We’re going to be very blunt with you in this article because you are planning and may have previously had a free birth. Or perhaps you end up with a very, very unplanned unassisted home birth.
You want to have a safe birth, of course, either way. Here are some of the reasons you are planning a ‘freebirth’ or unassisted home birth.
- You have strong religious convictions
- You had a bad experience in hospital, Birth Center or with a midwife at home.
- You just want birth to be intimate with your partner, family and friends
- You live rural and are too far from the nearest hospital.
- You’ve birthed this way before and want to do it again.
- You’ve had family or friends who have had a successful ‘freebirth’, they rave, you want one too.
- You or your baby have health issue that would lead to a great deal of medical care and you don’t want that.
Let’s talk first about planned free birth
Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation skills were developed by hundreds of ordinary families like yours. They had all types of births including both planned and totally unexpected home births without a birth professional present. Many of these Birthing Better families were highly religious and also had high medical risks. Some were ideologically inclined to birth at home alone with their loved ones.
What makes Birthing Better so unique is simple … you’ll learn skills developed by mothers and fathers who took responsibility for the birth of their baby by doing everything they could to prevent or reduce ‘issues’ from developing into ‘problems’ that might risk either the mother or father. And all these Birthing Better families were honest about potential risks. Birthing Better families did not have blinkers on or blindfold. They did not tend to believe that just because they are choosing to birth at home alone that all would be well. They were incredibly responsible families. We want you to take an honest look at reality and then do everything you can to become a skilled birthing family that achieves a safe birth for both you and your baby.
While having a freebirth or unassisted birth might be part of your ideology about childbirth, women, babies and bonding very, very few families are careless or stupid about their own and baby’s well-being. Trusting nature can’t mean that you believe natural birth is without risks. When there is no medical care available, all traditional societies consider pregnancy, birth and newborn period to be very risky. They interpret ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ birth to mean … whatever can happen might happen even if unplanned, unwanted and unpleasant.
Those who want a natural birth also would love to have a birth orgasm achieved by some women. Yet, for many of us we have a bit of confusion how to achieve an orgasm from painful contractions. Seems like a bit of a paradox. How did those women achieve it?
Without a doubt the easier the birth for both mothers and babies, the less likely ‘problems’ will develop. This is definitely true for women and babies with very high risk factors. The longer the labor the more stress on the woman and baby’s physiology! This means Birthing Better families did these two things:
- Developed heaps of very specific skills to prepare the pregnant body to give birth with skills such as The Hip Lift, Sacral Maneouvre, Understanding positions your baby likes, Tail Bone Movement, Sit-Bone Spread, Pelvic Clock and others
- Developed extensive birth and birth-coaching skills: 4 Ways Humans Breathe, Directed Breathing, 5 Phases of Contractions, Bell-shaped Curve, Teamwork, Niggling Labor, Deep Touch Relaxation, Non-verbal and Verbal Communication and many others.
Three reasons for transfer to hospital
If you’re serious about wanting an unassisted home birth then you need to know the three reasons for transferring to hospital:
- True natural medical emergency: This can range from a woman bleeding during labor or afterwards, a cord presenting first that looks compressed, an unresponsive or dead baby and other real medical issues. You have to decide when a medical issue would cause you to seek medical care. This is true once your baby is born or if you have older children … or even for yourself. What drives you to seek modern medical care? Go when you feel you should and screw the ideology! Stay when you have the skills and/or belief to deal with it. If you trust in your god no matter what then you’ll be guided by those principles. You just do not want to be so stubborn about having an unassisted birth that you place undue risk on yourself or baby just for a philosophy. It’s not worth it and you’ll regret it!
- Failure to progress: Failure to progress can occur in either the dilation (1st stage) or pushing (2nd stage). There are heaps of reasons that range from baby in an unfavorable position or a tight fit compared to the woman’s pelvis, a woman having internal tension she doesn’t know how to reduce, getting in positions your baby doesn’t like, compressing the body that restricts the baby’s movement down, through and out. This can send women to hospital where increased interventions will be used.
- Not coping: Even women who have birthed before can experience another birth that just overwhelms them. Often first-time mothers who want a natural birth are surprised by how intense labor pains are. Without skills women fail to cope, deal with, manage, handle, stay on top or remain in control. This can send women to hospital where pain relief will be used and perhaps more interventions.
What are we talking about?
For mothers-to-be who want a natural birth the worse thing that could happen is a medical birth particularly if you’re planning an unassisted home birth. Somehow a medical birth is now considered an inferior birth or even a terrible one.
But wait a minute, haven’t we lost sight of something that overrides why we give birth or what happens? Hold on a minute before you go ballistic here. We get pregnant to have a baby not a type of birth. Our number #1 priority is to have a healthy, safe birth. Our number #2 priority is to have a good birth experience. Our number #3 priority is …?
Consider this. Presently women will identify their birth by saying: ‘I had a home birth’ or ‘I had to transfer to hospital’ or ‘I had a VBAC’ or ‘I had a birth orgasm’ or ‘I freebirthed’. We don’t hear women say: ‘I used great skills to birth my baby’.
Turning our attention to unplanned and unassisted home birth
A planned unassisted home birth or free birth can be the highlight of your life. Free Birthers take more responsibility than any other group of expectant parents.
If on the other hand your planned hospital birth ends up in an unexpected home birth or your midwife doesn’t show up for your planned home birth, you want to feel safe and confident in your own skills. This is why Birthing Better families developed and used their skills in every single birth they experienced.
Whether you are planning an unassisted home birth or accidentally have one.
”My wife got out the door, turned around and said THE BABY IS COMING! She got as far as the hall. Because of Birthing Better we trusted each other and had no fear. What a difference from our horrible first birth. Totally unexpected birth but incredibly beautiful’.
Ralph and Katherine …
‘Our planned unassisted birth was made much better because we had a set of birth skills that not only enriched our experience but also gave us the deep confidence that our decision was the right one’.
Shelly and Brian N …
Because all pregnant women will give birth, all pregnant mothers-to-be should be preparing their pregnant body to become a birthing body regardless of where or how they plan to give birth. However, an unassisted home birth or free birth requires a consciousness that other expectant families can sometimes ignore because there is always the medical back-up. If you plan an unassisted home birth or free birth you have a responsibility to yourself and your baby: you must learn birthing skills both to prepare your body and to make actual birth as successful as possible.
There is no way to know what your birth will be like. Throughout the world where there is absolutely NO medical care, anything and everything that happens at birth is ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ even if it’s unwanted or uncommon. No matter what your preconception about birth may be, the truth is that you cannot predict how your birth with happen; what you can do is prepare to meet any challenges head on with Birthing Better skills.
Give yourself permission to birth well anywhere
Giving birth is not just about the place, it’s about how you manage and cope with the experience.
No pregnant family likes the unexpected in pregnancy or childbirth to crop up, but it is a reality. Skills transcend ‘choice’ because if ‘choices’ need to change, skills are the behavior you can put into action, regardless of circumstances.