Home Birth. What You Really Need To Know

by | January 23, 2018

Home birth is a pretty foreign concept in the United States, but it is the only way I can imagine giving birth!

My first baby, I gave birth to her in a pool in my kitchen, and it was the best experience of my life. Let’s break down what you REALLY need to know to have a safe and happy home birth, too! First off, you don’t have to go it alone. You can hire a midwife (and a doula, too!). A lot of insurances cover midwives, but even if yours doesn’t, birthing at home is cheaper than birthing in a hospital. Plus, a lot of midwives have payment plans.

You’ll want to order a birth kit (I got mine through inhishands.com) and get your birthing supplies gathered into one convenient place. You’ll need towels, waterproofing supplies for where you want to birth (waterproof sheets, plastic tarp, absorbent pads), sterile tools (these will be in your birth kit or provided by your midwife), and aftercare items for you and the baby (peri bottle, witch hazel, cord clamp). It’s also really nice if you have food available for your birth team since they won’t be leaving your side no matter how long your labor takes! I’m going to briefly touch on the scary stuff because it is important, too, but so long as you know where the nearest hospital with a NICU is, and your team can get you there if on the rare occurrence you do need it, everything should work out just fine.

Midwives are trained in how to handle common scary situations like a cord around a baby’s neck or shoulder dystocia or you hemorrhaging to name a few. If you’re birthing unassisted, then you need to research how to handle the common complications yourself because those can generally be handled without a hospital if you act in a timely fashion. Ask your midwife what her transport rate is. She can assure you it is very, very low.  For pain management, yeah, you can’t get an epidural, but you can have movement, dance, acupressure, a tub. I would like to point out, home birth is considered safe for LOW RISK pregnancy, and so long as everyone involved is confident, you CAN birth a breech baby or even multiples at home!

When it’s all said and done, you can still get a social security number and birth certificate for your baby. If you haven’t yet, check out The Business of Being Born to give you even more perspective on birthing options. You have quite a bit more freedom of choice when birthing at home as you are not limited by well-meaning hospital/birth center policies.

If you would rather have more of a say in what happens to you and for you during labor with all the comforts of home, home birthing just might be for you.

 

Elizabeth Hughes

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