Safety of home birth
Today, most people on this planet were born at home. Your ancestors were born at home. Your children would be blessed to be born at home.
is it safe?
Midwives are trained not only how to care for low-risk pregnancies and births but how to screen for potential problems. They are trained to recognize when further skills such as a physicians consultation or transfer of care are needed. They are prepared to use their skills and training to respond to a complication or emergency. They often carry oxygen, neonatal resuscitators, suctioning equipment, herbs and medications for use in the event of a postpartum hemorrhage.
However, birth is approached by a midwife as if it is a natural process. It is a welcomed journey, a transformation, to be honored and respected. Midwives are prepared to act when needed but assume the role of quiet supporter when all is well. Birth is not a medical condition. All mammals give birth, many with a female supporter along side them. Their bodies carry their babies, labor, give birth and nurse their babies. Birth can be trusted. Women can be trusted. Babies can be trusted. As we trust the flower to open in the spring, so we can trust birth.
Services are provided to you at a fraction of the cost of a hospital birth. Many midwives are willing to consider all reasonable barters. Fees are often kept as low as possible to enable all families to have the birth they deserve while enabling the midwife to provide women with extensive care that they provide. Although I cannot guarantee reimbursement, I am able to bill many insurances.
why home birth?
There are several settings where a woman can give birth, all of which have benefits and risks. When deciding where to give birth, a woman must determine which setting is best for the needs of herself and her family. A hospital has equipment and medications which midwives do not have at home. A birth center is often nearby a hospital and in case of the need for transport. Home provides the comfort and security of familiarity.
In a hospital setting with a doctor attending birth, you are 3 to 10 times more likely to have a cesarean. You are likely to be placed in bed during the course of your labor and sometimes given an I.V. It is likely you will not only not be given a choice as to which position to give birth in but not even be encouraged to try something other than laying on the back. Babies are often handed off to be bathed and checked over before having time to be loved, held by their parents and welcomed by their families.
Birth Centers are preferred by some women over a hospital setting. They often provide the security of a nearby hospital. However, the traveling during labor and postpartum can be difficult for the parents, baby and any older children.
At home, parents can relax and focus only on their labor, birth and breastfeeding their new baby. There is no disruption to the labor focus for travel or the bonding time after the baby is born. At home the family is in control of their entire experience. Where families choose to birth in the home, in what position and with whom present is their decision to make. Their babies are given to them at birth to promote bonding. Their babies are treated respectfully. Family present is respected, siblings present are honored and enjoyed. Children involved in the pregnancy and birth of their siblings have less incidence of sibling rivalry. Babies born at home have a higher rate of successful breastfeeding. During labor the mother is free to move about in her own environment. She is free from the constraints of the I.V. and the continuous external (or internal) fetal monitor. She doesn’t have to concern herself with what strangers might hear her in the next room or hall. She is in an environment that she knows. At home, a woman is familiar with the sights sounds and smells. At our core, we are mammals and although we reason, we touch our primal brain centers in order to birth. Sight, sound and smell become even more important. Our primal need for safety and security (not our “reasoning” of what is safer, but where we truly feel safe in our bodies) is key for the body to function at its fullest potential.
How many times have we heard the stories of women whose labors stopped or stalled out on the way or at the hospital. Or even more news-worthy are the ones that pick up once they are on the way to the hospital - the babies born in the car in transport. Those are primal responses, fear responses. In nature, if a deer is in labor and becomes frightened by a hunter, one of two things will happen: she will either deliver quickly (called the ejection response) or labor will stop, sometimes completely for days.
In labor there may be pain but the body’s natural endorphins begin releasing throughout the body but ONLY if she feels safe. If she does not feel safe (ie an unfamiliar smell or person walks in), her body will then produce adrenaline which causes a blockage of the endorphins. The labor will then be more painful, slower and less effective. She must birth where she feels comfortable, safe and secure, not where her brain says she will be safer.