Why Choose Home Birth?
Some women are naturally drawn to birth at home and others are looking for a different experience after a hospital birth. Whatever her reasons are, women who choose to birth at home make their decision carefully and thoughtfully.
It's natural. Women have been giving birth at home supported by other women in their community since birthing began. Although giving birth in a hospital is the norm now, it is a relatively new practice. Click here for a great article about the history of the transition from home to the hospital.
Women who birth at home trust the process of birth and trust that their body has the innate wisdom to birth a baby just as it does to grow one. They take responsibility for their health and wellness and want to educate themselves about birth and their body.
It's safe. If you have ever seen a mammal give birth, you know that they seek out a quiet, usually dark, private and familiar place away from predators where they will hopefully be undisturbed. If a predator shows up, mammals are biologically wired to stop or slow labor to give the animal a chance to get to safety to increase its chances of survival and the survival of its babies. We instinctually respond in the same way even though we don't have to worry about predators. When we are surrounded by unfamiliar sounds, smells, surroundings and unfamiliar people it can slow or stall labor. This is arguably part of the reason doctors over-utilize Pitocin, a drug which unnaturally speeds up labor by strengthening contractions. When a woman labors at home she is in a familiar environment which she controls so she can better focus on birthing. She is also able to labor with minimal interference.
In 2005 The British Medical Journal published the MANA 2000 study, the first ever large-scale prospective study of the safety of homebirth in North America. The study illustrated that homebirth with a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is as safe as a low-risk hospital birth. The Cesarean section rate of planned homebirths was drastically lower than planned hospital births. Additionally, the rates of interventions were consistently half that of the hospitals. Most importantly, there were no fewer babies dying or injured in the hospital than at home. The satisfaction of home birth women vs hospital birth women was significantly higher with 97% of women reporting satisfaction with their homebirths.
It's sacred. Historically birth was regarded as mysterious, even magical. It was not just the birth of a body, but the entrance of a soul into a lifetime. There have been rituals around birth in every culture. Now there are other "rituals" women use to create a sacred birthing space; a darkened room, soft music, focused breathing, swaying to the rhythm of her body, inviting only those whom she trusts into her space. Women who are well prepared in their minds, bodies, and spirits can experience birth as a profoundly moving and empowering event.