Thinking of a Homebirth

Updated on May 02, 2007
E.M. asks from West Chicago, IL
18 answers

Our first baby was breech, and that's the only reason I had to have a c-section. I REALLY hope I don't ever have to go through that again. Not that I didn't recover well, I just have since done a lot of reading about how the body is designed, and c-section just isn't the optimal way for a baby to come into the world. Thanks so much for all the responses. I was able to get in touch with a midwife in the area who I was looking forward to using-- til she let me know she's moving next year!
And now I'm 11 wks pregnant, wondering what to do now. Should I go see a normal doctor and then switch to a midwife once I find one? I feel like I at least need to get bloodwork done.

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answers from Chicago on


I recently had a homebirth with Homefirst. Please e-mail off this list so we can talk about it.



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answers from Chicago on

I don't mean to be negative, but the last person I knew who used Homefirst had massive problems during the delivery such that she was rushed, by ambulance, to the nearest hospital (which wasn't a particularly good one) where she eventually had the baby. The baby in return suffered developmental delays and has received OT and PT since she was 8 months old due to the complications. The child is now 4 and is doing better, though continues to have motor problems.

Yes, these complications can happen to anyone, albiet at home or in a hospital. However, just one case like this would make me choose not to have a homebirth, ever.

I had un-planned c-section. It's not a cake walk--I know that. However, what about trying a VBAC in a hospital or birthing center with a midwife and access to an MD instead? Why go all to the other end of the spectrum with a homebirth?

I hope my opinions did not offend you and there are thousands of women who have had successful homebirths--but since you've already had a c-section, I would think you wouldn't be as "ideal" of a candidate for homebirth.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

I wanted to add this: I understand that a c-section isn't the way nature intended it, but in the end, isn't it about the health of the baby? No matter how the baby enters the world, their safety and health should be the priority :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

I am planning a homebirth with my next (third) child after two hospital births. In fact, evidence points out that homebirth is no more risky than hospital birth for low risk women. I am a nurse, and after seeing the mistakes, interference, and unnecessary procedures I would never give birth in a hospital again.

As for your ceserean section, you had a section for baby's position. You are no more likely than any other woman to need a section again. You are more likely than a woman without a uterine scar to experience a uterine rupture, but that risk is still about .4%. Not highly likely. Women with unscarrred uteri also have uterine ruptures, just at a lower rate. Staying away from induction, pitocin, and prostaglandins (i.e. staying away from the hospital)can lower that risk.

The midwifery practice A Woman's Place ( does homebirths, though I am not sure about VBAC. If you check the ACNM site ( you can do a search of providers by area and place of practice. If you would consider it, The Farm in Tennessee ( has a birth center where women who aren't "allowed" to give birth normally where they live often travel to stay and give birth. They also do vaginal breech deliveries and with outcomes much better than any hospital.

We go to Homefirst for our primary care, although I have not birthed with them since we just moved here. I prefer a female care provider, also.

Best wishes to you. Please PM me with anything I can help with.

