Why did you decide to choose a midwife for your home birth? How are you going to work with your homebirth midwife? What do you expect of your homebirth midwife? These are all the questions you need to investigate and may already be. Let’s ask some questions for you to answer and think about.
Why are you choosing a home birth midwife?
- If your local hospital has midwifery staff, why are you choosing a home birth midwife?
- Have you birthed at home with this midwife before or will this be your first time?
- Why are you choosing to have a midwife present and not having a ‘freebirth’ or unassisted home birth?
- If you have medical issues, planning a VBAC at home are you choosing your midwife based on her experience with these?
- Do you have other reasons for choosing your midwife?
The Hows of having a homebirth midwife
- How are you going to support your midwife’s ability to offer her services to others? No kidding! She’s not just there to serve you. You’re there to make certain you don’t put her in a compromising situation.
- How are you going to manage the natural occurring pain of contractions so you don’t transfer to hospital because you’re not coping?
- How are you going to prepare your pregnant body to open up so your baby comes down, through and out without a delay that forces you to hospital?
- How are you going to handle an ’emergency’ at home?
- How are you incorporating your partner?
- Add other ‘hows’ you’re going to create and achieve a safe birth for yourself and baby.
The Whats of working with your home birth midwife
- What skills are you and your partner going to use to prepare your pregnant body to let a big object out as effectively, safely with little or no trauma? Your midwife does not want you or your baby to negatively impacted by your home birth.
- What skills are you and your partner going to learn and use that can reduce and possibly prevent a need for you to transfer to hospital? If your midwife can go to hospital with you then she is probably not putting her own professional status at risk. If, however, she does not have hospital privileges then if you transfer she can be held responsible.
- What skills are you and your partner going to learn and use during your labor and delivery to cope with the natural occurring pain of contractions? There are three reasons women transfer from home birth to hospital: a real medical issue to mother and/or baby; a failure to progress or a woman unable to cope with labor pains. Go if you have an emergency just as you would for any emergency. You don’t want to go because you have not prepared your pregnant body to open up in birth or because you have not learned great coping skills.
Your home birth midwife relies on you too!
You’re only thinking about you and your birth, however, your midwife is thinking about all her clients and her professional status.
- If you live in a country where home birth midwives are integrated into the maternity system, you still have a responsibility to have a successful home birth so others can. If home birth is seen of (by statistics) to be of greater risk then your maternity system will change.
- If you live in a country/State that does NOT incorporate midwifery care then you absolutely must take every measure to have a safe home birth that starts and ends within a reasonable amount of time, completes itself without an early postpartum issue and resolves into a reasonable newborn period. Your skills matter! Your midwife is skilled. If you expect her skills to carry you then you are not supporting home births nor home birth midwives.
Birthing Better families who developed all these skills absolutely faced head-on their role and responsibility to achieve a successful home birth with a midwife. However, these skills go further. Families wanted to feel empowered even if they headed to hospital. In other words, the focus of Birthing Better families … and we hope you too now … is to skillfully birth their family no matter the circumstances. They focused on preventing and reducing problems as well as their ability to cope and manage. Then they worked on how to use skills no matter what!
Our Birthing Better resources