hours.

i would say i had to go to the bathroom, just to be able to actually sit up!

of course, no food or water (which i don’t understand why…because labor is the hardest work you ever do!) with all of the conflicting drugs (which really do act against eachother), poor davis’ heartrate began to slow down, and i had to use an oxygen mask.

no fun.

thank the LORD, he was born healthy (and i did not have to have a c-section, even though nathan says i did ask for one at some point! the nurse laughed at my request and said “honey, those are only for emergencies. my response: “this IS an emergency!”)

needless to say…i wish i had done more research of what my options were before automatically signing up for a hospital birth.

in The Business of Being Born, it is stated that people will put more energy in researching what new camera or tv to buy before weighing their options about giving birth! isn’t that bizarre? it’s really our American culture. we watch shows like “a baby story,” or see screaming laboring women in movies, and grow up assuming that childbirth is a traumatic, scary, painful event that must take place in the hospital.

we assume that as women, our bodies are “lemons,” and are unable to properly deliver a baby on their own.

we think that we must have medical intervention to help us through this “illness.”

i have since been pouring over countless midwifery/homebirth books, (especially Ina May Gaskin – the woman is a rockstar!) i thought an interesting point she makes is that as women, we are uniquely designed so that our emotions are deeply tied into how our labor and delivery are. if we are strapped down to a hospital bed, in an unfamiliar room with drs and nurses we don’t know coming in and out of the room, our bodies naturally take longer to labor and dilate. it is much like the concept if someone tells you to stand in front of a group of people and just pee on the spot…your body tends to freeze up!

however, when a woman is able to labor on her own non-rushed terms, in a comfortable, nurturing environment, surrounded by people who are lovingly supporting her decision (and not trying to convince her of drugs she needs, but instead allowing her to walk/squat/eat/lay in a warm tub of water, doing whatever she feels is right for her body), the experience is totally different.

my friends who have delivered both in a hospital and then at home or birthing center with a midwife have all told me the same thing: the difference is night and day.

they would do it again any day.

it’s really funny when i think about it.

before davis was born, i had such a totally different view of giving birth. i really didn’t understand why people would want to refuse drugs. i thought it was a “feminist machoism” type thing.

i said that the only reason i would ever refuse pain drugs is if 1. labor was totally painless, or 2. i was trying to prove something to somebody.

people ask me if i regret having given birth in the hospital with davis. honestly, i don’t. i am beyond thankful that he was born healthy and without complications, but were i not to have had that experience, i don’t believe i would be as passionate as i am about wanting to do this the 2nd time around. i would probably be more scared and insecure of my decision.

i am so beyond excited about this pregnancy and birth.

on those rare occasions when nagging doubts start to creep in, i speak truth to myself. i know i can do this. this is how God designed my body.

obviously, i won’t act foolishly, and if any emergencies do come up, my midwife is beyond prepared to intervene until help arrives. believe me…i asked her plenty of questions before deciding to do this, and i know without a shadow of a doubt that her 12+ years of training, along with her diligence and meticulous attention to detail will notice and act upon it if anything is not right.

plus i felt an immediate connection when speaking with her for the first time.

i knew right away i wanted her to deliver my baby, and nathan said the same after we met with her. (plus another special thing: when she came over to meet with us the first time, she said “i remember this house. i’ve delivered a baby here before!” how cool is that?!)

so…there you go. some of the many reasons i am totally excited about this upcoming event in our lives. i covet and appreciate your prayers and support in this decision!

********************************************************************************

Melody Aylestock
on november 20, 2004 i married my best friend nathan. a few years later and we met our sweet davis james…and a few years after that and we met our little cædmon. the three of them have melted my heart, and now i can never go back to being normal. my heart is completely and forever stolen. register to read my blog, RamblingsOfALovesickMommy

Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety, Reviews

We’re Having a Homebirth! – A Book for Children

3 Comments 17 July 2010

Today I received a complementary copy of We’re Having a Home Birth by Kelly Mochel.

I was so excited to get this book and read it to Ella. She sat through the whole thing, patiently looking over each picture.

We’re Having a Home Birth is narrated by a little girl.

Her mommy is having a home birth and she is proud and interested to be a part of the process.

Kelly takes us on a journey of what the process of  home birth might look like to a young child in an easy to understand manner. The book speaks well to youngsters through a child’s perspective.

