The Homebirth Decision and Homebirth Dads Video   Leave a comment

Back in December when I first met with the midwives we plan to use when we finally get pregnant, they lent me a video to watch with my husband about home birthing from the father’s perspective. For various reasons that video has just been sitting in the living room getting in the way all year. We finally sat down to watch it this past weekend and my official review is “eh”. For one thing, it was ONE HOUR AND 9 MINUTES LONG! It was a compilation of interviews with several homebirth fathers about their experiences, and while some of the questions were interesting many of the questions were rather fast-forward-able. And some of the guys just droned on and on. It’s supposed to be like talking to your guy friends about the experience of homebirth, but I’m not sure it had the desired effect. At least it didn’t scare Mike away from doing a homebirth. And it wasn’t full of statistics and other stuff to convince you one way or another, it was just a bunch of guys telling their stories.

I honestly can’t remember when I decided that I wanted to give birth at home. I remember a looong time ago feeling fairly strongly that birth is a natural part of life and not a medical procedure (unless there are complications), and being inclined away from birthing in a hospital. I think that was back when birthing centers were uncommon, but first coming into the mainstream. I remember thinking that using these “newfangled” birthing centers was a great idea as an alternative to hospital birth and homebirth. At the time the thought of giving birth at home was scary and unpalatable. Fast forward a decade or so and my mind has changed, but I can’t remember when, how, or why I changed my mind. When I was looking at the prospect of giving birth while still living in the old house, I was really disappointed that I would have to use a birthing center (I didn’t like that house, and didn’t think psychologically or logistically that it would be a good idea to give birth there). In our current house there is no reason not to, and I’m really looking forward to this wonderful celebration of life (assuming, of course, that I have a healthy pregnancy).

After meeting the midwives and reading through the packet of information they gave me I can say that I’m even more strongly a fan of homebirth, even though I haven’t yet done it myself. There was lots of interesting information in with the propaganda. For instance, the World Health Organization recommends attendance by midwives for normal birthing, preferentially taking place outside of the hospital, with no routine use of electronic fetal monitoring, drugs, or induction of labor. And yet in the US the vast majority of women give birth in a hospital under the “care” of a physician using drugs and electronic fetal monitoring. And to top it all off in the US the rate of voluntary c-sections is growing, possibly not coincidental with the rise in maternal fatalities in the US. As a person who values natural living, I find that sad. I’ve known someone who had the delivery date scheduled months in advance so that she could schedule her life around it. Choosing to give birth at home under the care of a midwife may be too radical for most women, but scheduling a c-section in advance is a certainly on the other end of the spectrum of “natural”.

Posted August 9, 2011 by mayakey in pregnancy

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