Monday, July 13, 2009

Homebirth: Not Just for the Crunchy, Country Folks

Recently, I have had many women comment about their "normal" friends birthing at home. Many people are under the misconception that only "weird" people have babies at home. I can tell you that growing up I may have been guilty to think that only certain types of people had babies at home. I now know differently.

I grew up in a rural community in Kansas. If you were to ask me as a teen what I thought about homebirth?" I would probably have told you that I am sure that the local Mennonite community was maybe the only group that would birth at home. My mother had five natural, unmedicated, hospital births, but I don't think I even knew there were any other options.

When my sister and her husband got pregnant with their first child in 2005, they decided to have a home birth. They live in Northwest Arkansas where they have access to midwives that would come to their home for prenatal visits and then for the birth. They don't have birthing
centers in their immediate area.

I recently sat down with my sister to ask her specific questions about her homebirth experience and the choices they made surrounding their pregnancy and birth. "I don't like drugs or pressure," she told me when asked why they decided to have their children at home. After interviewing local midwives, they made their choice based on the openness of the midwives, their loving spirit, and their passion for birth. (*Pictured is my sister with her daughter who was born at home in August 2008.)

She went on to say she had a positive, interested reaction from friends and family. No one ever made them feel bad or guilty for having a home birth. They got asked many questions that they could easily answer because of their comfort level with birthing at home. Her only concern with homebirth was "the worst case scenario" option which, in their mind, they were believing that they weren't going to have. And, they never did with either birth.

They loved both of their experiences with having babies at home. The intimate, safe, calm, peaceful atmosphere is what they desired for the baby and themselves and it was perfect for them. She believes the safest place to have a baby is where a mother and her support feel most comfortable. She read that during her first pregnancy and tells that to anyone asking advice.

"It is awesome," is her response to having a homebirth, "the love and care you get at home and the approach to labor and newborn care is refreshing and reassuring." She would tell anyone on the fence to keep doing research. If one of the parents is not in agreement with the other, continue to get educated. Read books, watch documentaries on birth, talk to friends who have had a homebirth experience, and talk to midwives, natural childbirth educators, and doulas. Make a final decision based on education, not fear.

Homebirth is safe. Midwives come fully prepared for anything that could happen during and after birth. I wouldn't say that homebirth is for every couple, but certainly I believe that it is a glorious option for every low-risk, healthy mother and baby.

1 comment:

MOMSWEB said...

Knock, knock...I'm here visiting via A Military Family Blog and I'm glad I dropped by. This blog is definitely a wonderful resource for mothers. I'll link you to my blog.