Home birth has been making a bit of a comeback along with other historical ways of parenting such as breastfeeding and co-sleeping after many of these decisions were discouraged for various reasons in the last few generations. There’s been a large stigma around and, in my experience, a lot of fear about home birth. You have many choices in giving birth including the location. Many families chose between the three most popular locations: hospital, birth center and home. All three have pros and cons. I worked as a doula for several years and witness first hand the differences. For me, the pros of a home birth were the strongest and today I’ll share with you why I chose to have my daughter in my home.
1. Home is where I feel safe. When asked: Where is the best place to give birth? My answer is always: Where you feel safe. I knew from the moment I saw the positive line on the pregnancy test that I would feel safest giving birth in my own home, in my own space. I do not feel comfortable in hospitals, around many people and machines. The power of relaxation and comfort in birth is undeniable. Bodies that feel safe, relaxed and comfortable have a significantly easier time giving birth. My body was always going to feel safest at home. So this was a really important reason for me to consider home birth.
2. I trusted my midwife. The midwife I chose made me feel at ease and comfortable. From the first day I met her, she was confident and secure in her own decisions. She told me immediately that she would never make a decision she wasn’t comfortable with and would not support me being at home for my labor and birth if she felt like it wasn’t safe for me. She also had extensive experience including working in remote areas with no medical access which made me feel like she, without a doubt, could handle my birth with running water, electricity and a hospital nearby.
3. I didn’t have to get in the car. You may think to yourself at first: this isn’t a reason. But it really is! Firstly, I honestly can’t imagine myself having to get into a car while I was in labor. I could not get out of the water or stop moving. Having to drive to a hospital or birth center would have felt horrific to me. Secondly, knowing what I know about women’s bodies in labor, it’s likely that this would have felt unbearable and also may have stalled my labor. The discomfort and change of scenery, added machinery and people I didn’t know would have likely made me so uncomfortable, it wouldn’t have been surprising for me to slow down my labor. Thirdly, if I had gotten into the car, it’s a real possibility I would have had a side of the highway baby. My birth team barely made it to my birth because my labor was so quick and intense. I’m glad they were the ones in the car coming to me and I was able to stay safe and calm in my bathroom waiting for them. In my opinion, a home birth with a skilled midwife is much safer and more comfortable than birthing in a car. I’m so happy I didn’t have to get in the car!
4. I believed in myself, my intuition and my body. Some of this came naturally and some of this I worked on. I studied Hypnobabies and spent every day preparing my mind and body for labor and birth. I treated birth preparation like a part time job. I did affirmations, my Hypnobabies tracks and exercised with birth in mind, everyday. I think all of this really helped me have a quick and uneventful labor. I knew that birthing at home was right for me intuitively, and if that had changed at any moment I would have vocalized that and my whole team including my midwife and husband knew to listen to me.
5. I ate pasta in my bed while my husband laid next to me holding my daughter. Probably not the best reason to have a home birth, but also my favorite. After I birthed Elodie in our bathtub and my husband caught her, my midwife did all of our exams in our bedroom. After my birth team left, it looked like nothing ever happened (it’s magic how midwives are able to make birth “mess” disappear). We laid in bed as a family. My husband made me a hearty and warm dinner to nourish and replenish my body after all the work of labor and then he snuggled our baby next to me while I ate. Then we all slept comfortably in our master suite, with a king bed, our cosleeper for Elodie and my comfortable bathroom close by. This was amazing for me compared to being in a hospital bed with my husband sleeping on a chair and Elodie in a cot, nurses or machines waking us up. We didn’t need any of that medically, luckily. So we got to jump right into our new family routine in our own comfortable space.
These reasons will not make home birth right for everyone. Some families will feel safer in a hospital or birth center. Some births are medically necessary to be in a hospital. There is no right answer for where you are meant to have your baby. But if you’re considering a home birth, I hope that this perspective on home birth helps you.
I would love to know: Would you consider a home birth or did you have a home birth? Tell me in the comments!
Did you know your home birth may be covered by insurance? Check out this post and contact your insurance today!