We’re Having a Home Birth paints home birth, and natural birth, in a very normal light.

There is no emergency during this relaxed home birth.

The young girl says when her mommy is ready to have the baby, she will say, “it is time.” And indeed mommy does.

The midwife, Jenny, arrives and gives mommy “sweet back rubs” and encouraging words. She also takes time to talk to her and daddy about how they can help mommy.

Mommy labors naturally on the back of a chair, swivels her hips and relaxes in a bath.

After baby is born, the family waits to cut the cord until the placenta is delivered. The next page shows mom breastfeeding.

I would definitely recommend this book! It’s a great starting point and conversation starter when introducing your children to home birth.

Pick up your copy of We’re Having a Homebirth! today!

Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety

Announcing Custom Home Birth Baskets by Bring Birth Home

1 Comment 15 June 2010

Bring Birth Home has joined Mama Goddess Birth Shop to bring you luxurious custom home birth kits.

Go to the Bring Birth Home Custom Home Birth Baskets Now!

I am SO excited to share this news with you!

Maria, the owner of Mama Goddess  Birth Shop, and I have been collaborating together for the past four months to create a customized home birth basket.

Each of the products included in the Custom Deluxe Home Birth Baskets have been hand selected by yours truly.

Home birth essentials to complete your home birth experience

If you are planning to birth at home,there will be a list of supplies you’ll need to purchase to have during your birth.

Perhaps your midwife will give you a list of items. Ours did.

Eric and I traveled to at least three stores to gather everything we needed.

And we waited to get everything until I was 38 weeks. Needless to say, it wasn’t the greatest of all shopping experiences. I’m sure you can imagine.

Which lead me to decide that next time around, I’d be going about things differently – smarter. I would buy everything I needed online. It would be convenient, time and cost effective, and I would probably find really neat things that aren’t available at the local drugstore.

Through months of research and shopping around, I found an online store that met all of my birthing needs. Contacting and getting to know Maria has been a wonderful experience.

Who is Mama Goddess?

Maria is the owner of Mama Goddess Birth Shop, located in Vancouver, B.C.

She is a home birth mom, passionate about helping to make the home birth experience of others more pleasant and comfortable.

Mama Goddess Birth Shop is the home to dozens of home birthing essential items. I picked through them judiciously and choose the items to provide a luxurious and memorable care package.

Mama Goddess provides two varieties of birth baskets, the Classic basket and Deluxe

These home birth kits contain everything you will need (plus some) to have a comfortable and clean home birth experience.

Classic Birth Kit:

  • 24 Blue under pads
  • 2 Plastic backed sheets (42×84 inches)
  • 6 4×4 Gauze {2 per package}
  • 1 Peri Bottle
  • 4 Paper covered Straws
  • 3 Emergen-C
  • 1 lb Package of Epsom Salts-For healing
  • And MUCH more…

>> Go To The Store! <<

Deluxe kits include everything mentioned in the Classic Basket plus:

  • 1-Vial Arnica 30C to help with bruising postpartum
  • 1- Bag of Perineal Healing wash herbs and information on using the herbs postpartum.
  • 1- Imp Print. Baby hand and foot printing kit in Purple
  • 1- Hot Water Bottle

And for all your birthing needs – the ambiance creators, memory makers and helpful extras, I present to you…

The Bring Birth Home Custom Deluxe Package. With beeswax candles and calming spritzer, as well as postpartum supplies, you will have everything you need to support you through your home birth experience.

Buy the Bring Birth Home Custom Deluxe Package on it’s own, or as an add on with either the basket.

Visit Mama Goddess Birth Shop now to view these personal and luxurious custom home birth baskets.

>> Take Me To The Store! <<

Guest Writers, Home Birth Safety

How to Find a Home Birth Friendly Childbirth Education Class

1 Comment 09 June 2010

by Kathryn Beck

When planning your home birth, you may think that taking a childbirth class isn’t for you.

You may have heard others talk about local classes, and how they focus on giving birth in a hospital or birth center, or how they talk about cesareans and epidurals…topics that may not pertain to you as a person planning a home birth.

You may think that if you read enough and talk to others who have had home births, that you will have all the information you need for your upcoming birth.

