Last week, I posed the question on our Facebook page,
“If you could ask ANY question about a home birth, what would it be?”
Would you recommend having a home birth with your first baby?
Yes, 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?
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.