Guest Post By Stanna Carey, RN
There are many choices a mother must make when it comes to the birth of her child. One of the most important is deciding where she will give birth.
Lets be honest, home is usually not the first place most women plan on giving birth. In fact, in 2012 research showed that only 1.36% of U.S. births were born outside of a hospital.
In today’s society it is not only encouraged, but it’s expected for women to receive prenatal care from a medical professional, in the hospital.
To not choose this standard is, to some, considered unsafe, or even foolish.
So why then would anyone choose to give birth at home?
Here is my story…
Before my first pregnancy, having a homebirth was something that I had not ever even thought about.
If you had told me then, that I was going to give birth to my first child at home, I would have called you a liar!
People that gave birth at home were crazy, in my mind.
Not in the sense that they were mentally deranged, but that they somehow possessed superhuman abilities to push through pain and not worry about all the things that could potentially go wrong.
The truth is, I was scared of even the thought of it. I knew absolutely nothing about homebirths and at the time they just seemed too risky to me.
I remember when I first became pregnant I, naturally started reading all of the prenatal books I could get my hands on.
I read so many beautiful stories of home and hospital births, but something about the homebirth stories really captivated me.
The raw, natural, seemingly euphoric experience these women were having in childbirth completely fascinated me and I wanted to know more.
As I toyed with the idea of having my own homebirth experience, I realized that maybe this wasn’t such a far-fetched idea.
In the meantime, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the current prenatal care that I was receiving from my doctor.
My Obstetrician was well meaning, but I began to realize that I was going to have little to no say in my pregnancy and birthing experience, if I continued my in-hospital care.
Eventually, as I dove deeper into the world of natural labor, real birth, and midwifery, I became convinced that a homebirth was right for me.
My husband and I met with a local homebirth midwife when I was about 34 weeks pregnant and committed to having our first child in the comfort of our own home. (Read about My Home Water Birth Story here)
So why did I choose to have a homebirth?
For many reasons, but it really boils down to three main points:
- I realized I didn’t need the hospital to have a positive and safe birth outcome;
- I felt the most comfortable laboring in my own home environment;
- I wholeheartedly believe in the natural abilities of the human body.
Let me explain further…
Homebirth is a safe option for the majority of women.
You don’t have to take my word for it, just look at the research.
A recent study published by the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health confirms that among low-risk women, “planned home births result in low rates of interventions without an increase in adverse outcomes for mothers and babies.” – Midwifes alliance of North America (https://mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes)
Read the entire article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/full
It’s interesting that most people never consider the risk factors when it comes to birthing in a hospital, but many are quick to seek out the hazards of giving birth at home.
I wrote an article recently, entitled 10 Reasons to Give Birth at Home, explaining several of the dangers associated with hospital births (including the common cascade of interventions and how having a homebirth can decrease or even eliminate many of these risks.
Is homebirth right for everyone?
No. I don’t necessarily think so.
I believe a major factor in deciding where to give birth should simply be, the environment that brings the most comfort to the laboring mother.
Birth is normal… plainly put.
Think of it this way: Women have been giving birth naturally and free from hospitals since the beginning of human kind!
It’s not some mysterious phenomenon or something that even requires intervention.
It is a natural process and our bodies were simply, designed to do it. See this article, Birth isn’t Amazing, it’s Normal for more on this.
So, is homebirth right for you?
A few words to consider…
- Don’t completely dismiss homebirth because of what you think you know. Get the facts, read stories, inform yourself.
- If you are on the fence about it, call up a homebirth midwife. I am sure they would be more than willing (probably happy) to answer any questions that you may have. Getting some answers from the people that see real birth on a daily basis could really help you in your decision.
- Look up the laws in your state. Unfortunately some states have laws restricting midwifery care in the home.
- Realize that there are pros and cons to both home and hospital births. It comes down to what you (the mother) feel is best for you and your baby.
A few of my favorite resources
- 10 Reasons to Have a Homebirth (article)
- The Business of Being Born (film)
- Childbirth Without Fear (book)
BIO: Stanna Carey is a Registered Nurse with a holistic outlook on life. She is a wife and SAHM, and blogs about natural health and wellness practices for women and their families at www.humblynurtured.com. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help more moms have positive birth outcomes.
Interested in contributing a guest post to SAHM, plus… ?
Contact me through social media or email me at ivy at sahmplus dot com.