As a childbirth educator, I firmly believe that ALL women should take at least one childbirth education class prior to giving birth. The knowledge you gain from taking a childbirth class is going to provide you with more confidence in your ability to have a home birth.

How do you find a childbirth class?

Perhaps the first step would be to look in your phone book or do a search online for local childbirth educators. There might even be a local birth organization you can contact, or you can call the hospital to find out what options are around.

Just know that a hospital-based childbirth class is probably not going to be the best fit for you if you are planning a home birth as they will be focused on preparing students on how to have their babies in the hospital with doctors and nurses. Your midwife and/or doula can also help lead you to a local childbirth educator.

If you find a local resource, here are some questions to ask about the classes.

  • Who teaches the classes? Is she/he a certified childbirth educator, and if so, with what organization?
  • How long does the class series run? I recommend doing classes that are at least 5 classes long. A one day course is not a proper childbirth class as it is difficult to cover all the information you will need and can be overwhelming.
  • Is the program a group class or private class? (Think about how many people you feel comfortable with when learning about childbirth.)
  • What is the cost? Do they offer payment plans? The cost of childbirth classes vary greatly from teacher to teacher. Make this a priority in preparing for your baby’s birth.
  • What topics do they cover in the course? A complete childbirth education course should cover Anatomy & Physiology of Birth, nutrition & exercise, relaxation and breathing techniques, positions for birth, information for the birth partner, the birth process step by step, and more.

Be sure to tell the teacher that you are planning a home birth and ask what topics they will discuss that pertain specifically to birthing at home.

What is the philosophy of the birthing class?

Do they teach that pain is a part of the process and methods of coping with the pain? Or do they teach that pain isn’t an inherent part of childbirth and teach relaxation techniques to be calm and comfortable?

When deciding on a class program, think about what YOU believe about birth and find a class that fits your beliefs. If you believe that childbirth doesn’t have to be painful, then you don’t want a childbirth class that is only going to talk about pain relief.

Unable to find a childbirth class locally? Don’t despair!

There are still options.

Look around surrounding towns and cities.

Yes, you may have to travel a bit to go to class, but you may find someone who is willing to travel to you to do an in-home class.

Look online!

More and more childbirth educators are offering classes online. The information can be sent to you through email, web videos, booklets, or even done via web conference or Skype.

*My only caution with this is to be sure that the teacher is a certified childbirth educator through a reputable organization. Find out where she/he trained and what topics they cover that pertain to home birthing.

Home Study Courses on childbirth are also available.

Again, be sure that the program is a certified program by a reputable organization.

Make childbirth education a priority in your birth preparation. You will learn so much and it will empower you with education for your upcoming birth.

***

Kathryn Beck is Certified Hypnotist, HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator, HypnoBirthing® Fertility Consultant, Reiki Master Teacher. Visit her site, Imagine Health & Wellness.

We are honored to have her as a guest blogger at Bring Birth Home.

Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety

Hospital Birth (Not Home Birth) – A Major Health Risk

6 Comments 08 June 2010

According to Susie, birthing at home is a major risk.

In this article on The Herold Sun (dot) com Australia, Susie O’Brien calls women who choose home birth selfish and shares two sad stories about births gone wrong.

Such scare-mongering tactics is so reminiscent to another woman patrolling the web, always on the look out for ways to pick on people…<cough> Dr. <cough> Amy…<cough>…

Read the post and comment below >>  Home Birth – A Major Health Risk

News flash ladies: this kind of alienating, angry, uncompromising and compassion-less rhetoric is never going to work!

We’re going to keep giving birth at home!

Why?

I’ll tell you why in this beautiful little comment I worked up and posted (comment pending) over at Suzie’s post:

“As soon as the standard medical model of care in hospitals today pays more respect to the sheer and awesome power of women’s bodies, we will continue to give birth at home.

Until hospital staff can completely and totally honor a woman’s wishes to birth naturally, without interruption, with or without food, able to move, able to moan, able to labor over 24 hours without hearing the words “induction or cesarean section,” we will give birth at home.

Women birth at home to avoid so many of the often unnecessary interventions that take place in hospitals today. We are not treated like customers – the nurse and doctors do not aim to please us – we are told to be quiet, we are strapped down and plugged in. We are cut, drugged and lied to.

