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I had dreamed about having a homebirth when I was young. I believed it was something that would be beautiful and empowering. What’s holding me back? I believe that there are 6 main reasons people choose not to have a homebirth. What one is holding you back? Or has held you back in the past?
Fear of Unknown
Culturally Not Accepted
Little to No access
No support system (husband)
Feel like hospital birth is “safer”
6. Not seen as important/priorities
Many women don’t know what to expect when it comes to having a homebirth. What does it look like? Is it messy? What do I need? What does the midwife do? How do I handle the pain? What happens if something happens? What does a transfer look like? There are so many questions that come with having a homebirth, especially if you haven’t had one before. Many time the unknown is what is scary. This is where education comes in. Ask questions, interview doulas and midwives, find a homebirth community.
It’s hard to go outside of what the normal is. Less than 1 percent of women in the US choose to homebirth. That means you may be fielding lots of questions, risk feeling like an outsider, question your motives and hearing all of the fearful things others present to you as fact. Going outside of the norm when you know it is best for you and your family can empower you like nothing else can!
Since homebirth isn’t widely accepted as normal there is the reality of lack of options and access. Although homebirth itself is legal in all 50 states, some states make it more difficult to have a homebirth due to restrictions. Lack of midwives, high restrictions can discourage women from choosing homebirth. This is a driving factor for some women to choose unassisted births.
If I got a quarter for everytime I heard “I would love a homebirth but my husband or partner won’t let me.” I would be a wealthy woman. When the support isn’t there especially from those who are closest to them many times a women will birth in a hospital even though her greatest desire is to birth at home. I hear many times that the decision is later regretted. When a partner isn’t supportive of homebirth and expresses that it is usually coming from a place of fear and lack of education and trust in their partners intuition. Not always… it is good to listen to concerns but the greatest lesson I ever learned was to not make decisions out of fear. Fear controls and I won’t be controlled by it anymore!
Along with the fear of the unknown there is many times a fear that homebirth is “unsafe” This is a common fear and one every family choosing homebirth needs to work through and research on their own. There are many studies that have come out in recent years about the safety of homebirth for both mom and baby. I’ll include those in the shownotes so make sure you click the link in the description and check those out!
Many women don’t even consider it an option because they don’t see the importance of physiological birth. Many say they can have a natural birth in the hospital to which I say unmedicated yes… but what’s natural about being observed every hour, BP taken, given fluids, IV’s, monitoring? Physiological birth works best when in you’re in a familiar environment. If that isn’t important to you or a priority then it would make sense that the choice to birth in hospital is what you choose and thats ok. Match expectations with decision making. The first intervention you’ll have is leaving your house.
So how do we work around these? First ask yourself if this is a true priority or desire. I have a 3 step process that I take my clients through on birth planning sessions and my in person homebirth doula support.
Dream and Decide
Educate and Empower
Fear of the unknown. Move to the second step of educate and empower. Write a list of questions down and interview midwives (get a free download of 15 questions to ask a homebirth midwife.)
Get Brave. We need to leave the “everyone has to like and agree with me behind” That type of mindset will only hold us back from what we are capable of. If we are planning on pleasing the culture and going with the flow what could we be missing out on? If that is the sole motivation I would encourage you to look more into the reasons homebirth is beneficial for baby and mom.
Lack of options. This one is a little bit more difficult to work around. If there is little to no access than the other options you have is find someone who has had a baby before to support you emotionally and with the basic needs a mom has when she births or go unassisted. This is a highly personal decision for each woman and if this is something you’re considering I would encourage you to check out the Freebirth society for more information on how to plan and prepare for a freebirth.
Partner doesn’t want to: This is where having a conversation comes in. This was a big one for my husband and I. He was very fearful. You can hear our conversation on episode 27. I did sit down with him and talk about how my desire was to homebirth. I had a list of reasons why I wanted this (he experienced the trauma I had at the hospital) I also showed him some facts about homebirth. I then encouraged him to write down a list of all his concerns and questions. We then had a consult with a homebirth midwife where all of these questions were answered. We then came together and talked about the decision again. I knew he had all of the answers he needed and that open communication would be best. I also knew that he trusted me. H was nervous up until the baby was born but we were well supported and it was an amazing experience. One that grew us closer together.
Safety of homebirth is one that is always brought up. There are many misconceptions and false beliefs out there about homebirth and yet there is a ton of information out there supporting the benefits of birthing at home, especially for low risk moms. Make sure to check out the shownotes to read more studies. Also this is where some beliefs are challenged. What does safety mean? Is life safe? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Who determines what high risk is?
Physiological Birth is important for the overall health and future bond of mom and baby. It may be important but it’s not always a priority. I’m not going to sit here at my mic and tell you it should be a priority for all women but I do think that it’s something we need to start educating our young women about. When we are exposed to what normal is the fear is reduced and a culture change starts to happen.
Now it’s up to you sister to assess for yourself if 1 physiological birth is a priority for you, 2 if you’re willing to step into a system that has their own agenda for your birth and 3 if the reasons that are holding you back are valid or not. This isn’t something anyone can make a decision for you. My whole goal is to bring clarity so that you can go forth and make a decision that best suits you!
If you’re still feeling confused on if this is an option for you or not then schedule a birth planning session with me! We can walk through specific fears, direct you to educational resources and other ways to prepare your mind and body for your upcoming birth and postpartum!
You can reserve your spot now by going to bit.ly/birthprepsession and signing up right on the site. I’m excited to chat with you soon! You can also connect with me by sending me a DM on IG @empoweredbirthpodcast
See you next time and Stay Empowered!
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FREEBIE: Top 5 Things Every Pregnant Mom Needs To Know: https://blissful-birth.teachable.com/p/5things
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