Choosing A Home Birth

Home birth is just so relaxing and pleasurable for all concerned. You the mom, your partner, the midwives, any other kids you already have and the rest of your family. You don’t have to worry about getting to hospital – is the car ready, tank full, what’s the traffic like, who’s going to look after the other kids, how long will the drive take etc.

All you need to do is make sure you have tea, coffee and cookies in stock for the midwives and your partner. Don’t forget a few other essentials that will help when planning your homebirth.

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Some of the benefits of choosing a home birth are that you’ll experience much less medical intervention, you’ll have a shorter, easier labor, quick recovery and a great start to breast feeding .

Women who've birthed in their own home often have no fear when it comes to labor. These women embrace child-birth and have even said straight after giving birth to their babies, "I'd do it again any day!" Many women find giving birth to their children at home one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences of their lives.

Your home is probably the perfect place to experience a wonderful natural birth. How many of your family have experienced a home birth?

Many people, mostly men such as husbands, have concerns that a home birth won't be safe. If someone in your family is worried show them the Home Birth Myths page where I put those myths to rest.

12 Reasons to choose a home birth:

1) Naturally you want to be with your partner and family in your own environment.

2) Home birth is a very effective way of keeping birth natural and normal while reducing the risk of complications.

3) You'll be more likely escape the interventions that are routine in many hospitals and be free to use the best birth positions to suit you.

4) Your labor will most likely be much quicker at home. It’s the natural choice of place to give birth for a healthy pregnant woman.

5) No need to jump into a car and drive across town or countryside when you are in full-blown labor.

6) Home will be the first place your new baby will see, hear, smell and be in contact with. First impressions are important!

7) You can get straight into your own clean comfortable bed with the baby after the birth.

8) You can bathe in your own bathtub or take a shower in your own bathroom - no sharing facilities with lots of other people.

9) You reduce the risk of infection by being in your own home.

10) You may feel less stress and anxiety and be more relaxed in your own home, surrounded by familiar objects and people.

11) Breastfeeding gets off to a much better start at home.

12) You can choose who accompanies you in child birth. No-one can tell people to leave your home. In hospital you may only be ‘allowed’ to have one person with you, if that! In some countries women aren’t allowed to have anybody with them.

A woman should be free to choose where she gives birth and who is with her.

Things To Consider With Home Birth

There are many choices you can make and sitting down with your partner to write a Birth Plan is a good idea at any stage of pregnancy, but especially around 35 - 36 weeks gestation.

If you have had a natural pregnancy and it has been straightforward with no complicating factors then you can ask your midwife about giving birth at home.

If you or your partner have concerns about safety or any issues around Home Birth that you've heard from friends or family, check out my page on Homebirth Myths which will put your mind at rest.

I strongly advise you not to watch any of the 'birth channels' on Television! Most tv labors and births are so unrealistic and have often been edited to look more dramatic for the audience or to gain more ratings for the TV company. So change channels!

Questions To Ask Your Midwife When Choosing A Homebirth

• Will there be a 2nd midwife present for the birth?

• Do I need someone to be here to look after my other child (children)?

• What happens if my labor slows down or stops?

• Will my midwife stay for the entire labor and birth? Or is there a chance that there will be a change of shift?

• What are your episiotomy rates?

• What are your rates of transferring into hospital?

• Can I have my reflexologist or other practitioner with me if I want?

• Do you have a water birth pool I can hire or borrow?

• Are you experienced with Lotus Birth if I wanted that?

• What equipment will I need in the home for a homebirth?

10 Tips for a Safe Labor:

1. Let labor begin naturally.

2. Follow your instincts.

3. Have an active birth, that is, walk around move and change positions throughout labor. This is also recommended by the World Health Organization in 1985, “Pregnant women … should be encouraged to walk during labor and each woman must freely decide which position to adopt during delivery.”

4. Have your partner, a friend, doula or labor companion for continuous support throughout labor and delivery.

5. Keep drinking water and energy drinks (not high sugar).

6. Sleep when you’re tired. Eat when you’re hungry.

7. Use the relaxation techniques you’ve learnt in pregnancy such as Lamaze, self hypnosis or yoga breathing.

8. Try to avoid interventions that are not necessary like ‘artificial rupturing of the membranes’ (ARM). This was and still is recommended by the World Health Organization (1985) - “Artificial early rupture of the membranes, as a routine process, is not scientifically justified.“

9. Try to avoid being on a bed during labor; keep active and use the furniture to help get through your contractions.

10. Avoid giving birth on your back or in a semi-recumbent position.

Home birth can be the most relaxed, empowering, life-affirming experience. Being prepared and working towards natural childbirth right from the start of pregnancy will increase your chances of achieving the natural birth experience you desire.

Remember to check up on all the essentials you'll need for a home birth.

Go to Homebirth Myths for more information on Homebirth

Go to Best Birth Positions page

Go to Waterbirth page

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