Saturday, January 17, 2015

Homebirth - Safe?

When my husband told me he thought I should consider a home birth, I balked inside. No way was I doing that. It was far too risky for myself and the baby... wasn't it? I didn't give the idea much thought until I found myself pregnant unexpectedly. I was overjoyed, but there was so much that hadn't been decided or discussed.

Then my sister-in-law posted a blog article an OBGYN had written, and in it, she talked about the mutual respect that nurses and midwives had for one another. Curious, I wrote to my sister-in-law – an OBGYN herself – and asked for her thoughts. It surprised me when she spoke with excitement and obvious support of homebirths where there is no risk to the mother and where educated, certified midwives are present.

This gave me pause in my assumptions of the danger.

Then I asked a doctor what she thought. She gave me the same answer as my sister-in-law, and even went so far as to recommend midwives in the area for me to contact.

My research began. I read many books, including these: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth; Deliver This!; A Wise Birth

They were all helpful to me in changing my perception of what birth could be. Although I still could see that hospitals were invaluable to women with complicated pregnancies and births, a woman who was healthy and well-prepared could manage at home with the correct support team.

I also looked for information on several websites. This list of misunderstandings about homebirth was helpful. I also read through about one hundred stories on the “Birth Without Fear” website. I watched the documentary “The Business of Being Born,” and a TED talk given by Ina May Gaskin. I was even more encouraged.

I did eventually decide to have a homebirth, and I didn't regret my decision. After seven hours of intense labour, I gave birth to a beautiful girl (someday, I may share that story in more detail). I look forward to having this experience with any more children that bless my womb.

Did you consider a homebirth? What do you think of the possible benefits and risks?  

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