Is a home birth right for you?

home birth review

During my pregnancy my midwife seemed to talk a lot about the option of having a home birth – obviously she had been privy to many and seemed a big advocate. But with it being my first experience of labour, I was little apprehensive about being at home if ‘things go wrong’ and decided I would feel more reassured being in a hospital environment.

home birth review

 

As it turned out, I was very lucky and had a very straightforward labour – so much so that the midwife was almost redundant (I know, I know, shut up already), but it did get me thinking about whether I would be brave enough to opt for a home birth next time. I imagine the whole experience would be less overwhelming in the comfort of your own home, and there’s something very appealing about not having to hang around at the hospital for hours the next day waiting to be discharged – when all you want to do is get your little bundle home and have your own little moment away from hospital staff and other new parents.

So when Myka Stauffer got in touch to ask if I would like to feature a Q&A on her home birth, I was intrigued to hear about her experience. Myka is currently expecting her third child and will be having her second home birth. This is what she had to say about her first home birth experience and why she is opting for another.

What made you decide to have a home birth?

After having a hospital birth with my first daughter, I didn’t like the idea of not being in control of the experience. It felt distant and detached from how child birth should be where the mother and child are together and never apart. I had always been interested in the idea of a home birth and it wasn’t until I had conceived our second child that I thoroughly explored the idea. What I found out was that the experience is much more personal, just as safe (if not more in my eyes) and something we as humans have done naturally since our creation. Our bodies were designed to do this and I knew it was how it should be done.

Were you worried about if anything went wrong (and you weren’t at the hospital)?

By talking with my midwife on this topic and educating myself of the possibilities, it eased a lot of my worry on the “what if” scenarios. There are numerous things an experienced midwife can do to ensure baby and mum are safe without the needs of doctors/hospital. They also come prepared with medical supplies and can care for the majority of the complications that can come about from childbirth. If there are any emergency issues that arise, the midwife knows our hospital backup plan and can transport if necessary.

How did you prepare for it?

Once I had chosen our midwife, we had scheduled appointments and reading they provided about homebirth to allow us to be as prepared as possible. Another great tool has been Youtube and watching homebirths and listening to other mums describe the experience. This is why I have documented on Youtube my entire journey and will also be showing our homebirth on my channel (youtube.com/MykaStauffer). Through my videos I have created a family of amazing friends and mums who are also pregnant which allows us to all discuss our symptoms, joys and struggles.

Tell us a bit about when you went into labour

When I was pregnant with our second child we were 36 ½ weeks when I started feeling small but infrequent contractions the night before she was born. My husband and I had gone to sleep that night thinking it was still Braxton hicks contractions, not knowing the big show was about to start.

Around 2:30am I awoke with painful contractions and told my husband these were real and it was time to give birth to our baby girl. While I sat on my birthing ball and worked through the contractions, my husband notified the midwife that we were in active labor and he began to setup the birthing pool in our family room.

Throughout the early morning my husband and I did numerous things to work through the contractions from walking, massages, breathing techniques, relaxing in the birthing pool and talking about how our lives were about to change in an amazing way.

How was the birth?

Around 7am our little girl, Kova (2 ½ years old at the time), awoke and sat next to the pool watching Winnie the Pooh and told me during every contraction to “breathe and it will be okay Mommy”. We wanted her to be part of her sister’s birth and around 9am I began to feel a lot of pressure and urges to push.

With my husband in the pool with me and the midwife at our side, we began to push and deliver our second little girl. At 9:45am, Jaka was born and my husband held her in his hands and brought her to my chest for the very first time. Within seconds, Jaka’s voice was heard with the beautiful sound of crying that melted our hearts and made us break down into tears of love and joy. During this time our midwife was ensuring our vitals were stable and awaiting for the placenta to be born. As I held Jaka against my chest, my husband and midwife waited for the umbilical cord to stop beating before he cut the cord.

