To Stefen & I, it seemed like a no brainer. My mom had a home birth, my sisters either had home births or used midwives for their pregnancies, and Stefen & his siblings were born at home. But for those that don’t understand or know much about it, let me convince you how awesome it is. First let me say, I am not against hospital births! I have seen great hospital birth experiences & I do believe doctors are there for a reason. If you feel a hospital birth is the right decision for you, then go with that feeling. We feel this is the right decision for us.
Here are a few of the most common home birth myths that I will gladly clear up.
1. Home birth is risky for mom and baby.
A home birth is just as safe as a hospital birth! If you are healthy and have a low risk pregnancy, then you can have a safe birth at home. No, it’s not for everyone. A midwife will not perform a home birth if you are not a good candidate and/or high risk. It is, of course, very important to have a very knowledgeable and certified midwife.
My midwife spends about an hour with me at my appointments. 15 minutes of that is checking weight, blood pressure, etc just like at a “normal” doctor visit. The other 30-45 minutes is us talking; about my nutrition, explaining to me all the “medical” things I don’t understand, answering questions we may have (and not just a short answer, but going into detail to help us really understand), and talking about other birth experiences. She spends time getting to know us. If there are any changes, like high blood pressure, she doesn’t just write me an rx to “fix it”, she asks questions to figure out what is causing it to take care of it naturally (talking about things that stress me out, or my week’s nutrition for example). For me when I first get to an appointment, I’m never relaxed, and she knows that. So when my blood pressure is high, she takes it again at the end of my appointment when I’m relaxed. If it’s still high she asks me what I’ve been eating lately, and Stefen will tell her exactly how many cheeseburgers I had that week.
Fun fact, she delivered a lady’s baby naturally at home recently that had the cord wrapped around it’s neck twice, arm once, and leg once. And acted like it was a common thing.
2. Home birth is messy.
This is what my brother, Luke, says all the time. And it’s true, it can be messy. But it’s going to be messy whether it’s at home or in a hospital and just like in a hospital, the midwife is there to take care of all of it. You don’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess yourself. Just like in a hospital, they have supplies to lay on the bed (or wherever else you decide to give birth, because at home you can do it just about wherever you want!) What seems messy to me is giving birth in a hospital filled with sick people, lying in a bed that tons of other people have laid in, and in a room that you will probably never see again. I’ll take my bedroom over that.
3. If there’s an emergency, you’re screwed.
A midwife is not just some hippie lady that chants around me while I give birth (that’s what I have my mom for–just kidding.. kind of..) They are trained and certified professionals. And–in my opinion–have more knowledge than a doctor may in a hospital because they have less to work with (not in a bad way but, instead of admitting a c-section at the first sign of a complication, they have the knowledge to fix the problem and are willing to do so). Midwives are trained to deal with emergencies just as doctors are.
My midwife brings all the necessary tools and supplies needed and used for a birth. She will constantly be checking the heart rate with the same monitor used in her office.
And although she is completely prepared and experienced in home birthing, she will still inform me to have a “back up plan” in case something does go wrong.
4. Only hippies have home births.
I don’t think it’s so much that “only hippies have home births” as much as you are looked at like a hippie for having a home birth. I strongly believe that if more people did their research and listened and trusted their bodies, they would see how amazing a home birth can really be. Did that still sound hippie? Oh well. Make fun of me while I’m relaxing at my home in my comfy bed with my newborn baby.
5. No epidural, you’ll be in so much pain at home!
Yes, it’s true I won’t have the option of having an epidural or any medications. But, I mean, come on. If I’m hippie enough to have a baby in my house, you really think I want that stuff anyway? Besides, there’s a reason it’s called “natural delivery”. It’s natural to give birth without being drugged up or trying to take away the pain! I have obviously never had a baby before so I don’t know from experience, but I have heard from many moms that have given birth naturally and with an epidural that they actually preferred naturally. There is a reason your body feels things, even the pains during labor, and it is easier to listen to your body; know when to push, etc, when you feel those pains than when you can’t and have to have someone else telling you to push.
6. What if the baby is too big?
With Stefen as the daddy, I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous knowing there is a baby in me that takes after him; our little guy was already in the 89th percentile for height at our 20 week u/s and my stomach seems to be growing faster by the minute. My midwife reassured us it would be ok by telling us about the biggest baby she delivered naturally, over 14 pounds! And that baby was born to a girl who was under 5 ft. tall and weighed about 120 pounds. I’m not so worried anymore.
If Stefen & I were not 100% comfortable with the choice to birth at home, we wouldn’t do it. But, we’ve done our research as well as seen from experience that it is the right choice for us! I am grateful to have the option to give birth in the comfort of our home, in surroundings I’m familiar with, with as many (or as little) people around us as we want, and to have a midwife that has as much knowledge and experience as she has to make us both so comfortable with our decision! Stefen & I leave our appointments so comfortable, relaxed, and excited by the new things we learn from her. My Mom has gone to quite a few appointments with us as well and I’m pretty sure she loves our midwife more than we do.
My mom sent me this article and I love what this midwife said, “empowered birthing isn’t about where you have your baby, it’s about making an informed choice about what’s right for you and your family.”
A few of my favorite things and experiences with our midwife, Sizzly:
- We are never rushed at our appointments. Starting out I always felt like I had to hurry out just because that’s what you do at doctors offices, but I soon learned it was different when she would just sit there and keep talking and telling us stories way after my appointment was “finished”
- For my sugar/ glucose test I didn’t have to drink that nasty stuff I’ve heard so much about. I fasted from sugar for a week (which wasn’t too hard for me since I’m not a huge “sugar lover” anyway) and then for my test I had to drink a bottle of grape juice. Yes, Welch’s grape juice. Mmm.
- She had to reschedule one of my appointments because another mom was giving birth. So instead of having me drive back to her office, she came to my home the next day and did my appointment in my living room.
If you are looking for a GREAT home birthing midwife or just someone to talk to about home births because you’re not really sure if it’s right for you, I highly recommend Sizzly Auer at ChildBirthOptions.net