THIS is exactly where I’ll be giving birth. Yep. In the nursery of my own home.
I know. I think I’m crazy sometimes too. But, read more to hear why I fired my doctor and hospital and what heck I plan on doing for the birth of our second baby girl.
My first birth experience was the typical Hollywood birth you see in all the movies. I wanted to go natural as best I could so there was screaming, pain, cursing, etc. And I did it, and have 40 stitches and a scar down there to prove it. So, when I started thinking about the birth of baby number two, I started getting scared. The fear of the pain and agony and tearing came back again. I really wanted to find another way to have a natural birth again, but was really nervous on how to actually do that.
So, I finally “fired” my OBGYN doctor when after multiple 2 hour long wait appointments to be seen for 2 minutes, and feeling like a number I asked her what I could do to help with the scarring, prevent tearing and have a better mindset. She responded simply, “Well, just get an epidural then.”
This was the catalyst to having me question more and more about my provider (she’s nice, no offense, we just weren’t really on the same page) and then also about giving birth in a hospital, especially if I REALLY didn’t want an epidural for personal reasons. (Read about the benefits and risks of epidurals here.
There are MANY reasons why I didn’t want an epidural, but I knew from friends and talking with lots of other moms about their labor stories that many of them started with the intention of a natural birth, then because of the pain, got an epidural, which can slow things down, which a lot of times resulted in a C-section. This is called a cascade of interventions. Let me know if this sounds familiar:
“When you choose even a small intervention and, as a direct result, another intervention becomes necessary, you’ve fallen into the cascade of intervention. For example: You choose an IV pain medication to help cope with contractions. Due to the potential side effects of the medication, you’re now considered a fall risk, and you are limited to labouring in bed. Because you are less mobile, and can’t make use of gravity, your labour is slowed down, so you’re offered Pitocin/Syntocinon (artificial oxytocin, used to start or speed up labour). Due to the intensity of contractions augmented with artificial oxytocin, you opt for epidural pain relief. The epidural is quite effective, but now you’re unable to feel the urge to push after reaching full dilation. Pushing without the urge can prolong the pushing phase. After a while, you’ll either have an episiotomy, to make an instrument assisted birth possible or, if baby isn’t tolerating the intense artificial oxytocin contractions well, and is not yet close to birth, you’ll have a c-section. What began as a low-risk, uncomplicated birth has become a heavily medicated and assisted birth.”
- See more here.
1 in 3 women in the U.S. have c-sections that are NOT planned and most of them are due to the cascade of interventions. I’m not going to go on about c-sections, but I highly recommend the documentary, “The Business of Being Born” which talks more about interventions.
AND, please don’t take any offense to what I’m sharing. I’m sharing MY personal beliefs and choices, but this doesn’t mean that what you experienced or what you choose to have be your birth experience isn’t valid and beautiful. I just know after my first birth experience, I wanted something different and hope I can shed some light and knowledge I wish I knew with my first birthing experience.
So, around 28 weeks pregnant, I called it quits with everything I had known so far about birthing, hospitals and doctors. This lead me to doing a ton of research. Since I was considered “low risk” I looked up doulas (like a birthing coach) and a midwife (trained health professional who helps healthy women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. ). I then hired my amazing doula, and Hypnobabies instructor Madison Lopez and started interviewing midwives. I found one I loved, Jennifer Green (http://organichomebirth.com/midwifery-care/meet-jennifer/) then she said, “I only do home births.” (I tried not to let my mouth drop and freak out because my whole pregnancy I had been visualizing a hospital birth again.) When I went home and talked with my husband about the possibility of having a home birth, he said, “Absolutely not.”
Yikes. BUT, I wasn’t giving up. So...I started doing more and more research and learned a ton about the benefits of having a doula, midwife and having a home birth. The research stunned myself and my husband when I shared some of these facts with him:
“Over 100 years ago, nearly all births in the US happened outside of a hospital, but by 1940, only 44% of births occurred this way, with the rate falling to just 1% by 1969. Now, a new study shows support for home births, suggesting they pose no increased risk of harm to the baby, compared with planned hospital births.”
HOSPITAL BIRTH IS NOT SAFER THAN HOME BIRTH
In the Netherlands, where 1/3 of babies born at home under care of midwife, outcomes for first babies are equivalent to those of babies born to low-risk women in the hospital, and outcomes of second or subsequent babies are even better.
A UK analysis found that birth at home or in small family practice units is safer than birth in an obstetric hospital for mothers and babies in all categories of risk.
Other studies have shown that modern obstetric interventions have made birth more dangerous, not safer.
In fact, in terms of outcomes for mothers & babies, studies show that planned home birth has perinatal mortality levels (the numbers of babies dying around the time of birth) at least as good as – and often better than – hospital figures, with lower rates of complications and interventions.
3. "Compared with women who planned to birth in hospital, women who planned to birth at home underwent fewer obstetrical interventions, were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and were more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 3 and 10 days after delivery."
4. Natural childbirth is in our genes
Throughout the vast majority of human history, women have always given birth in a familiar place, with family members or other trusted companions.
Even now, babies are still born at home in most places around the world. And although the move from birth at home to the hospital began in the 18th century, home birth was the norm even in westernized countries until the 1950s.
Think of it this way: humans have been giving birth at home for 999,998 generations, and it’s only in the last 2 generations that hospital birth has become common.
This means that women have given birth at home for 99.998% of human history.
Yet in the U.S. today, fewer than 1 percent of births happen in the home. This abrupt and almost complete transition from natural childbirth toward industrialized childbirth has had profound repercussions on mothers, babies and the culture at large.”
And remember how I was trying to avoid interventions in the hospital? Check out these stats:
And there’s more. Look who’s number 47th and 50th.
100% of countries providing universal prenatal care have lower infant mortality rates than the US.
Percent of US births attended by midwives: 4%
Percent of European births attended by midwives: 75%
Number of European countries (Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden Norway, and Finland – all with over 75% of midwife-attended births) with higher perinatal mortality rates than the US: 0%
Health care cost savings if midwifery care were utilized for 75% of US births: $8.5/billion/ year.
Health care cost savings by bringing US cesarean section rate into compliance with WHO recommendations: $1.5 billion/year.
Health care cost savings by extending midwifery care and de-medicalizing births in the US: $13-20 billion/year
WHEW. So, this blog really only touches the surface of all the reasons I chose to fire my doc, hospital and to have a homebirth, but I felt like I needed to share. When the time comes, I will have a team of Midwives, (one for me, one for the baby and one documenting) a Doula, my husband and my mom will be with my oldest daughter. and I couldn’t be more excited and relaxed to give birth in my home. Thank you for taking the time to read to the end. I know it was a lot info, but I hope it was enlightening and you learned some new things or so that you can make an empowering choice about your birth!
More information and benefits of midwifes here.
More information and benefits of doulas here.
You can also read more about why medical professionals who deliver babies in hospitals are having home births here.
There are TON more articles here that you can check out on all different types of topics here.