Last week, I posed the question on our Facebook page,

“If you could ask ANY question about a home birth, what would it be?”  

Here’s your response, and a fun home birth Q & A!

Would you recommend having a home birth with your first baby?

 I would refer a first-time mother to a qualified midwife, as long as she is willing to do HER part in maintaining good health and habits during the pregnancy.

There are several factors involved with a first-time mother giving birth at home.  A seasoned midwife will be able to judge whether or not an expectant mother’s health and circumstances are favorable to giving birth at home.  Barring unusual health issues and complications, having a baby at home is  certainly safe, even for first-time mommies.

I would be interested in trying a home birth, but my husband is more on the cautious side.  Is there any way to encourage him to be more willing to try a home birth?

I tackled this question here a few years ago.  There is certainly nothing wrong with appealing to your husband if a home birth is your heart’s desire, but always keep in mind that your marriage is more important than where you give birth!

What if a complication arose that couldn’t be helped at home…would you go to the hospital?

Most definitely.  I mentioned in  How to Prepare for a Home Birth that one of the necessary steps of working with a midwife is deciding on an emergency plan.  In the event of complications, it is important to have a pre-thought-out plan of where to go to seek medical help.

While most home births are extremely safe and uneventful, I do know of a few mamas who have found themselves heading to the hospital for one reason or another during labor.  It pays to be prepared!

Water birth or not?

For me, definitely!  I used a birth pool with our last home birth and absolutely loved it.

The biggest benefit of a water birth is that the warm water is so very relaxing and greatly reduces the intensity of labor pains.

A possible draw-back is that sometimes the body becomes so relaxed in the water that labor slows down.  Every woman will respond in a unique way to a water birth; some hate it, some love it.  I LOVE IT

 Is it safe to attempt a VBAC at home?

I am certainly not in any position to hand out medical advice, but I can share that I personally know a number of women who have successfully given birth at home following a C-section.  My sister-in-law is one such mama: Her first baby was born via an “emergency Ceserean”, her second baby was born at home with a midwife, and she is due to give birth to a third little one (second VBAC) in a few weeks.

My advice would be to research all the information you can find from a reliable source (VBAC Facts is a good place to start), then take steps to take excellent care of your health between pregnancies.  A healthy, healed body is a huge factor in a successful VBAC.

 Are there states that will allow you to have a VBAC with a midwife?

Laws differ from state-to-state on midwifery care, VBACS, etc.  According to this information, there are nineteen states that permit licensed midwives to attend a VBAC at home.  I encourage you to check out your state laws and talk to a midwife in your area.

How much does a home birth cost?

Our three home births have cost us an average of  $3,000 each, including prenatal labs, care during the entire pregnancy, an ultrasound, post-natal check ups, etc.

The cost of a mid-wife assisted birth will vary according to your midwife, location, possible complications during the pregnancy, etc.  You will have an extra cost if you choose to give birth at a birthing clinic versus at home, as well.

How can it be made more affordable? My hospital delivery is $600… it’s hard to make the switch to a home birth at multiple times that price & know if something’s wrong I’ll have to go to the hospital anyways & then pay both.

Hospital deliveries are certainly not cheaper unless you are blessed with good insurance.  Our second hospital birth cost  around $10,000 ($5,000 out of our pocket, since we received a “break” for paying cash).

If you have insurance, I would definitely check and see if it will cover a home birth, or a birth-center delivery.  Many insurances will cover at least a portion of a mid-wife assisted birth.  If your midwife is not networked with your insurance, see if they will allow you to file a claim after your baby’s birth and reimburse all or part of the cost.

How would you respond to one (or more) of these questions?  

What other question would you ask about a home birth?

 

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7 thoughts on “Home Birth Q&A

