A common comment, (sometimes a broken record) those planning on giving birth at home, or have birthed at home, hear is “you’re so brave!”
We shrug, lay claim to how giving birth really has nothing to do with that, saying, or thinking, women who give birth in hospitals are the brave ones.
Those who have heavily researched giving birth in hospitals today, take into account the massive increase in cesarean sections, inductions and maternal mortality (the United States is currently ranked #41 in the world – should it be better than that?).
When we learn that home birth is as safe as giving birth in a hospital for low-risk women, the answer seems simple. Stay home (and stay the hell out of the hospital).
But this post isn’t supposed to be rah-rah home birth.
I want to talk about the very different strategies women implore when planning to give birth naturally at home and the hospital. Because despite the odds, (1 in 3 women giving birth in hospitals will have a c-section) there are plenty of women giving birth naturally in hospitals. I have proof in several friends.
Increase your odds of giving birth naturally in a hospital.
You can have a positive hospital birth experience!
One major perk of giving birth at home is making the decision who to hire as a midwife. Search the web, pick up the phone and interview as many experienced midwives you can find.
As much as this advantage is touted by the home birth community, main-stream hospital birthers may not know they have the same right.
If you don’t like your doctor or midwife in the hospital where you are getting care, FIRE THEM.
One of the single best things you can do to ensure a better birth experience is to find a care provider who sees eye to eye or at the very least, respects your ideals and personal wishes.
If you’re birthing in a hospital, write a birth plan.
This is important because it can act as your go-to Q&A when nurses you haven’t met before arrive on your birth scene. Be sure to go over your birth plan with your doctor or midwife well ahead of time.
Mentally and physically prepare for home birth
Giving birth at home takes a different kind of self-advocating responsibility.
The women who would say you’re so brave for giving birth at home might very well be thinking of your nuts for choosing a situation where you’re unable to get an epidural. <wink>
Funny thing is, I’ve heard from plenty of home birthing women who, head just above the water in full transition, thought they were nuts for not taking the drugs either!
Home birth requires planning, stamina, determination and confidence in yourself. There is no falling back on anything but yourself, the work you’ve done to get there and your birth team.
The quiet, uninterrupted space of home is just what many women need to birth peacefully on their own time. But…
Sometimes, for some women, giving birth in a hospital is safer than giving birth at home.
Complications arise. Some women simple aren’t eligible to give birth at home.
Likewise, there are plenty of situations when giving birth at home saves women for completely unnecessary interventions. It happened to me! Had I birthed in a hospital, I would have had a c-section!
Wanting a safe, peaceful and natural birth all comes down to personal preference and the determination to get what you want, (within reason) no matter where you are.