Common questions about homebirth
When newly pregnant families come to me for a consultation, the most common questions they have about homebirth are:
- What are the benefits of home birth?
- How are emergencies handled?
- What about labor pain?
- What do I need for a homebirth?
Typically, one partner is more convinced of the idea of a birth in an out of hospital setting. The other partner thinks perhaps s/he is in an alternate universe because doesn’t everyone just go to the hospital to have their babies? I will take up these three common concerns in a series of upcoming blog posts.
How I got here
My older sister and I were pregnant at the same time for our first babies. She was due three months before me, and she was planning a homebirth. While I was open to this idea, I had many questions about homebirth, and I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea for my first baby.
An avid reader, my bedside table was stacked with six or more books at all times, and I read them all during the pregnancy. While I was setting my sights on a vaginal birth without pain medications, I definitely wanted to give birth in a hospital. I had all the same questions that parents bring to me now during consultations.
I birthed my first baby in a hospital, vaginally and without pain medications. There were some complications and interventions that made that experience stressful for my baby, my partner, and me. A heart-to-heart with the doctor the next day included her apologizing to me for things that happened that didn’t need to happen. When I requested the records for that baby’s birth, I had further thought that the interventions were unnecessary. The experience is part of what has shaped my practice of midwifery and spurred me on to have my own births at home.
Read on for answers to common questions about homebirth.
~photo credit Fox Valley Birth & Baby