After having my fifth child, laboring and delivering unassisted. I started to think about “concerned” comments I received, I couldn’t resist writing about things home birthing is not. It comes from the depths of my soul and the heart of many moms who choose this route (or one similar). While I chose to birth in a birthing center. In many ways it is similar to a home birth and the stigma around both is saddening.
It may seem comical as you read through the points I share. But just know, there is also a level of appreciation for those on this journey. Enjoy!
Birthing At Home IS NOT Abuse
This is something that I seriously cannot believe people actually say about mothers who choose to have their children at home. I don’t know of any mother who would willingly do something to cause harm or abuse to their unborn child. And it’s somewhat hypocritical, if you ask me. On one hand the home is supposed to be seen as a safe haven. A place of refuge, and a place of utmost comfort for children.
However, when embracing that same home as a reliable place to bring a child into the world, all of a sudden it is seen as abuse. In all of my birthing experiences I can confidently say that I felt more abused (or like my children weren’t treated properly) elsewhere. . However, when I chose to birth my youngest in a birthing center. Having my midwife, older children and husband by my side, the entire experience was the furthest thing from abuse.
Home birthing IS NOT Neglect
It’s quite the opposite actually. I don’t want to talk about the cases of neglect that have happened in those places considered “more safe for childbirth”. But what I will say is this, neglect can happen anywhere. It’s more about the people than the location. Having a child in the comfort of your own home is far from neglect.
From my own experience (and from stories of other homebirthing mamas), the child has always been welcomed into a loving, joyful, and beautiful environment. The baby is typically greeted by excited siblings, and shortly after by extended family. The comfort of the baby is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. They typically wait to do any test until after you’ve had a chance to bond with and feed your baby. And even with those test you are completely involved to maintain the safety and comfort of your infant. At our birth, my husband caught our youngest, cut his umbilical cord once the placenta stopped beating and then weigh him after he had a full belly. That doesn’t sound like neglect to me!
Birthing of any kind should NOT be looked at as Prideful
Although there are different philosophies, methods, and styles floating around the natural birthing community – and one may try to elevate itself as being better than another – overall, homebirthing is not prideful.
I’ve seen the experiences of homebirthers be made to seem like pride. “Oh, you think you’re better than me because you birthed at home?” And while that mindset does exist. For most of us, it’s simply not true. But we have to be careful to not let others project their insecurities on us, and vice versa. The confidence of a mother who chooses to birth at home should never be made to seem like she is exalting herself.
It takes a lot of courage to birth a human being into this world. No matter where a mother chooses to do so at, one should never be considered better than the other.
Home birthing IS NOT a New Trend
While I do not come from a line of homebirthing women, My mother did have my sister at home, accidentally, but I still think it was pretty amazing story. She was home hanging drywall and doing some “work” around the house, as she put it. When she began to feel the contractions. Thinking she still had time she went on about her day, until she realized my oldest sister’s head was basically out as she walked down the hall to go to the bathroom. She said she remembered thinking she had to pee really bad, lol.
The rest of her children were born in a hospital… and yes, with each child her experience was one that was not pleasant in some sort of way. With my birth being the worst. The doctor on call didn’t believe my mom when she said she was in labor. After trying to convince him she was in actual active labor he still kept telling her to go home. Eventually they gave her a bed, and I was born shortly there after. Like within minutes. No medications or assistance of any kind. And that doctor, the one who refused to believe her, was in the other room watching the Superbowl. I can’t even understand how he felt like he knew my mom’s body better then she did.
Needless to say, she expressed that she’d never do it like that again… and drove an hour away to a different hospital for the birth of my youngest brother.
sadly she ISN’T the only mother who’s experienced this
Funny enough, something similar happened to me with my first born. I was told for over a day that I was not in active labor. Then when I finally arrived at the hospital 8.5cm dilated, everyone was confused why I hadn’t came sooner. It’s these repeat issues, with doctors, nurses, and whomever pregnancy after pregnancy, that made me give birthing at a birthing center a try. And sadly, I’m sure a lot of moms have similar stories.
Having children at home (shucks, even in the wild) is not a new thing. Scripture even speaks of having midwives, nurses, and maidens. What has made this seem like a trend, or a new movement, is the rise in modern medicine convincing people that without a hospital, nothing health and wellness wise can be accomplished.
Home birthing IS NOT a Force to be Reckoned With
I’m ending with this one because it’s both true and powerful and encompasses all the previous points made. Some women will never understand why others choose to give birth at home. They may forever think we’re crazy. The truth of the matter is regardless of what others think, homebirthing is truly a force that cannot be reckoned with.
The way our bodies have been created to conceive, create/grow, and birth another human being goes far beyond what any science can prove. Like anything in life, history repeats itself. And when it comes to birthing we have what is observable and repeatable. All throughout history we can see that having children naturally (and at home) has withstood the test of time.
If you’re a homebirthing mama, you are awesome, amazing, and wonderful. If you’re not a homebirthing mama, you are awesome, amazing, and wonderful! Regardless of how you choose to bring your child into this world, the fact that you are a mother – YOU ROCK!!!