I’ve talked before about why I prefer midwives, and why I love water birth, and even how my son was born at home. So it’s not exactly a secret that I’m a big home birth supporter and that I plan to also have this baby at home.
In the midst of all that, though, I don’t think I’ve ever shared exactly why I really want to have this baby at home. And I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about women who make this choice. Today I’m going to share with you my reasons for choosing a home birth.
As with yesterday’s breastfeeding post, this is meant only to explain my decision. I’m in no way advocating that *all* women have home births or speaking to any other woman’s choices. I simply want to explain my own reasons for choosing home birth.
I must note that I have found it sad that some women who do not understand the choice to have a home birth have been so negative about it, or rude to women who choose it. Some women may never understand, and never feel the same way, and that is 100% up to them. But I don’t see the need to actually criticize someone who makes the choice.
I first heard of home birth when I was about 8 months pregnant with my first. It intrigued me, but also scared me. At the time I didn’t know any midwives, nor anyone else who’d done it. I hadn’t taken a childbirth ed class and just wasn’t prepared in any way. Obviously I was also quite far along. I mentioned it to my husband, who immediately said, “No way. What if something goes wrong? We can talk about it next time, but we just don’t know what we’re doing here.” (For the record, he is a very strong supporter of home birth now.)
So when I got pregnant the second time we considered it…but were still nervous. We originally planned a hospital birth with midwives and a doula. But then we were told that we’d still have to do the same tests as usual, which we really did not feel were necessary for us. We took a second look at homebirth and decided that would be a better fit for us than our original plan.
Here are our reasons for choosing home birth:
1) Hands-off care: As long as things were going well, we would not be required to have any procedures (like a routine IV, continuous fetal monitoring, etc.). We preferred it this way.
2) No access to pain relief: I didn’t want to be tempted to take pain medication when things got difficult; I wanted to rely on natural methods for support. I suspect that some of my difficulty bonding and breastfeeding, as well as some of my daughter’s health issues were caused or exacerbated by the drug-related interventions we faced. (Which I successfully did, and preferred.)
3) Family-oriented: I did not want to have to find someone to watch my daughter for an extended time, leave her overnight, and have her introduced to her new brother a couple days later. It was important to me that she have access to me at anytime during labor and birth and meet her brother immediately. I do not like to leave my children and have still never left either of them overnight.
4) Immediate bonding: I knew that if I were able to have a drug-free birth in a family-centered, hands-off situation, I’d be more likely to get to hold my son immediately and have uninterrupted bonding time with him. Especially after my experience the first time, this was crucial to me.
5) Help was close by: The closest (baby-friendly) hospital was just 10 minutes away. We could have easily transferred or called for help if we had really needed it. Which, luckily, we didn’t.
6) Suited my parenting style: Home birth suits my parenting style, which is very family-oriented, “natural,” and attached. I wanted to be close to my new son as well as my daughter, be comfortable in my own bed and keep our family’s routine the same. I wanted family to be able to come and visit us immediately and help us. It really worked well for us.
I know there are some who are reading this and still don’t understand. But this is what really worked best for us, and we are thrilled with our decision. We are looking forward to our upcoming homebirth for many of the same reasons: family-oriented, immediate bonding, and so on.
Were you able to choose the type of birth that worked best for you?
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