Thinking of having a home birth for your baby? We've compiled a list of 5 simple things that you should know and consider if you're thinking that this way of birthing is right for you.
Having a home birth means being able to create your environment
While is same is true of hospital births, birthing at home means having even more control over your environment. You are in familiar surroundings, which instantly lowers stress and keeps adrenaline low, letting oxytocin flow. To prepare, think about what your ideal environment looks like, smells like and feels like for birth. This may be the smell of a freshly baked batch of cookies, the blanket that you love to curl up with on the couch during movie night, or photos from your favourite vacation spot.
Embrace all of what this environment will be for you. Set up those pictures, wrap yourself in something lovely and comforting, bake cookies (or have your doula bake you cookies!).
Home birth can be messy
Well not can be, it is! All birth is messy! Have a shower curtain (or a few) on hand to protect your home and surfaces the best that you can and don't worry...everything can be cleaned!
Visitors may want to come earlier since you're already at home
This is definitely something we see with our home birth clients, and we encourage you to consider it carefully. At the hospital, if you've given birth in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, chances are you won't be sharing the good news and visitors won't be knocking on your door much before noon. With a home birth, visitors seem to think that because you're already at home, you're free game for visitors. If you want space following the birth of your baby, you're perfectly within your rights as a new (or new again) parent to not share your news until you're ready, or post a sign on the door indicating when you will be accepting visitors.
Home birth isn't for everyone
If you are having a particularly difficult or strenuous pregnancy, are considered high risk or simply do not want a home birth, that's perfectly fine. There are loads of different conditions such as elevated blood pressure, prior cesarean birth, and prior significant postpartum hemorrhage, that make home birth a less than ideal option for some women. If you're still wanting a low intervention birth and to control your environment, discuss what your options are with your medical team and make a plan that includes as much of your home birth ideals as possible.
Only midwives attend home births
If you're considering a home birth and are under the care of an obstetrician or family physician with maternity specialty, chat with them about your options as only midwives (at least in Ontario) will attend home births. A simple transfer of care may be all that you need to carry your home birth wishes!
Remember! This is your body, your baby and your birth. Only you know what is right for you!
Having a doula present at your home birth provides a great deal of benefits, and we mesh incredibly well with the care of a midwife. While they are tending to your medical needs, we can provide emotional and mental support.
Put us to work! We're happy to head to your kitchen and make food to keep everyone energized. We can run out and grab supplies if they are needed. We can entertain older children if they are at home during the early stages of labour.
We can hold the space and help with the environment.
Wishing you all the best for a happy, safe, and healthy home birth!