Dear family, we are having a Home birth…
As a Hypnobirthing teacher I am totally supportive of all birth decisions and wherever you choose to birth your baby I will 100% support you. However I know that sometimes when a couple makes an informed decision to birth their baby at home, this type of support isn’t always universal. I’ve been there and I know how people can respond!
And I know that often it’s the people who are the closest to us that can react with the greatest negativity, largely due to assumptions and unfounded worry. So here is my open letter to those lovely but very concerned family members…
To our concerned family,
We know you love us and we love you.
We are having a baby and it’s such an awesome time and perhaps this has given you more of a reason to worry about us. Our decision to birth our baby at home is so important to us and we are so excited! We want you to be excited too!
We appreciate you are only worried because you love us so much and you want the very best for us, so there is a few things we would like you to know…
We have given this decision a lot of thought and research. We aren’t just doing it for the candles and the inflatable pool. We have considered all our options of where to birth our baby and we’ve decided that Home wins it for us.
Birth at home is safe. We will have a trained midwife with us for our birth, for the large part- two midwives supporting us. They will monitor myself and our baby and be able to pick up on anything that might indicate a cause for concern and it will be acted upon.
Yes that’s right TWO midwives! Two experts in normal birth. Two midwives trained to facilitate natural birth, yet are experienced and equipped to respond if a ‘what if’ occurs. Two midwives solely focusing on our care, not split between various families, as is likely to be the case in hospital. How’s that for quality care and safety?!
We know there wont be a Doctor there. Birth Centre’s also don’t have Doctors, yet we don’t focus on their lack of presence when someone chooses to birth there. Doctors are great when they are needed. During an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth there is little need for them, straightforward natural birth is not their forte. And remember what we said about midwives? Yes, the experts in normal birth and these experts know exactly when a doctor might be needed and in that case a transfer to hospital can be made, just as it would in a Birth Centre birth.
Yes we know there are no epidurals at a home birth, but there are other pain relief options available should I need it. Plus I’ve equipped myself with techniques to keep me comfortable during birth. And did you know that mothers are less likely to find birthing at home as painful? Yay!!!
But seriously if I do choose to have an epidural during my home birth- I am transferred to hospital for one. Simple!
I know that you are concerned that I could need an Emergency Caesarean and I really do understand your concern. Please be aware that although the words ‘Emergency Caesarean’ paints a picture of an absolute emergency, where surgery needs to take place within minutes. Actually the term refers to any Caesarean that takes place on the day, rather than planned in advance. So usually there is lots of time to play with. Plenty of time to be transferred to hospital.
And did you know that the vast majority of emergency caesareans are carried out because of ‘slow progress’ in labour? This is less likely whilst birthing at home, in an environment you are likely to be more relaxed in and less likely to be subject to strict time constraints.
You are totally right when you say that our home isn’t sterile but it doesn’t need to be. Hospitals have big cleaning budgets because they need them. Lets be frank, ill people go there! The bugs in our home are ‘friendly’ bugs- great for good strong immune systems. Home birth has been shown to decrease the chance of infection for myself and our precious baby.
Oh and yes- we have considered the mess! Birth can involve mess but do you know what, just like everything else we’ve thought about this too. Some well placed shower curtains do the trick. Plus we’ve got a pile of towels, if you’ve got any you’d like to donate, send them our way! Our lovely Midwives have reassured us that they take care of most of the mess, get rid of any waste and our placenta if we want them to, so really it’s no big deal.
So please don’t say our home birth is BRAVE, as that implies it’s a reckless decision when actually we’ve made an informed decision and we know that this is right for us and our baby. We are so happy with our decision and we would be thrilled if you shared our enthusiasm.
Thank you so much for reading this, I really hope it has reassured you!
Lots of love