Some Home Birth Myths Debunked

There are numerous home birth myths out there I'm sure you've heard some of them. The problem is that most of these myths are are just that, "Myths" in other words false and are putting many healthy pregnant women off having what could be an amazing, wonderful relaxed birthing experience.

Below we have explained and clarified just a few of the main home birth myths for you.

Q. Isn’t home birth very messy?

A. No, your midwife will help protect the bed, furniture and carpets by advising you to collect lots of newspapers, thick plastic sheeting and old bedding and towels. You and your partner can use these to throw over the sofa or whatever soft furnishings may be in the room. Your midwife will use these too, to protect the floor near where you are laboring and giving birth.

Home birth is surprisingly clean and tidy. The midwives will normally bring special big plastic trash bags with them to take away any rubbish and equipment; - which is minimal anyway. Blood loss is not like it is on TV Drama’s. In fact most births shown in TV programes are so far removed from reality it’s best not to watch them at all.

Many women feel drawn to laboring in their bathroom. It’s often one of the smallest rooms in the home. Thus making it feel the safest and cosiest of all rooms. Your bathroom will often have a washable floor covering such as porcelain tiles or linoleum. If you are in the bath when you give birth it’s even cleaner!

Q. What about all that awful pain of labor?

A. Laboring at home is so much more easy and manageable than laboring away from your home. Most moms use alternative methods like a waterbirth pool, bath-tub, aromatherapy, TENS machine, massage or nothing at all.

Q. Could my baby be too big?

A. It is extremely rare for a baby to be too big. Usually this would be detected during pregnancy by your midwife; especially if there is any sign of Gestational Diabetes. In England recently a young mom gave birth naturally to her 13 lb 11oz (6.2kg) baby boy! The biggest baby in UK for 20 years apparently. She only had a short 9 hour labor and needed no pain relief. She had a hospital birth but could easily have had a home birth. Her first child, a daughter, weighed 4.6kg (10lb 9oz). The position your baby is lying in is much more important than his size.

Q. I Can't Have A Home Birth If I Have Group B Strep Can I?

A. That is what most people would think. But there are increasing numbers of women who do manage a home birth while being positive for Group B Strep. This is becoming a home birth myth. Take a look at this very comprehensive evidence-based, referenced link from England.

Q. Won't my other kids will be traumatized by the noise & blood?

A. Quite often labor will happen at night. Many women don't relax into labor until their other children are asleep. In my experience, the other children would often wake up just in time to come and meet their new sibling a few minutes after he or she was born. Then they'd hop off back to bed happily having met the new baby. Or it would be time for a family breakfast with the midwives!

Concerning noise most women don't actually make much noise in labor, especially if they are at home. Being relaxed and in familiar surroundings helps you to cope well with the rushes or 'contractions' of labor.

Blood loss is pretty minimal in a normal healthy birth. Your midwife will be clearing it away so no need to worry about the kids seeing it.

Q. Is it true that Health Insurance companies don't cover homebirth?

A. Many insurance companies fully cover home birth and all your prenatal care. It may be necessary to write a letter explaining the situation. Check out the state law in your area as every state and each insurance company is different.

There are probably other home birth myths, but these are some of the commonest ones. I hope you are reassured. If in doubt ask your midwife or a friend who's had a home birth recently.

Q. Is home birth safe for my baby and me?

A. Yes, home birth is as safe, if not safer for both of you. There is plenty of research to prove this. Take a look at what UK midwife, Sara Wickham, has to say on this Midwifery Today link.

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