29 answers

Home Birth

Hello Everyone! My husband and I have recently decided to have a homebirth with our second child, due in August. We are very excited about our decision and I am anxious to hear from other families that have experienced home birth. I live in an area where I don't know anyone that has chosen to give birth this way. I'm not really even telling other moms that I'm around because I don't want them to look at me like I have a third eye. Plus, I think that most people don't fully understand how safe homebirth actually is. Anyway, I've done lots of reading/research, we've hired a wonderful midwife, I have a back up doctor, and I just recently watched "the Business of Being Born" (which totally confirmed that we are making the right decision). I just want to hear from other moms who have done this and their experience. Also, any suggestions for preparation of the birth are totally welcomed... Thanks in advance,

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I think it's great that you are birthing this way. My mom had three at home with a midwife and loved it

Great decision! Go for it! I just had my second son via VBAC, so I was not confident enough to stay at home, but next time, I will.

Hi there!

I didn't have a home birth but I did labor at home. My husband and I used the Bradley Method. It was truley wonderful to lay in my own bed with my husband beside me guiding me through my contractions. I did this with my second daughter. I unfortunately didn't get to with my first. I labored at the hospital and it was not a great experience. Anyway, I labored at home and when I thought it was close we went to the hospital. I literally had my daughter minutes after arriving. I am pregnant again and we plan on doing it the same way. I think that it is wonderful that you are doing a home birth! Good luck to you and please look into the Bradley Method.

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Hi K.,

I'm a Momma of six beautiful children. The first was born with midwives at a birthing center; the rest were born at home. Our last two were unassisted (I only recommend this for experienced, calm mommas, though, and ALWAYS with a back-up plan. If you've had babies before and labor was stressful for you, I would never suggest an unassisted birth).

Home birthing is wonderful. I've never had a hospital birth experience, but I've been in attendance at the births of hospital-born babies. It's just not for me!

My advice: Pick the room you'd like to give birth in well in advance (be it bedroom, livingroom--even kitchen). Take advantage of your nesting phase and clean it well. Also using the nesting for your benefit, launder everything you anticipate using--sheets, blankets, towels, washcloths. Put them in large plastic bags or totes and seal them. Voila! They're ready for birthing. Make sure the room can be a comfortable temperature (your child is due in August, so prepare some fans or air conditioning).

Remove anything fragile from the area. You'd be surprised how many elbows one person can have when they're in the middle of labor.

Talk to your older child in advance about what is going to happen (if s/he will be present). Explain everything calmly, and how Mommy may make some funny or scary noises, but that's okay.

Preferably choose a room near a bathroom. Keep that bathroom clean. Make sure there's nothing in the way between the birthing room and the bathroom: no stray clothes, toys, books, nothing you could trip over.

Cook some meals now and freeze them for the days leading up to and after your baby is born. Make sure they're easily re-heatable meals (even spaghetti can be turned into a casserole that can just be popped into the oven). Make sure you have some easy to digest foods on hand for during labor (yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, etc).

Lastly...Make sure your camera is ready (memory sticks cleared, battery charged). You won't want to miss pictures of this blessed event!!

You sound like you're on the right path. Best of luck to you, your husband, your already-born child and your soon-to-join-you little one! :)

1 mom found this helpful

YAY!!!! I currently have 6 children, and #6 was born in the same bed she was made. I had an unassisted family homebirth (no dr or midwife). I am in a wonderful group of women on yahoo where I learn a LOT. I am expecting #7 and am doing self prenatal care and plan for another family birth at home. Come and check out the group.... ____@____.com
There are lots of birth stories in this group too.
Another place to look into with lots of info is http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html
I can also send you a home birth kit list that I use, although if you have a midwife, she probably has a list and birthkit she wants you to purchase....Good luck and you are making a WONDERFUL decision!!!

