Home Birth on Your Research List?
While I don't encourage clients to "plan" for a specific style of birth, deciding a comfortable birth location is a part of the prenatal research process. The fact is, we can't plan birth - we can't dictate exactly what will happen including the place we will actually birth - but we can prepare for birth with the understanding of the options at every birth location, including birthing at home (even if preparing for birth in a hospital). When determining a laboring and birthing location that might match your birth philosophy, understanding how a birth environment influences your biology is crucial. For many mothers, becoming comfortable with home birth is often a matter of understanding the options available to them and the safety of birth in general and home birth safety for your specific situation. Many times, choosing to birth at home is a matter of really discovering your birth philosophy and being honest with how your current choices reflect those beliefs.
Home Birth Might be Right for You if...
- You are uncomfortable in a medical environment.
- You like to be the decision maker instead of being told what to do and want your birth team to trust your inner wisdom.
- You don't want an assembly line birth.
- You feel a provider formally signing a birth plan for you to experience a birth that matches your birth philosophy isn't the only way to achieve a happy healthy birth.
- You don't want medications offered as the first options for comfort.
- Your birth guide exceeds 1 page and want to find a birth location that better supports the biology of birth.
- You really can't get comfortable pooping anywhere else but home.
- You want to use colostrum instead of antibiotics as an eye ointment (or nothing at all).
- You don't want to have to decide when is the best time to leave for the birth location.
- You are considering "walking in pushing" or lying about your water breaking to avoid interventions in your current birth location choice.
- You don't want your care provider showing up just to catch the baby [as their routine].
- You don't want to rely on staff to relay details about your labor to your care provider over the phone as a routine.
- You want full comfort to build natural oxytocin with kisses, touch, privacy and intimacy as a normal part of the labor and birth process.
- You don't want to cut the cord until the placenta has been birthed or desire a lotus birth.
- You prefer your other children to be welcomed into your labor and birth space.
- You don't want limits on drinking or eating throughout labor.
- You don't want biologically unrealistic time limits for birth.
- You want the same people that provide you with prenatal and postpartum care to be the same people providing you with labor and postpartum care.
- You would prefer that you and your partner (and baby) sleep in your own comfortable bed together after the birth.
- You would prefer to reduce your chances of iatrogenic complications and approximately 30,000 preventable complications U.S. mothers experience.
- You don't feel the need to conform to your family's, friend's, or culture's perspective of maternity care.
- You prefer to receive attentive and regular postpartum care by phone and multiple home visits throughout your postpartum period.
- You are "low risk" and prefer a holistic approach to your situation from a provider comfortable with your situation and birth preferences.
- You are "high risk" and prefer a holistic approach to your situation from a provider comfortable with your situation and birth preferences.
- You believe birth is a part of the normal physiology of the body and not a medical event.
Does Home Birth Seem Like a Good Option for You?
While everyone that decides to prepare for birthing in their home has different reasons, the most important reason to prepare to birth at home is for your own personal reasons. No one else can make that decision for you. While there are pros and cons to all birth locations, just because a location is right for someone else (even in the same situation as yourself) doesn't mean it is right for you. Discover your birth philosophy by learning about the birth industry in your location, through birth classes and perinatal mentoring, and learning how you can increase your birth options through health and wellness. Then, make an informed decision being prepared for birth in any location and choosing the birth team and birth environment that's best for YOU.