A.W. asks from Woodridge, IL on April 27, 2009
Home Birth Pros and Cons
I'm committed to a natural delivery. I always thought I'd deliver in a hospital but recently watched The Business of Being Born and it really changed my view of home births. How messy is it really?
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone that responded, I really appreciate the honesty. I've decided to stay at the hospital but with midwives and the Bradley Method to help me along with little (if any) intervention. The most important thing for me has been finding the right caregivers to support my decisions. If all goes well I may think about a homebirth with my next baby. Have a great weekend everyone!
L.A. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
You can have a natural birth at the hospital. I had my first, and my twins, natural with no pain meds, and only some pitocin to get the labor going. I had planned to get a epidural with the twins just in case one of both had to be born c-section, but it worked out that by the time I was ready for one it was to late. I delivered at Central DuPage.
K. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
Birth is pretty messy. Then again, I've always been told that any midwife worth her salt will help with the cleanup :) I had a great natural VBAC in a hospital instead of at home (I felt medically that I wanted to be in the hospital just in case, plus in my case there was a 2-year-old in the picture). It certainly can be done if you choose the right care provider and a hospital that is generally supportive of this. For example, West Suburban has the Alternative Birthing Center, where midwives attend births.
M.P. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
I had a natural birth in West Sub's ABC room with Julie Marks, CNM. I wanted a homebirth but my husband wasn't comfortable with it so this was a great compromise. If I ever had another though, I would do it at home. It wasn't too messy although I delivered in a tub so I guess most of the mess went down the drain. :) You would probably have a midwife and I assume they do the clean up just as they would in the hospital. I didn't tear at all so I guess there was probably less blood then there would have been with a tear. I was at my nephew's birth 12 days ago and she tore and needed stitches and it was pretty messy and bloody. I'm not sure I would have wanted that mess in my house! But overall, I've never heard of anyone having a bad experience at home. I feel like I practically had a homebirth since I labored at home til the end anyway. As long as the baby isn't breech, you don't have preeclampsia, are full term, etc it should be no problem doing it at home with absolutely no more risk than in a hospital.
J.K. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
It's not bad at all. I had both of mine at home. This is what you do - make your bed and then, put a shower curtain or vinyl sheet on top. Then, make your bed again with some cheap dollar store sheets. Buy a package or two of underpads and cover your bed with them. We also got some carpet saver from Menards and covered about 2 feet out from the bed because after the first birth, there was some mess on the floor (I never made it into the bed and gave birth standing next to it). All the garbage was taken care of. I never saw any mess with my second birth. Feel free to ask me any questions.
Here are some other suggestions that I gave someone else:
For postpartum ice packs, saturate sanitary pads, wring them out so they aren't dripping, put a few drops of tea tree oil in the center and then shape into a curve. Put individually into freezer. Once frozen, pile them up into a zip lock bag. After birth, wear depends pullup style underwear and slip in an "ice pack". It feels really nice on tender nether-regions.
Have a slow cooker ready to go for warming wash clothes for hot compresses. If you have back labor, you are gonna want them! If you do have back labor, any time you have a contraction, have someone push kind of hard on the small of your back with a hot compress, it makes all the difference!
If you have an acupuncturist, see if they will come to the house when you are in labor. There are acupuncture points that stimulate birth and endorphins. It really helps.
Make sure you have lots of protein and OJ in the house. Homefirst likes you to have eggs and a large glass of OJ after the birth to replenish your sugars and protein.
L.B. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
Both of my kids were born at home and there was next to no mess that wasn't easily caught by underpads or the tub. Both were relatively quick births and for the first I labored mostly in the tub and then birthed on the bed, for the second I never made it into the bath because things went so quickly and birthed on the bed again.
We bought a bunch of cheap plastic or plastic-backed tablecloths at the dollar store to put down under the sheets and on the floor in case i was wandering back and forth a lot, but my water didn't break till late in the labors for both kids so i was never leaking or anything during labor and we only ended up using one on the bed just in case.
Any towels that were used went into the wash almost immediately (husband, midwife or doula did that, I'm not entirely sure since I was busy with the baby!) and nothing stained at all. The time I did use the tub, I think the doula drained and cleaned it out for us (we have a big jetted tub, so we didn't use a rented aquadoula or anything like that).
If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a note directly. Best of luck making your decision!
S.S. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2009
I just had a natural birth at Prentice. It can be done!