So, why home birth? First, let me start off by saying that home birth is not for everyone. Some women have no desire to have a home birth and feel safer in a hospital setting, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they’re happy with that choice. Also, some women have to birth in a hospital due to medical issues that arise during pregnancy, so again, it’s not a reality for everyone. I’m not trying to convince everyone they should have a home birth, rather, that it could be an option for you if you have a healthy, low-risk pregnancy and are looking into alternatives to a hospital birth.
In this blog post I’ll share what sparked my desire to have a home birth as well as some of the reasons you may want to pursue this route.
My inspiration to pursue home birth came from my own mother who had me at home. I remember telling some of my friends growing up that I was born at home and their shock that that was even a thing. To be honest, I also thought it was pretty gnarly. In fact, when I got older and started thinking about having kids one day, I bought into the narrative that childbirth is painful and horrible and I thought I would most likely settle with a hospital birth and epidural when it came down to it. However, when my husband and I got serious about starting a family, I began thinking that home birth might be a good option for us (given baby and I remained healthy), and here’s just a few reasons why:
– Control over your environment. This is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to have a home birth. I’m highly sensitive to my surroundings and a bright, cold, sterile hospital room just didn’t sound appealing to me, especially in such an intense state as being in labor. I wanted to be in the zone during labor and I knew that a hospital environment would not help me relax and focus. Being in my comfortable, familiar environment with just a few select people present during labor was more my speed.
– You call the shots. I wanted to be in the driver’s seat during labor. I believe no one knows your body better than you and I didn’t want hospital staff telling me what I could and couldn’t do during labor, even if I felt it was best for me and my baby. I didn’t want to be restricted as to whatever birthing position I wanted to push in, told that I couldn’t eat during labor or that I had to make progress within a certain amount of time or be pressured with unnecessary interventions that I didn’t want.
What I love about home birth is the freedom it gives you. You don’t want a cervical check during labor? Ok, cool. You don’t have to have one. You want to labor in the shower? No problem. You want to eat during labor to sustain your energy? Go ahead! You want to push on hands and knees rather than being restricted to lying on your back on a hospital bed? Go for it! You want a solid uninterrupted hour of skin-to-skin time and delayed cord clamping? You can have that!
– Freedom of movement. Freedom of movement was a major factor for me. I didn’t want to be restricted to laboring on a small hospital bed. I ended up laboring all over our house: on the floor in our dining room, in the shower, and in our bedroom. I needed all that space to move around, get baby lower in my pelvis, and labor efficiently!
– Freedom to eat during labor. Because my labor was so short, eating never crossed my mind. However, if labor had been slow and prolonged I would have wanted the freedom to do that. Hospitals don’t allow women to eat during labor, and the reason behind it is well-intended. If a woman were to need a c-section and have to be intubated, there’s a risk for aspiration if she were to have food on her stomach. While I understand the intent behind a “no eating” policy, it’s not very realistic for an exhausted laboring woman who needs an energy boost to keep going.
– Convenience. How great does it sound to already be at home after you deliver your baby? You get to snuggle up in your bed with your little one, take a hot shower in your shower, and eat your food rather than choosing between hospital food or take out.
Are you sold yet on home birth? Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, home birth is a wonderful option for healthy, low-risk pregnancies. If you’re interested in ways you can optimize your health to have a higher chance of qualifying for a home birth, you’ll want to stick around for the a future post where I’ll dive into health and lifestyle tweaks we made prior to even getting pregnant!
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