Homebirth 101

 

  • At a homebirth, all others, including the midwife, are invited guests. This makes for a very different social dynamic than in even the best-intentioned hospital. Moreover, with few exceptions, hospital policies are not intended to meet the needs of the individual woman. Maternity care policies are designed to process as many women and babies as efficiently, cost-effectively, and conveniently for staff as possible.

What are some potential drawbacks of homebirth?

 

  • You may face considerable disapproval from family, friends, and medical professionals. This can be very unpleasant and difficult during pregnancy and may actually lead to problems with care should a woman need to move into the hospital during labor or for problems after the birth.
  • You take on greater responsibility for making decisions and preparing for the birth. Some couples find this liberating, while others find it a burden.
  • The proximity of neighbors or lack of privacy within your home may inhibit you. This, in turn, can inhibit the labor.

How might having a homebirth affect your birth experience and postpartum recovery?

Emerging from the birth feeling capable and confident puts you in the ideal position to meet the challenges of new motherhood. A homebirth gives you your best chance to do this because:

  • You are on your own “turf” where you make the rules.
  • You have the opportunity to discover that you can cope with labor using your own resources and strengths.
  • You have a caregiver who nurtures, encourages and supports you and who respects your right to participate fully in any decisions made about your care.
  • You are least likely to be subjected to procedures such as episiotomy or cesarean section that cause pain and debility.
  • Even the need to move into the hospital, however disappointing, can be empowering. You will have the ultimate say-so, and it will be because you agree that appropriate intervention is now right and necessary.
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