Benefits of Homebirth

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As a doula and film-maker, I’ve had the honor of attending all types of births, in all different locations – hospital, homebirth, and birth center births. Each birth is unique, each mother/father/partner/family, each care provider, each location. While homebirth is not for everyone due to medical risk factors, it is something that we hope will be accessible to those that are healthy and low risk and want to birth in their home. Unfortunately, there are barriers to home birth in some parts of the world which include legal restrictions, little or no access to practitioners that provide a midwifery model of care, financial barriers, (homebirth is not always covered by insurance), and there is an unfortunate taboo surrounding homebirth even though research supports it as a safe option for most women.

Here are my top 5 homebirth benefits that make it unique, special, and an option that could be explored more often as an option for birth location.

1. Unnecessary interventions

When laboring in your home, you feel more comfortable, safe, private and have more time for love and intimacy – you don’t need to rush things The care providers that attend home birth understand that birth can take time, they are able to support the physiology of birth, and the watching of the clock is minimized. Hospitals have a certain set of guidelines that they must follow, but a homebirth practitioner has more flexibility. You are much less likely to be offered interventions such as augmentation, IV, premature rupture of membranes, episiotomy, and (of course) cesarean section.

2. All your things

Your pillow, bed, bath, blankets…your favorite tea, your dog, cat, rabbit…your favorite essential oils, your music, your clothes. There is just nothing so comforting as having all of your most beloved items of comfort around you during birth. You surely won’t forget your favorite ___ behind.

3. No travel needed

The car ride…! Once birth is in full swing, the car ride to the birth center/hospital, etc. from your home is really not very much fun. There is a lot of unnecessary stimuli, it’s bumpy, and the whole checking in, getting comfortable thing, is distracting during a time of much needed focus. Plus, after you give birth, you’re able to snuggle in your own bed, take a nice relaxing shower in your own bathroom, and just be with no strange noises, sounds, or people around you.

4. Ambiance

Light those candles, play that music, take that walk, moan, get naked, find your vibrator, kiss your partner, take that shower, take that bath, give birth in the yard, give birth on the couch, give birth in the kitchen, give birth in the bathroom, stand, squat, lie down, eat a snack, drink that tea, hide in your room, labor on the toilet.

Just be. Do what your body tells you, surround yourself with everything that comforts you, there is no place you cannot go, to labor and birth. At home, you are able ability to set up the most perfect, relaxing, and personalized birth ambiance for YOU.

5. Hormones

This one really brings it all together – in order for your hormones to flow optimally you must feel safe, undisturbed and unobserved.  Each of the other benefits above contribute to the optimal flow of hormones. Avoiding unnecessary interventions means your hormones are able to flow in their full capacity, being surrounded by your things and your home/ambiance means pleasure, comfort and feelings of safety, no need to travel means no interruption of your focus, which can cause a slowing down of labor. When giving birth at home, the comfort that cannot be replicated anywhere else, contributes to your hormones building and your labor progressing in the most efficient way possible.

Watch the clip below for my film, Orgasmic Birth to hear more insights into how hospitals have changed the way we give birth in our society today.

What other reasons can you think of to give birth at home? Tweet me @orgasmicbirth #homebirth #ihbd2017

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Homebirth Resources

In a study from Canada where the same low risk women could give birth at home or in a hospital they found:“Compared with women who planned a hospital birth with a midwife or physician in attendance, those who planned a home birth were significantly less likely to experience any of the obstetric interventions we assessed, including electronic fetal monitoring, augmentation of labour, assisted vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery and episiotomy”
Pros and Cons of Homebirth – a FAQ from the UK, where they support every person’s choice to birth at home or hospital and often birth center too.
“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media. “The dramatic television portrayal of birth may perpetuate the medicalisation of childbirth, and last, but not least, portrayals of normal birth are often missing in the popular media.”

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