The first 20 minutes of Jaka’s life had already flown by and now it was time for my husband to hold the baby skin to skin while the midwife helped me to the herbal bath she had setup in our bathroom. Once I was cleaned up, my husband brought in Jaka for her first bath where she opened her beautiful eyes. Her sister Kova was present from the very second her sister was born and watched with amazement and a huge smile across her face. Within 45 minutes of giving birth, I had washed up and was laying in my own bed breastfeeding my newborn baby with my family at my side.

How did it compare to your first birth at the hospital?

It was drastically different in the respect of how my care was provided by my midwife and also the ability to be in the comfort of my own home. By having a homebirth, you feel a sense of safety and calmness that a hospital doesn’t provide.

What would you say is the best thing about having a home birth?

Being in control of the birthing experience and being able to feel connected in a hard to describe way to my baby throughout.

What advice would you give to any mum-to-be considering a home birth?

I would recommend getting your hands on books and information online to educate yourself on the subject. Once you have experienced homebirth, your perception of birth and your life will be changed forever in the most positive way imaginable.

This guest post was written in collaboration with Myka Stauffer. To follow her home birth journey visit her YouTube channel at  youtube.com/MykaStauffer

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11 Comment

  1. Tess
    August 8, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I was completely against a home birth with my first baby, I mean thats what hospitals are for, right? But now the idea appeals more and more and I hope that it might be possible if I have any more babies. I think it’s perhaps something you become more passionate about when you know the wonderful feeling of bringing a baby home forthe first time- how special would it be to have your baby born there.

  2. My Mummy Likes
    August 10, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Id love a home birth but after having an EMCS with my first born id be too scared of something going wrong.

    #maternitymondays

    1. Mum in Brum
      August 10, 2015 at 10:17 am

      No, I’m not surprised. I’m not sure I would feel confident enough, but would definitely give it some consideration x

  3. Laura
    August 10, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I love this…I had a home birth with my first baby and am currently planning my second. I was excited by the prospect of giving birth and my anxiety only arose at at the thought of being bed bound in a hospital room with harsh lighting and not being in control (I’m sure this is a very inaccurate, negative assumption but was the image I couldn’t shake). My delivery was straightforward, we cooked, laughed and watched our favorite programmed through the early stages and used hypnobirthinv methods once things progressed further – within an hour of delivery we were eating fishfingers sandwiches on the sofa cuddling our little bundle. If you think you might like a home birth I can’t urge you enough to find out more and go for it if it feels right – ours was everything I hoped for and more. #maternitymondays xx

    1. Mum in Brum
      August 10, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Aw it sounds like you had an amazing experience! It definitely provides food for thought when you hear of such positive accounts – who wouldn’t want a fish finger sandwich after going through labour?? I think there needs to be more information offered on this topic by the NHS. Thanks for sharing your experience x

  4. farmerswifeandmummy
    August 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

    It sounds very relaxed and I think it is great to have the choice if you can. I love how you said ‘we pushed’. My husband did not push ANYTHING haha
    Great post and a great resource (and advert) for others thinking about a home birth.
    Perfect for linking up with #MaternityMondays

    1. Mum in Brum
      August 10, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Haha! No, neither did mine! yes as you say, great if you have the choice. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. EmilyandIndiana
    August 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Not that I’m considering another anytime soon (birth is far too fresh in my mind haha), I would definitely consider it if we had a third. My second labour was perfect, but having to wait around to be discharged and not being with our first, I would much rather be at home xx

    1. Mum in Brum
      August 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Yes this is exactly how I felt xx

  6. Ashleigh Lawrence-Rye
    August 10, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Not a shameless plug for my own blog but my homebirth birth story is on my blog here: http://www.ashleighlawrencerye.com/2015/07/quinns-birth-story.html

    You might find it interesting as I was able to experience Fetal Ejection Reflex which is almost never witnessed in hospital settings. I couldn’t recommend home birth enough, and in fact, in healthy women, the risks of complication are significantly lowered as a result of birthing at home, you’d be much more likely to run in to unexpected complications by going in to hospital. But of course, it’s a very personal decision – I’m so so glad that I had Quinn at home though, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

    1. Mum in Brum
      August 10, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks for sharing Ashleigh, so glad to hear that you had such a positive experience x

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