And until that stops, we will give birth at home, under the experienced and caring hands of midwives who LOVE their jobs, love our bodies, love our children, and this big world that we’re bringing them into.”

I tell you, that felt so damn good to let it out!!

More great comments, shared by fans of Bring Birth Home

“People who have never had or witnessed a home birth are not qualified and should not be allowed to write or comment about it! We had a surprise breech our last birth and had we not been at home, our birth would have been AWFUL!!!! I know, because I was informed by the back up Dr. that he would never have allowed it and would have required a c-section. Low and behold, we had an AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL breech home birth and our son is healthy. Our skilled midwife made it possible. BUT HOW DARE PEOPLE SAY THAT THE RIGHT FOR MY BABY TO HAVE AN EQUALLY SATISFYING BIRTH AND MY RIGHT TO GIVE THEM THAT BIRTH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL??? No one owns my body and I will still have my home births…they may just have to be illegal!!!” – Kristina

“I had my first 3 babies at hospital, and it was horrible and traumatic. I ended up with mental illness (PTSD) and unnecessary caesareans. Great risk was put against me and my babies, especially considering babies are 3x more likely to die from caesarean section. The fact that mine were completely unnecessary is shocking (and a waste of taxpayer money!). I know those surgeries were unnecessary, as the reason given was that my pelvis was too small. But I went on to give birth to my 2largest babies (with larger heads!) at home, no problem, and those births were AWESOME. I am petrified of the dangers of hospital birth. This article is so scare-mongering and based on nil fact that it is also petrifying!” – Rebecca

Where is the responsibility on mothers choosing hospital birth if something goes wrong? Surely, Susie you are responsible for your traumatic first birth, you choose the location and the care providers, you ‘trusted’ the information you were given. If you get the chance to get a different perspective on home birth maybe ask an independent, privately practicing, midwife about induction before term and what are the usual outcomes are for mother and baby. Homebirth isn’t about the ‘experience’ for me (this is an added bonus) its about the safety. If I had of left home when my labour started with my second son he would have been born 15mins down the road which is at least 30mins short of a hospital. As it was I choose to stay home and employ 2 experienced midwives. What would you have mothers like me do if homebirth was well and truly illegal?? Be induced in hospital at 38 weeks and suffer the same trauma as you and your son!!!! no thank you.” – Chrissy

Sad truth is babies sometimes die – at home and in the hospital. Its a fact of life. Hindsight is a gift of not knowing if the outcome would’ve changed — but the possibility of it. By the sound of the comments all doctors and nurses caring for a mother or baby who dies should face criminal charges, if they feel families who choose home birth with death occurring should criminally charge the parents. Families make decisions all the time regarding health care, schooling, transportation.. all kinds of things… do they really want their government making decisions for their families.. slippery slope I would think, even for those against home birth.” – Shannon

That is the worst thing I’ve read in awhile. If home birth should be banned because it puts babies lives at risk then abortion should be illegal too because it’s fetal death rate is 100%. Do you really think that a woman would put herself before her unborn child? The reasons I had a home birth were all about protecting my child from the dangers of medical intervention. I think all women decide how they are going to give birth based on their knowledge of what they believe to be best for their child. And she should definitely be questioning her OB’s logic when they are going to induce her at 37 weeks because the baby is too small…that makes NO sense whatsoever!! It doesn’t take a doctor to figure out that maybe you should let the baby grow until it’s ready to be born, maybe that’s why it was allegedly “stuck”. I’d get stuck too if someone was trying to make me come out before i was ready.” – Cindy

Home birth isn’t for everyone. What is for everyone is FACT based information and not fear mongering! Hospital births carry a dramatic risk of major abdominal surgery, higher risk of infection, and much higher risk of postpartum depression. Those are facts. Home birth not safe? Opinion. Present facts or you’re part of the problem, perpetuating a culture where a woman’s innate ability to labor, birth, and mother are dwarfed by politics and profits. Educate yourself before making such sweeping declarations.” – Stephanie

See, the thing is, home birth is SAFER than hospital birth!

If considering the rate of unnecessary and dangerous interventions in hospitals today, women have a better chance birthing normally at home than in hospitals.

Babies are 3x more likely to die during cesarean sections than vaginal births.

Read more about the risks to mom and baby through induction, epidural use and cesarean section in the various chapters within Why Birth Experience Matters.

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