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Homebirth Questions

My pal Kimberly over at Trial of Labor just tagged me with a bunch of homebirth questions. So hey, whatever gets me back at the page and blogging, right? Thanks Kimberly!

Here are her questions:

  1. Have you considered homebirth as an option for labor and delivery with a previous/upcoming birth?
  2. Why did you (or did you not) consider homebirth?
  3. What do you see as the major advantages for homebirth, and what are your justifications?
  4. What do you see as the major obstacles for homebirth?
  5. Is your (was your) partner “on board”?
  6. If not, did discussions (and research on the part of your partner) help?

The story of Kestrel’s birth covers most of that.

It’s so so so strange to me that this discussion even needs to happen. Just three generations ago, homebirth was the norm, and now it’s this freakish thing. The first American president not born at home was Jimmy Carter. Hospital birth is a recent phenomenon, and I really want to know how The Machine managed to destroy thousands of years of wisdom in a few short generations. Chilling, isn’t it? I wrote a post, which was actuall a letter to the Midwifery Board of California, here. That also addresses a lot of how I feel about questions one, two, and three.

Oh, the doubters say, but women died back then. Hello, read the news? Women are dying now. America’s birth statistics are apalling.

As far as partners being on board; I had some pretty gnarly PPD after the cesarean, and Jason was far more terrified that he’d be stuck with that woman for the rest of his life than he was worried about a homebirth outcome. Wise man that he is, he saw the homebirth of our second baby as his last, best hope of reclaiming his pre-cesarean wife. Turns out, he was totally right, and is now a pretty staunch advocate for the rights of birthing women, and the rightness of birthing at home.

I also wrote a post over at Life Without School, about the impacts of homebirth on older siblings, and knowing what I know now, I find the whole idea of removing your older children from the birth environment pretty abhorrent. No wonder siblings have issues, when they’re removed from the primary bonding loop. Families are birthed, not just babies, and the older kids are part of that family.

I could babble on, but I’ll stop there. Birth belongs at home.

4 Responses to “Homebirth Questions”

  • All of my grandparents were born at home, and my dad’s mom often talks about helping with the premature birth of her little sister, and putting the sister in a shoe box on the stove to keep her warm. Her sister was barely three pounds at birth. The mother had had a difficult labor, so my grandma took care of her sister for the most part for the first few days. Needless to say, they are very close, even now with my grandma in her 90s.

    It was my mother’s generation that began running to the hospital for birthing in my family. I recently discovered my brother and I were born in different hospitals. This seemed odd since my mom hadn’t moved towns. When I asked her about it, it was because of a change in medical insurance.

    So, now I’m thinking the reason women moved into hospital births was because insurance started covering births then? Likely they were taught that home birthing was a liability and an endangerment to mother and family. I know there are home birth horror stories in the family, but I also know I have many friends with hospital birth horror stories. Certainly, when hospitals first cropped up in America, it was believed you were sure to die if you gave birth in the hospital, which they later realized was because of germs on the doctor’s hands.

    I suspect insurance is what is controlling birthing now more than anything else. Everyone wants $$ off our health matters.

    But we are seeing a huge growth movement in self care, holistic health care, and attention and health care towards the energy bodies. I think we’ll see a greater shift towards home birthing in the future too. You are no doubt a part of that influence. The trend is there and growing, so keep the thoughts positive on the home birth rather than the negative alternatives. That will help the shift occur more quickly than manifesting what you see as the road blocks.


  • V:

    My parents were both born at home too, and not ALL that long ago… just times change and rural vs. urban expectations play their part. Returning home for birth seemed safest, easiest, happiest, all around BEST. Birth is a normal life passage, a normal aspect of life. Medical birth in its current state is truly appalling. love, V

  • Alyx:

    The USA has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Everything here is geared toward the comfort of the doctor and not the care of the mother and child. I had my last (7th) child in Sweden, where I was living at the time. It is infinitely safer, cheaper and less stressful there.

  • You’re AWESOME! Thanks for your encouraging yet relaxed “aura”.

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