Mom of:
Rebeka 10/91 (hospital/MW)
Aimee 6/93 (hospital/unassisted)
Scott 2/96 (hospital/Dr)
Anamarie 11/02 (hospital/MW)
Heather 12/04 (hospital/MW)
Mikayla 5/07 (unassisted home birth)
As a Former Fetus, I OPPOSE Abortion

1 mom found this helpful

How exciting! Home births can be so wonderful! I have done it both ways. My 1st, I was planning to be at home in a pool that my hubby set up for me w/ a midwife but it didn't work out that way. I was in the bathroom floor asking my husband to catch the baby when he came out:o)

The 2nd I planned to be at home but ended up going to the hospital instead. I had bad luck with midwives. I would have loved to have had a water birth at home, but it just didn't work out. Labouring is water is VERY nice!!
I do recommend Olathe hospital, they were very understanding that I wanted everything NATURAL!

If you need a chiroprator (makes pregnancy and delivery much easier) Dr. Clarke in Olathe had 4 of his 5 children at home. He is wonderful and has helped my family alot! He is close to 135th and Mur-len.

Yes, I had to deal with the looks and comments ect. I had to change pediatrician b/c of it. I started going to Midwest family care with Dr Darrin Davis and Randy Eaton. Randy is wonderful with my boys and is very understanding that I do not any shots for my children They listen to my concerns when I bring my boys in and are very kind.

Please fill free to write with any questions about anything!

I am very excited for you and your husband!

Congratulations on making the right decision on having a homebirth. I was a natural birth educator for five years teaching the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. The best advice I can give you is make sure your nutrition is great...not just good, but great. Mother Nature takes care of Mom first and the baby second. So, if you are just eating a good diet, you may feel good but that's no guarantee that the fetus is getting all the nutrition it needs. Secondly, make sure your body is in good condition by exercising everyday. The three best exercises for childbirth are squatting, pelvic rocks, and pubococcegeal squeezes.
As for the diet, check out the following sites:

It is a lovely idea IF there are NO problems!!! My sister-in-law almost hemorraged to death before they got her to the hospital - her mid-wife had no idea what to do! Or what if the baby had difficulties and being near the proper equipment could save the baby's life? Again, I had a cousin who did home birth and the baby needed oxygen. Because she didn't get it in time, she is brain-damaged. I don't wish to sound negative and scare you, but these are TWO cases in my immediate family that point to NOT doing home birth. In my opinion, it is simply not worth the risk to you or your unborn child.

It is so exciting and encouraging to see that there are other home birth moms around! I also recommend Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. My son was born in the kitchen in a kiddie pool of water in November 07. I felt much more confident and control at home. I did not have to worry that the hospital would do something we had not authorized or make me uncomfortable because of their rules and regulations. I was able to pull my son up from the water and was the first human touch he ever felt! That was awesome! You will be blessed!

Don't make the "success" of your pregnancy totally dependent on how the birth happens. If you have a home birth, good for you, if it works out differently that can be O.K. too. Just don't set yourself up for disappointment. If you and your baby are healthy you have reached a good goal.

Nelda C

About me:We had 5 children. All are grown except our 2yr. who died 3 days after her birthday.

Good for you! You sound like you know what you're doing and you have a doctor on standby in the event something goes wrong (apparently many people who responded didn't read that bit). But when you take out all the unnecessary interventions your risks of something going wrong are so minimal it is laughable how worked up people are getting about homebirth. Congrats! You'll do GREAT!

Hi there!

I didn't have a home birth but I did labor at home. My husband and I used the Bradley Method. It was truley wonderful to lay in my own bed with my husband beside me guiding me through my contractions. I did this with my second daughter. I unfortunately didn't get to with my first. I labored at the hospital and it was not a great experience. Anyway, I labored at home and when I thought it was close we went to the hospital. I literally had my daughter minutes after arriving. I am pregnant again and we plan on doing it the same way. I think that it is wonderful that you are doing a home birth! Good luck to you and please look into the Bradley Method.

Home birth is a wonderful choice. My first we had planned a home birth but unfortunately did transfer to the hospital. I had an unusually long (3day +) first stage of labor and it just wore me out. My advice on this if you have a prolonged first stage of labor is to rest, drink lots of fluid - not just sips between contractions, and eat. If chewing seems impossible get some of those supplemental drinks like ensure to keep your calories up. My second birth did take place in a freestanding birth center which is as close to home as we could get. The doctor and midwife team we had for our first were now working through the birthing center and there were 5 babies born back to back. It was wonderful - I was in labor and our daughter was born altogether in under 12 hours - huge difference from our first! And we were able to have a water birth which was also a nice experience. I would recommend reading Birthing from Within - an awesome perspective which I think we have lost in this culture - birth is messy:), it is hard work:), and yes you can do it:) P.S. don't plan too much detail for your birth - it will be totally different than you expect and plan for anyway - good luck. S. M.