  1. What’s your response to the Infant Mortality Death Rates that have now been recorded in Oregon and Colorado for homebirth babies? MANA has refused to release the rates and now a CNM (Judith Rooks) has started collecting the data and sadly is releasing them (it saddens her, but she knows it’s important for mothers to make choices based on truth). I, personally, was shocked about how high they are compared to the hospital rates (Colorado homebirths are more than double the death rate and Oregon homebirths have 9x the death rate as hospitals).
    I had a traumatic homebirth and the fact that my son had to brought back to life and now suffers from a birth injury for the rest of his life has shattered a lot of my notions I had about homebirth (I even studied to be a midwife’s apprentice/assistant). SO yes, I am a little biased against, as your successful homebirths have biased you somewhat for them.
    I do not think first time moms should be homebirth candidates as they are unproven (my opinion). While I do believe in having homebirths women are making a risky call (as there are just not the equipment around that one needs for shoulder dystocias, placenta abnormalities, cord prolapses, decelled heartrates, uterine ruptures, emergency c-section access, etc) I do believe it’s upto women to make their own choice. Each person has to decide their risk to benefit ratio. I, sadly, know one too many women who have experienced the risk that homebirth brings and now their lives are forever changed. No woman thinks she or her baby will be the statistic and so when it happens, it’s earth shattering and you kick yourself for not taking the road you know would have been able to change it all. It’s all so different when it’s YOUR baby. Sometimes signs aren’t seen and disasters occur at the blink of an eye and there is no time to call 911, wait for the ambulance, get to the hospital, have them assess the situation and act, and have a healthy baby and mama.
    I know there are risks to hospitals as well. But if you arm yourself with a doula, knowledge, and a CNM/doc who is respectful of wishes and birth (and yes, they are out there!); those risks are reduced tremendously. And women who choose to birth, naturally, in hospitals are changing them! I know I was taught to be so scared of having my babies in them so I fleed instead of helping change minds and rules. It hurt my son and myself. Now that I’ve had 3 healthy babies in hospitals and I go to them regularly for my special needs son, I see it’s not such a scary place… that my notions about many of them had been sooo wrong. I live with that guilt and when my son is old enough to understand my poor decisions have changed his life, I will ask for his forgiveness. It’s my prayer that other mothers do not have to do the same with their children.
    SO for moms considering homebirth: make decisions by looking at EVERY angle. While natural can be soooo good, it’s not perfect.Natural isn’t a guarantee of anything. Our bodies are not all made perfect though many are fine… we live in a fallen world that has consequences because of sin. In nature, there is good and there are disasters that occur out of no where. I pray for the good from it (in many areas of my life) and keep realistic about the trauma that nature can bring too.

    Blessings to All of You. I pray every pregnant woman and unborn child I know has a safe journey… it’s not a given right, it is a blessing from God.

    Posted on March 30, 2013 at 10:36 am
  2. Love that you answer lots of questions I certainly had before my 1st birth at home. I’m due again this summer with baby #2, and since the public hospital births here in Costa Rica are free vs. $1000 midwife and doula homebirth, I think I’m leaning toward the hospital even though I loved waterbirth in the peace and comfort of my own home with baby #1. Thanks so much for your insights!

    Posted on March 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm
    1. Congratulations, Jelli… and thank you for the feedback!

      Posted on March 27, 2013 at 10:44 pm
  3. I had a home birth with with my first, and plan to do it again this summer. 🙂 My labor, as many first labors are, was very long, so I’m glad we were at home where there was no harried medical staff pushing interventions such as pitocin on us. Although, I will admit that there was one point during the second stage where I was just like “take me to the hospital and give me a c-section!” 😛 Of course, that was right before his head crowned.

    Another nice thing about being at home, was that after the baby was born, I showered, walked back to my bedroom, and spent some quality time bonding with the new little one in a familiar, warm atmosphere, with daddy unimpeded. Sweet memories.

    Posted on March 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    1. Elise, those moments following a home birth are AMAZING! I have such precious and sweet memories surrounding each of my children’s births, but most especially our little boys, who were both born at home… it is just so peaceful and intimate.

      Posted on March 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm
  4. Thanks for the information! I really wanted to try a home birth with my first, but my in-laws were so against it (to the point of comparing it to child abuse!) that my husband and I decided we didn’t feel strongly enough about it to ruin those relationships. I hope that your post will help provide other moms with the information they need to stand up for themselves. It’s really too bad our society looks down on doing things naturally (home births, breastfeeding, etc.).

    Posted on March 26, 2013 at 11:49 pm
    1. Jamie, have you ever watched “The Business of Being Born”? It’s a secular documentary on home birth and it shares some pretty amazing information that strongly supports the wisdom of midwife-assisted home births (or even hospital births).

      Good for you for choosing family relationships over what you wanted, but it’s sad that you HAD to choose. I’m sure lots of mamas can relate to that struggle.

      Posted on March 27, 2013 at 9:11 am