My first birthing experience was in a hospital with multiple nurses and doctors, bright lights, loud beeping monitors and sterile smells. I had a low-risk, healthy pregnancy and though hospital births are thought to be the safest place to deliver a baby, I could have avoided many routine medical interventions had I been in the comforts of my own home.
So why do I want to birth at home for baby number 2?
There are so many reasons why low-risk healthy women like myself would want to have their birth at home. But first, let me start with the access that women have in choosing their birthplace. I had no choice but to birth in a hospital. In Canada, women can choose to birth in a hospital, at home or at a birth centre. Though, unless your care provider is with Midwives, the only option is a hospital birth. For myself, Midwifery care was not available for me at the time, so a birthing centre or a home-birth was immediately out of the equation. Being able to choose exactly where you want to birth means having access to all types of maternity care.
There are many reasons why I would opt for a home-birth. Here are a few:
– I can eat whatever I want
– I can wear whatever I want
– It’s way more comfortable being at home
– The pressure of knowing when it’s “time to go” is gone
– I don’t have to pack a hospital bag
– The chance of a cesarean birth is reduced
– There will be no strangers at my birth
– I can invite anyone and as many people as I want
– I can actually have a water birth!!! (This one excites me)
– I don’t need to wear socks or slippers
– It can be as quiet or as dark as I want
– I can have candles
– I can use aromatherapy
– No routine medical interventions
– My labour will not be rushed
– We can cut the cord when we’re good and ready
– No one on my birth team has to pay for parking
– My home is less likely to be a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it’s not full of sick people
– I don’t need to have painful cervical exams every hour
– I can move around freely
– I’m not hooked up to any IVs, or monitors
– I can push in any position that I feel comfortable in
– I can avoid assisted instruments like vacuum and forceps
– I can avoid an episiotomy
– I can have immediate access to my placenta
– I can have as much skin to skin as I want
– I can breastfeed without the pressure of “topping up” with formula
– The whole family can sleep under one roof after baby is born
– No one interrupts me while I’m sleeping
– I don’t have to transport a newborn anywhere since we are already home
– The hospital will be always be there if I end up needing OB care
So if you have a healthy low-risk pregnancy, and you think you’d want to enjoy the comforts of your own home, and you want to share the experience with only those of which you’ve hand selected, then a home-birth could be for you as well.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why I’m so drawn to birthing at home. And although it’s not for everyone, I like being reminded that women have been birthing this way for centuries. Being able to birth in your own home; like a hospital or birth centre, is a choice. And I wish to see this choice available to every pregnant woman.