Congrats on your decision! Our first baby was born in a hospital with a CNM. we thought about homebirth but were living in an apt at the time so didn't do it. we prepared with the Bradley method and had no drugs. The second time I was definately having a homebirth. we were living in Iowa and had lots of options. then we moved to SW IL with very little options. we did find a lay midwife and delivered our son in temporary housing! we hadn't closed on our house yet! he was actually born on the day we closed. it makes a great story and our realtor says it is still the most unusual closing he's ever done. we had a checklist and pool, although i had to get out to give birth. I was too relaxed! we never doubted our decision, never thought anything could go wrong and had total faith in our midwife. i would say one of the most important things is to have someone watch your son. my sister came down and we had lots of activities planned for her and our daughter so that my husband could be fully present with me and we could concentrate on birthing. They even made a cake that read"Happiness is born at home". they came in to watch the birth and that is all we saw of them the entire time. There is nothing like crawling into your own bed after giving birth. not having to load up a newborn for a car ride home. eating your own food and drink. it is magical and the way birth should be. Good luck. i think it's the only way healthy babies should be born.

Hi K.. I had a home birth with a lay midwife. They aren't easy to find, but you can find them. It was fantastic. But I know what you mean about people thinking your crazy. I'm a chiropractor, I get that alot. But my daughter, now 2 1/2 is happy, healthy and has yet to see a medical doctor. Sure she gets the sniffles every now and then, but she's great. You and I should chat. Send me a message....I definitely won't think you are crazy. And I can give you some tips on natural mothering. Actually, if you are in my area, we have a group that meets over here once a month that are just like you and I. Let me know!
Congrats on the home birth decision!
Dr. J

I did not have a homebirth, but it was my original intention. I think it is wonderful that you have decided to do it. Do not listen to the negativity. Midwives know ahead of time if you need to go to the hospital etc. Keep a positive mind about it. There are two wonderful books that are helpful that I wanted to let you know about. One is She Births by Marcie Macari, she is a woman who had homebirths with her children and there are many birthing stories etc in the book. If you are into yoga at all the most wonderful book I've ever read for homebirthing or any natural birth is called Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh. I hope these are helpful. If I have another I am DEFINITELY doing it at home. Good luck and God bless!
p.s. St. Louis and surrounding areas are very medically minded...It is challenging to speak your mind about homebirth here. When I was first pregnant I live in NY and had a different plan. The rest is a long story, but I did get sucked into the medical situation. I do have 3 friends that have had homebirths here in St. Louis and they all were wonderful experiences for them.

Great decision! Go for it! I just had my second son via VBAC, so I was not confident enough to stay at home, but next time, I will.

In response to Rhondawitch's comment, that sounds like they were unlicsened midwives (which is why its so important to support midwifery licensing legislature) My midwife is licsenced and carries emergency equiptment at all times. She brings plenty of oxygen, pitocin for hemmorhage and methergine if it starts out torrential or doesn't respond fast enough to pit, plus lots more, and is highly trained in emergency birth procedures. If something requires a c-sec, she is trained to manage it until the OR is ready just like docs have to do in the hosp. The desicion to incision time is the same for hosp and home birth when you live anywhere but the middle of nowhere and have a qualified midwife. Plus, keeping hands off a birth unless necessary would prevent a majority of the scary complications anyway. So no more homebirth fear mongering...trained midwife=safe homebirth...wanna-be "midwife"+no training= different category entirely.

Preparing- I considered my fears and turned them into positive mantras. For example, tearing again...I would love a big baby as a matter of fact, 'cause no matter the size, I'll stay intact. Or labor ...If pregnancy suits me and birth was so easy for me, labor must be a breeze for me this time.

