Develop a Vision
Deciding where you birth your child is an intimate and personal decision. It is important to remember that wherever you choose to birth your child, it is not a matter of right or wrong- or even best and better. Instead, it is about creating a birth scenario that is most aligned with what you value. Here are a few things to ask yourself, if you are considering home birth as an option:
Do you care most about accessibility to emergency medical care or access to pharmaceutical pain medications? Do you care most about being in a comfortable, soothing environment? Do you care the most about having someone guide you through how to birth your baby or to do it by yourself? Is a happy and healthy baby enough for you or do you want more than that?
Who do you want in the room while you’re in labor, birthing and post-partum? At home it is easy to spread out offering the possibility of having children and other family members close by when you are ready for them. Do you want only people you are familiar with to be at your birth or do you not mind the nurses or technicians that are present in the hospital setting? Do you want a doula to help guide you through labor and never leave your side? If you have a midwife for a home birth, you will have their undivided attention, but in a hospital they may have to leave every so often to be with other mother’s in their practice.
Giving birth, or even just laboring for an extended period of time at home allows you to be in your natural habitat. Your body is most relaxed and ready to release when in a familiar and comfortable place. Birthing your baby at home allows for the entire process to be in your prepared space, ready for post birth snuggles on the family bed. While it is not uncommon for some women to stop dilating from being uncomfortable in a hospital, others find an overwhelming sense of peace in knowing that they now have immediate access to medical assistance and equipment, if necessary.
Women who choose to give birth at home, often do so because they have a desire to lead in the preparations for their birth. With the help of their partner they will gather all of the supplies needed and set up the home and birthing room. They want to eliminate all possible interventions and the options for pain medications. These women often see birth as a private family experience.
Women who desire a hospital birth are willing to make due with the temporary discomfort or a hospital for the trade-off of security that they feel. Some women don’t want to be responsible for the messiness of birthing in their own homes or they may find the preparation for home birth to be burdensome. Either way, both women can be equally passionate about the empowerment of birth and actively participate in the process.
Here are some credible resources for further reading about homebirth: