I tell people that I was pro-home birth before having a home birth myself. I had two perfectly wonderful-minimally-invasive hospital births before having a homebirth. After having one … I will passionately support any and every low-risk family to pursue the home birth option. This is not an option everyone is comfortable with – but if you are on the fence, I’ve got reasons for seriously considering birthing at home.
15 Reasons to have a home birth
- No wondering “is it time?” – I remember this being a huge concern with our first two pregnancies. For the first birth, this meant getting to the hospital earlier than I should have. For the second birth it meant getting to the hospital within reaching distance of fully dilated … but then labor lagged due to the disruption.
- There’s no need to get in the car – the first intervention is getting in the car. And laboring in the car is not fun. I say this speaking as a person who was in active labor for the five minute car ride it took to get to the hospital. Five minutes. We now live thirty minutes from the nearest hospital – a common situation for people in the North Country.
- There’s no disruption in your labor – No need to gather bags, double check you have it all, get in the car, drive to the hospital, check in, get monitored, go to your room ….
- You know everyone – At home, you invite whoever you want to be in your birthing space. This isn’t dependent on what medical staff is on call. You hand select your support team because you know them and trust them. And those are the only people who are at your birth. This includes your kids. They can be at the birth, witnessing the arrival of their sibling – or not. It’s a family decision.
- Minimal risk of infection – Why does it make sense to go to the place we go when we’re really really sick … to bring a tiny baby with an immature immune system into the world?
- Eating is an option – anytime, anywhere, any thing. This is huge. Labors can be long and physically draining. Food can give you the energy you need to stay active and strong during your birth. And it’s your preferred food. You know where it came from, how old it is, and it’s food you know you like.
- You know where everything is – if you need the birth ball, the bathroom, or a towel … everything – you know where it is. You don’t have to wait for someone else to mention this or that resource is available and then for it to be retrieved for you.
- Attention and care is superior – there is at least one if not two or more care providers dedicated to remaining in your birth space throughout your birthing process. They are not pulled to other clients, their attention is never divided.
- You can move around at will – you’re not restricted to a floor, a room, or a bed. I went outside and did farm chores because I was bored (my water broke hours before active labor kicked in). Not only is this great if you’re bored, as in my case, but moving around gets the baby in the optimal birthing position and makes the work of birthing more manageable. This also means you can birth in any room you find yourself … or under the stairs … or outside …
- You can have a water birth – no more words needed!
- No interruptions – no one is coming into your room at random hours to get your vitals. Your space is respected and vitals are recorded as needed but not as frequently and not when it’s disruptive to your birth, your postpartum bonding, or your sleep!
- The mess is minimal to non existent – your birth team will likely run a load or two through the washer, have dishes cleaned up, and generally just have things picked up before they leave.
- There’s no need to get in the car – at the end, when you’ve birthed your baby – you’re already at home! No need to get in the car to drive home.
- Your own bed – your partner can sleep in their own bed and so can you!
- The follow up care is superior – after your care provider says “congratulations” and hands you your baby in the hospital after birth, it’s unlikely you’ll see your provider again until six weeks after birth. With home birth care providers, the routine is for a home visit to check on the mom and newborn at 24 hours old, 3 days old, 7 days old, 14 days old, and at 6 weeks old. There’s a lot of adjusting in those first six weeks, and the intense follow up care means that any issue is spotted early and remedied and/or appropriate referrals are made.
Home birth isn’t for everyone, but it is an option in the Plattsburgh area and beyond. Historically, all births have happened at home, surrounded by a supportive team. It’s only in the last centry that we’ve moved births from home to hospital.
Birth is such an incredible life-altering experience. If you’re expecting, let’s talk! I’d love to document this experience for you – wherever you choose to birth.