Ask your midwife if there are any birth circles, mom groups, ect through her practice or that she knows of. If not ask her to invite her other moms to a weekly or monthly group for expectant and new mamas (and daddys). If there is a midwife there are homebirthers and its hugely helpful to connect with one another, it took me 3years to realize there was a HUGE birth community hiding under my nose. And now, besides being able to relate to other parents and enjoying birth stories much more, I even carry a bag with me everywhere now that says "Birth, every home should have one." I'm all big and pregnant now too and only 2 strangers have commented on it. A male pilot at the airport no less said "Thats great, it should be a bumper sticker. I love it!" and then a woman in line behind me asked if it meant I had homebirths. I told her nat.hosp with the first but homebirth with this one. And she got all excited and said "Thats so great, I would have loved that, if I hadn't needed a cesarean. But I'd do that if I have another."

Check out my midwifes awesome blog at nurturingheartsbirthservices.com or google naval gazing midwife's blog. Also my midwife has a great site of pictures of birth so search birth story diaries. Ina May's guide to childbirth is a great book, Journey into Motherhood is awesome its all natural birth stories from home to hosp vbac hypno ect and each mom shares her advice after her story. Pregant in America is a great documentary and is only $20. And you can rent the movie Orgasmic Birth on netflix and if you don't have an account use your free trial to rent it, its a great movie.

Good luck, enjoy your birth and your baby.

Well best of luck to you for doing a home birth,I hope you have no pregnancy complication's to full fill this.I wanted to do my 1st child at a birth center rather than a hospital my DR.didn't do those he warned me about the complication's of child bitrh it can seriously turn around quickly.So I opted out, good pregnancy no complications.
I'm a WSAHM of 2 boy and girl what I dreamed of 1 of each and more to come

Thank God for you K.. Yes, there are others of us out here, many actually. I am so passionate about homebirth, I actually have a blog about it- http://homebirthdiaries.blogspot.com
I am a former labor and delivery nurse who actually lectures nationally about homebirth, and I've had six homebirths of my own. You are not alone, you've made a wonderful decision for yourself and your baby. It is incredible refreshing for me to hear a woman express an interest in homebirth- our cultural trend is completely toward medicalized birth right now- which people falsely believe is safer. We've recently experienced a rise in maternal mortality rates for the first time in decades that has been placed squarely on the increase in cesareans. If you read KC Wellness magazine, I have an article coming out in May that talks about the dangers of hospital birth. I think you've made a great decision that you will be well pleased with.

Hi K.: I am the mother of five and gave birth to our last two at home with midwives and family in attendance. It was wonderful and my only regret is that I didn't have all my kids at home. The atmosphere of having your babies in your own home can't even be compared to hospital birth. I think giving birth should be treated as a natural, beautiful, spiritual event rather than a medical procedure and the best way to have that is to be with people who truly love and care for you. I hope that your experience is as joyful as mine were! C. D

I didn't have a home birth, but I had my daughter in a birthing center. We wanted it to be as close to a home birth as possible, but hubby wasn't comfortable with actually being at home. Anyway, we used the Hypnobirthing method and we LOVED it! It works by helping you train your brain to sort of turn off your pain receptors, and actually you don't even think of it as "pain" in the first place. It's kind of a mind over matter thing. That's a very simplified explanation, of course, but I highly recommend looking into it. It made for a very positive, wonderful birth experience. Good luck with your home birth! I hope it is peaceful and wonderful!

I don't have any advice, unfortunately. I just wanted to say I think what you're doing is great! I honestly didn't know with my two children you could still have home births & if I would've known I definitely would have went that route! The whole hospital thing just stressed me out & I know I could have had a more relaxed experience with out "every nurse in the hospital" poking & prodding at me & getting miffed because I didn't want an epidural!

I hope everything goes well for you & eventually you are able to tell the other mothers thsi wa your choice & what was best for you & your newborn!

HI, congratulations on the pregnancy, and chosing a home birth. I was born at home, all my brothers and sisters were born at home, and my daughter was born at home, delivered by the same doctor that delivered me! I am a nurse and worked in a hospital when I was pregnant, have since started working in home health care, and when I told people that I was having my baby at home, they did think I was crazy, but I'm used to it, as the second of five children, all of whom were born at home, I've dealt with this for my whole life. I've seen hospital births, and I've seen and experienced home births, and from what I've seen, and heard (my sister in law had her first in a hospital, and just had her second at home) home birth is much more peaceful, and more mother centered. Plus you have the person who is delivering your baby there, in the room with you through most of the process, not coming in and out, and then the doctor sweeps in to "catch" the baby. When I was born home birth was really stylish, and it has since gone out of style, but it's making a comeback. I hope you can soon proudly tell people of your choice, because it's yours to make, not theirs. I don't scoff at people having their babies in hospitals, so hopefully people won't make you feel bad about your choice. But if they do, feel free to email me, I can listen to frustration, plus I've heard all the what ifs.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! And congrats to Paxon on getting a little brother or sister!
With so many responses I think you have probably heard the whole range of responses. As much as I am for medication-free birthing, I heartily second the one mom who said to not make how happy you are with (the end of) your pregnancy totally dependent upon how the birth happens. There are so many things that can happen...do the best you can with what you have :-)
More than 75% of women can safely birth their babies without any doctor's intervention. Please make sure to interview your midwives (yes, more than one needs to be present at the birth.) Present them with hypothetical scenarios to learn what they would do in case you're in the other 25% that needs medical attention. A few moms have given you some of their situations that happened - use those.
[I say "birthed" not "delivered" because my babies and I don't need to be rescued from each other - Birthing is a miraculously natural event.]
I birthed both of my babies at home in water. My dd was born after 48.5 hrs of labor - something that would never have happened in a hospital setting. My water broke on its own while I was pushing. She didn't breathe for the first 2mins after birth, but my midwives took care of it. My ds was born with only 16 hrs of labor. Some say this is long - it's just right for me. It allows me time to adjust emotionally :-)
Both births were attended by 2 certified Lay Midwives and 1 Apprentice. The apprentice at my dd's birth was the main midwife at ds's birth :-)
Two books I'd recommend:
Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Childbirth
Birthing From Within

HTH and if you have any questions about what I've written, please don't hesitate to email and ask.
I love talking and sharing about all things birth or nursing related!

mama to Catherine (4yrs) and Samuel (14mos)
wife to Chris (much older)

We just had our baby last week at home and absolutely LOVED it! It was the best experience I've ever had. We had our first in a hospital and this birth (our second) was so much more relaxed and wonderful! I've gotten lots of weird looks and even had resistance from our pediatrician, but none of that matters to me! I can't say enough wonderful things about home birth.

Hi K.,
I will be sending your link on to a friend of mine in TX.
She had both her home-births in OR.
She and I are both supporters of "Natural parenting".
Good to hear that there are some here in the area.
My family and I just moved to the area and I recently told that "home-births" and mid-wives were illegal and "underground" here in MO> and was completely disturbed that there are states still archaic. Now I read this and wonder if what I heard was true?? Anyway--congratulations on your birthing choice.!!! I wish you, your husband and your baby the best.

I'm wondering where you live, because there is only one doctor in the St. Louis area that attends home births. I'm guessing your midwife will be the one attending. I really would have liked to have a home birth but didn't because I wasn't sure how to go about it. I did use the Bradley method though. Good luck, from another natural mother.

I think it's great that you are birthing this way. My mom had three at home with a midwife and loved it

Hi K.,
I'm so glad you are going the way of home birth. I had both my children at home. Charleigh is 26 and Brendan is 22.I wouldnt change any thing about their births It was a wonderful expierence that I will always look back on with love and profound thankfuness. My husband was so helpful and totally provided great back support during the birth(I had bad back labor)also the toilet helped the delivery as the seat encouraged the hips spreading.
Don't get worried about babies being late the more stress you are feeling the more they want to stay in that nice warm ,safe enviroment. I sounds like you have covered all the bases and have a good back-up plan. If you have any questions write me any time ____@____.com The very cool thing about home birth is no matter where you go, you always have the bed they were born in. I will keep mine forever. Home birth ROCKS good luck and Gods' gentle graces fall on you and your family.

Hey K.,

My sister-in-law in ND had 4 home births! go to www.godurbin.com and chat with Patty about her experinces! She would LOVE sharing!!!! She had the last 2 born in a blow up pool/water shaped like a bed in her living room.


Never gone through it but saw Business of Being Born recently, and it changed me forever! Good for you!

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