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Home » Baby, birth

Thoughts on Home Birth

Submitted by on Sunday, 3 August 20082 Comments

For the birth of our second child, who is now 12 days old, we opted to have a home birth. This photo was taken less than an hour after the birth, in the comfort of our home.
Although a home birth may not be for everyone, it was something we really wanted to do (after all, what is better than being able to check your email via wireless during labour? just kidding ;-) ).
Seriously speaking, we are really really glad that we were able to have a home birth and it was a wonderful experience for the whole family.
Here is a bit about what I learned, in case you are also considering having a home birth.

1) The success rate of home births (i.e. not needing to go to the hospital part way through labour), is much greater for second and subsequent children, compared to the first child.
2) It is fairly easy to prepare for a home birth – some things you need are: a flashlight, extra towels, absorbent pads, gauze, a shower curtain to lie on your bed under your sheets to protect your mattress, some extra bed sheets, and birth aids, such as epsom salts (although we didn’t use them).
3) The way it worked for us (in Vancouver, Canada), is that two midwives come to your home during the delivery. One midwife comes first during the early stages of labour, and brings all the necessary equipment, and the other midwife comes as the time of birth approaches, to assist with the birth and after birth activities.
4) It is fairly common for the labour to start getting stronger after the first child is asleep in bed. That is what happened with us, and was perfect timing. Also, our son woke up after the baby was born, which was also very nice, because he could immediately see the new addition to the family as well. He was very excited about this (although he was also very tired).
5) Generally you can only have a home birth if the baby is not in breech position and after week 37 – so you shouldn’t buy the stuff you need for a home birth too early.
6) Our midwives were from Pacific Midwifery in Vancouver, and I must say they provided excellent service and did a really great job, including during the pregnancy, during birth, and after birth. It could not have been better. We had regular appointments with them during pregnancy and after, including house visits.
7) You don’t necessarily need a doctor or a hospital to give birth… birth is something natural and it is not an illness! If you have no complications and are a low risk pregnancy, everything should go fine and there is a high home birth success rate, especially if it is your second child.
8) You can even do a water birth at home (requires buying some extra stuff – we didn’t do it, but I didn’t know it was possible until recently!).

I find one of the nicest things is that our daughter was born in the same room that she now spends a lot of time in (our room – her crib is in our room), and we didn’t have to transport her around through foreign places so shortly after her birth. She was able to spend her first moments in the same calming atmosphere that she now sleeps in. This is really great.
So, if you are thinking of having a home birth and it is possible where you live, give it some thought. Of course, I am no expert, so check with your local midwives and doctors/hospitals to see what options you have available and what they can recommend.

Join the jam and share your thoughts on home birth!  Did you have a home birth?  Would you have a home birth?

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  • Suzanne says:

    Congratulations! We had our son at home 10 months ago. It was amazing! This was the only one we had at home, the others were in the hospital. I’m actually doing a series on our homebirth on my blog…part one was on July 28. Check it out if you get a chance! Good luck with the baby!

  • Vincent says:

    Good on you Suzanne! Thanks for the congratulations, and congratulations to you too! It is good to hear that there are others out there who had great home birth experiences and are sharing them with others. I will check out your blog! Good luck with your kids too!

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