Simply because there is no place like home. While having your baby at home does not necessarily give you an easier labor and delivery, it will give you more options for managing your labor. You will be able to walk, eat, drink, wear your own clothes, sleep in your own bed, and spend time with your family and chosen friends. Many families find their greatest pleasure in a homebirth comes after the birth when everyone is tucked into bed with the new baby. Laboring women often do better in their own familiar, comfortable environment. As a supporter of birth I desire to follow the laboring mom’s lead.
Is Homebirth Safe?
One hundred years ago most Americans gave birth at home, while today the numbers have reversed, with most women now giving birth in a hospital. Because most of us did not grow up with homebirth as the norm, the general feeling is that birth is risky and requires technology (often a lot of it) to remain safe. Meanwhile, statistics have not supported this fear of birth. Studies have shown homebirth to be as safe as hospital births when attended by well qualified midwives. Birthing at home also results in less intervention and surgical procedures. If the need arises prearranged medical care is available upon transfer to the hospital.
Who Can Attend My Homebirth?
This is your experience and of course you can invite anyone you would like. Family, including children and close friends, can support you in a way no one can. Carefully choose people who can support you and add a positive element as you labor.
As a midwife, I am in solo practice and usually come to a birth with the aid of a student assistant. If necessary or desired a second midwife can be arranged to also attend the birth.
When Should I Begin Care?
Ideally care should begin with preconception planning–discussing history and lifestyle choices that could affect the pregnancy outcome. Included would be recommendations for diet, exercise, supplements, lab work and more. Education on general health is important in pregnancy and questions on a variety of subjects can be addressed.
If already pregnant, I believe it is best to find the right care provider for you to begin care as early as possible. Establishing a trusting and comfortable relationship is important and it can be helpful to have someone to call for questions or situations that may arise. As with most midwives, there is no charge for an initial consultation.
What About Water Birth?
I absolutely love water birth and encourage women to consider it as an enjoyable option. Time and again I have the difference it can make in a laboring woman’s comfort level. Water birth can be a very safe and effective way to manage the work of labor.
I have two birth pools available for rent in my practice.
Is Homebirth Affordable?
Midwifery care is usually paid as a global fee covering prenatal care, labor, delivery, postpartum and newborn care. Lab work is separate and paid to the lab. Homebirth costs are typically less than those paid to the hospital and payment arrangements can always be made to meet your individual situation and family. In some cases insurance will reimburse for homebirth and is worth looking into.