So many times I've heard mamas saying they would love to have a home birth, but for the first child they rather be at a hospital "in case something happens".
Carissa is a sweet client of mine who gave birth to her first child at home in Wisconsin
And it's ok. Being pregnant is a rollercoaster in itself. Your body changes, your mind changes and your life absolutely changes.
So many women dream about having an undisturbed home birth, but not for the first baby. Why is this? Because
a. We were told birth is an emergency that needs to take place at a hospital with doctors that will save us if anything goes wrong
b. We doubt our innate ability to birth the child we grew in our womb
c. Our partner won't support our decision and wants to go the "safer" way
d. We want to make sure we can give unmedicated, uncomplicated vaginal birth at a facility before we go the home birth route
Either option is valid. It's a big decision to make and so many times we don't have a support system that will validate our choices, and it's very easy to encounter people who will tell us the most horrific home birth stories (that by the way, no one requested to hear).
The home birth statistics are unpopular, because let's face it, giving birth at home won't benefit the medial system and its multi billionaire business. But if you read those statistics, you'll be blown away on how low the transfer, complication and cesarean rate is, and how many home births end up with perfectly healthy babies and mothers.
So why wait to have a far from ideal hospital birth to decide to have our next baby at home?
First of all, certified home birth midwives are absolutely capable of attending births. They're qualified not only to catch babies, but to handle emergencies and different outcomes. Second, what not many people know, those "things that can go wrong" are often caused by interventions that are performed in the hospital, which most of the time are unnecessary and fear based, or pushed on patients because of hospital policies and liability reasons.
So when a mother says "Thankfully I was at a hospital when I gave birth, because had I been at home, this would've been a disaster". Many times, it is true. However, if you ask that mother what happened before getting to that point of an emergency during the birth, they might mention being stuck at a bed, with constant fetal monitoring, maybe with a drip of Pitocin, maybe with an epidural. Maybe they didn't let her eat anything but ice chips and jello. Maybe they told her she needed to have her bag of waters artificially ruptured. Probably they will interrupt her process several times to ask for information, fix the monitors, introduce other hospital staff and so on. And last but not least, it's very likely that she was forced to have cervical checks in order to confirm she was actually in labor.
Birthing at home is different.
The fetal monitoring is intermittent and performed with a hand held doppler. You can eat and drink as you need. You can be in a safe and secure place, that look, feels and smell familiar. There are no strangers, there are no headlights. It's not full of sick people. No one will try to convince you to accept procedures just because it's "common practice". You will be in charge.
And yes, I get it. Home birth is not for everyone. And that's valid, too. But if you really want a home birth and as long as you have a low risk pregnancy, I encourage you to at least interview a midwife. Evaluate your options. Consider it.
You don't have to have a bad hospital experience to decide to have a better one.