Updated: Sep 16
Like many families, I'm sure you may have considered the home birth option, especially during this uncertainty. However, many birthing people are fearful of the pain, the possibility of transferring to the hospital, and the potential costs affiliated with having a home birth. Today on the blog, I will discuss a few reasons why you should consider a home birth.
Homebirth VS. Hospital Births: In the United States, black women are four-five times likely to die from childbirth than any other race. The majority of Maternal deaths happen in hospitals due to obstetric bullying, unnecessary medical interventions, and systematic racism, as opposed to the holistic approach at home with a midwife. A Certified Nurse Midwife(CNM) or a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) can attend a home birth in addition to preparing a back-up plan, including having fast access to a hospital in the event of an emergency. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), home birth is an option for low-risk pregnancies; however, If a mother or child is not low risk, then no matter what the world pandemic status is, the best place for the mother and baby is to be in the hospital.
COVID-19 Policy Restrictions at local Hospitals and Prenatal Appointments: Hospitals implement restrictions for visitors/family members and doulas. Only one support person is allowed. Some hospitals, specifically in Baltimore, MD, are switching prenatal visits from in-person to virtual and in-person visits only with no additional people allowed inside with you. These are examples of how inadequate maternal healthcare can affect pregnant people who may need hands-on care to prevent further complications. With the care and support of a midwife, you are likely to receive adequate care with in-home visits or office visits without the additional fear and restrictions.
You can have the birth you desire: With a home birth, you can labor, birth, and even receive postpartum care in the security of your own space. You can hang up affirmation cards that remind you of the positivity and strength you need during labor and birth. You can create a cozy, dim environment or decorate with strands of twinkle lights. You can eat and drink whatever you choose, whenever you like. You can even have the water birth you've been wanting! Many birthing parents find relief from laboring in water. The warmth and weightlessness can help you cope with pain and relax. Some people find it so comforting that they even fall asleep between contractions!
Research has shown that laboring in the water can reduce anxiety, lead to better fetal positioning in the pelvis, and help the cervix dilate more rapidly, shortening the first labor stage. If you want to give birth in water, the only way this is an option is with home birth. Hospitals and birth centers allow laboring in the water, but they require you to get out of the tub for the birth. Pick the best option for you and your family. Be sure to interview local midwives to learn their approach before hiring them to support your pregnancy. My doula agency has supported many home births with or without a provider. If you would like to learn more about home births and your options, contact us today!