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The Why, How and What of having a home birth. Why do you (let’s not do a general thing here) want to have a home birth? Here is a list of questions about why women choose and plan to have a home birth and their unique circumstances.

WHY are you having a home birth? 

  • Is this your first birth or subsequent one?
  • Have you birthed at home before or is this going to be your first home birth?
  • Will a midwife attend your homebirth or are you planning a ‘FreeBirth’ or unassisted homebirth?
  • Are you planning to birth at home for religious reasons? Is there any reason you would go to hospital before, during or after The Birth?
  • Do you believe home birth is safer?
  • Can you only have midwifery care if you birth at home?
  • Are you scared of having a hospital birth or hate medical care?
  • Will you be able to have the birth you imagine because you’re birthing at home? Have who you want, eat, move and discover how to birth by being left alone?
  • Are there other ‘whys’ on your list?

Here’s a list of How you’re going to have a home birth:

  • You’re conscious!
  • You’ll plan, read, research, choose, discuss and gather whatever you need for your home birth
  • You’ll plan your space and any needs for childcare
  • Hopefully, you’ll also plan for the What If …?
  • You’ll probably eat well, exercise and do whatever types of natural birth preparation touch you.
  • Add the other ‘hows’ onto your list.
  • You’ll pick a midwife, perhaps a doula if you’re having either or both.
  • If you’re having a ‘freebirth’ or unassisted birth at home you might invite family and friends who you trust and want with you.

Then here is the What of your home birth and where the conversation begins to deal with the specifics of having a home birth.

  • What are you doing to safeguard you and your baby’s safety?
  • What will you do if the What If … happens?
  • Add any other ‘whats’ to this list.

Without a doubt

Giving birth at home is a great experience. There has been an increasing number of families who are choosing to give birth at home rather than birth in hospital or birthing center. This trend is evident in most developed countries and represents the movement toward woman’s choice.

In the past, some modern nations mandated a standardized birthing procedure, often in a hospital, rarely at a Birth Center or at home with a trained midwife. Other modern countries’ homebirth is part of their national health system. Usually, in countries where home birth was the norm, women are vetted so they are low risk in pregnancy and birth. Of course there will always be pregnant women who choose a home birth with high medical risk and/or for religious reasons.

In reality based on Marjorie Tew’s brilliant studies in the UK there is NO correlation between safety and risk factors. In other words, how easily you give birth has nothing to do with how many risks you have. On the other hand, you have to determine whether any risks you have can become a ‘problem’ and how you will deal. Marjorie’s study also shows that a woman’s ability to cope with birth has NOTHING to do with how many risk factors.

As this 21st century has progressed we have realized that just as every woman and every baby are individuals, each birth is an individual experience. Women ought to be able to choose how and where they give birth. Homebirth should just be a normal choice women can make.

Having a home birth requires increased responsibility

Home birthing families do take on added responsibility but in reality, every parent with children has added responsibility. If you look at death statistics for mothers or babies at birth, either of you will die of something else … from a car accident, cancer, heart disease or genetic problems incompatible with life. Homebirth should not be considered scary but it is a Life event that can create ‘normal’ problems.

In reality, the word ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ when applied to birth must include all the high points and the risks. It is normal and natural for a woman to bleed or a baby to die. Those few things are not wanted but they are absolutely normal and natural in every society where there is no medical care.

Once you’ve really sorted out the Whys, Hows, and Whats of having a home birth then do everything you can do to have a safe and absolutely wonderful home birth.

Birthing Better skills, developed by fathers and mothers, were designed to increase the probability of having a successful home birth. Many Birthing Better families were strongly religious to the point they would not go to hospital for any reason. This means ‘taking responsibility’ focuses on reducing and preventing any ‘issues’ from becoming problems.

Please don’t be naive. Please become highly skilled to birth your baby at home.

You want:

  • To enjoy giving birth in your own home with your midwife or on your own.
  • To have a safe experience for both your baby and yourself.
  • To avoid expensive, often unnecessary hospital stays
  • To give birth in familiar and comfortable surroundings

Whether you have a planned unassisted home birth or free birth, a homebirth with your midwife or unexpected home birth, birth skills are essential.

Your Birthing Better skills allow you to make your homebirth the best it can be, even if you can’t stay at home. We KNOW you do not want to hear any possibility that you will end up in hospital but don’t be naive. Your goal absolutely must be … TO HAVE THE MOST EMPOWERED AND SAFE BIRTH. This means with Birthing Better skills and your commitment to using your skills in any birth situation then you will have an empowered, positive and safe birth. This is the Gift from Birthing Better families are giving you.

The human body is unpredictable, and the pregnant body is even more so. The reality is that many women who choose a home birth encounter complications and a medical necessity arise and you have a transfer to the hospital. This is what you, having chosen a home birth, probably fear most. With skills, you won’t fear to be in hospital even if you don’t like it. Instead, you’ll use these wonderful skills which can hopefully reduce and prevent reasons why you might end up transferring.

Go for your wonderful home birth!

Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.