Wanted to edit to add that there are no birth centers in Illinois so that is not an option (they are illegal). Also, for those who say that the safest way for the baby is the goal- c-sections are not always safe for baby or for mom. There is a much higher risk of respiratory distress, infection, low blood sugar, neonatal seizures, breastfeeding difficulties, hysterectomy for moms, etc. It is foolish to think that c-sections are safe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Every birth is truely what you make of it. I hate to say it but I don't think any midwife or doula would do it. You've had a c-section. Doesn't matter why, you still had one. You have an incredible high risk of an successful VBAC though! I just don't think it's wise to do it at home! It's only like 1% chance of problem but why risk it?? I had natural, epidural, c-section and VBAC. Yes, four kids! LOL And I love all my kids the same and would not change anything. They got into this world safe and healthy. One thing, don't let any ob/gyn talk you into another c-section "just because you had one before" though!! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have 2 boys (3 and 18 months). Both were breach, so both were c-sectioned. I had a midwife for the first and loved it...wanted to have one for the second, but it was my understanding that I couldn't because I was then considered slightly higher risk having had a c-section. So I had a doctor group for the second and since the second was breach too, the decision was pretty much made for me to have another c-section. I don't think homebirth is an option for you having had a c-section. I'm pretty sure it has to be a VERY low risk situation for you to be a candidate. I'm pretty sure you need to use a doctor at a hospital. Plus, I'd feel a lot safer that way....if there were some kind of emergency, the hosital is set up to handle it quickly without needing to transport you there. Although c-section is not the "all natural" way, I think it is a great ability to make delivery safer when it would otherwise be real risky. End result we all want is a healthy baby and healthy mom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I know this is a very touchy subject but here is goes... I dont think a midwife is better than a doctor and I dont think a doctor is better than a midwife. It depends on the person. I live in Dekalb but for the first 6 months we drove to lutheran general in Park Ridge. I hated this place. everytime I had an appointment I saw a different doctor. when they did the screening tests the spina bifida came back positive. They called me and left me a message telling me the test came back +!!!! so I started looking for a new doc. Then I found Dr Rao in Geneva. She is so amazing!!!! She is caring, respectful, a little overly cautious, but thats not always a bad thing. So just go with your gut. Dont just go with a midwife because its trendy. Delnor is a great hospital!!!! it was like being in a hotel. and thinking hospitals are dirty!!!! come on. when was the last time you vacuumed your bed?? hospitals are sterilized, I am going to be a labor and delivery nurse. and you are at more of a risk for having another c section depending on the cut, if it is horizontal or vertical. some doctors and midwifes just feel more comfortable being in a hospital or doing a nother c section. have a birthing plan, find a doc who agrees with you and just remember sometimes a c section is better. I know everyone says vaginal is better and some women can be pretty mean when they find out you have a c section( I had a vaginal delivery, but I have seen this before) but safety is first. I hope this was helpful sorry it is so long. but I would reallt love to talk to you some more!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have attended home births as a doula and love them, and Homefirst is good. If you really want a home birth, I would do it. They are great and I love being a doula at those.

S. Bailey CLD



answers from Chicago on

The only reason I would say to REALLY consider not is because you DID have a cesarean. The chances of you having a cesarean again are high. Not to say you can't have a VBAC but I think it puts you in a riskier category. Why not have a midwife and deliver at a hospital? I am totally for homebirths and for midwifery but I had a cesarean and I would never consider having a homebirth after having a cesarean. I suppose if you live 5 min or less from a hospital than your safety and the baby's would be covered. I just re-read your post and you didn't really ask for opinions on whether you should or not but as a woman who had a cesarean I would be really cautious. You have a lot more to consider here since you did have one.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,

i had a homebirth with my second baby, and i LOVED it. It was the most amazing experience, and I can't reccomend it highly enough.
I had a midwife, and a fantastic doula, hired a birthing pool. It was great. Being at home, in your own environmentis so great,you feel like you arein charge, it is your home, your labour, and you are on noone elses time but your own. As for the VBAC aspect, Many women have a safe vaginal delivery after a c-section, and your midwife or doctor will have experience with this, and won't doaything to put you at risk. It is in their best interest to make sure you have a safe delivery.
I believe that home is the most natural place to deliver a baby.Labor and birth is not a medical emergency.
I could answer any questions you have, feel free to contact me any time. I have the birth on camera, if you would like to see it...or is that a wierd offer??
Hope this helps,



answers from Chicago on

Good for you!

I really recommend getting in touch with Jewel Maeda (a woman's place). Great homebirth midwives.

Also join ICAN and you will find a lot of support as well as good resources.

There are a lot of homebirthers out there.

You are right-- C-section isn't the optimal way for a baby to come out but sometimes it's necessary. There is a lot of research out there showing that many times vaginal breech is a better option than c-section.

For the woman who thought homebirthers were brave.... I think you are brave to risk someone sticking a needle in your back, putting dangerous drugs in you and your baby and risking infection and problems at a filthy dirty hospital. Hospitals are filled with sick people-- not a great evironment for a baby or a mama!



answers from Chicago on

There are many, many women on that board who have had home births, in all different circumstances and from all walks of life.

I've been hearing some questionable things about Homefirst and they just recently had a multi-million dollar lawsuit against them, which made their rates skyrocket.

If you're interested, I can post to my online doula group and try to find a midwife who does home births... I know they are out there, but it might not necessarily be a CNM.

aspiring IBCLC



answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't had a homebirth but I know others who have and really loved the experience. I am considering it thru Homefirst for my next pregnancy. If you are interested, I am co-leader of a moms group, The Holistic Moms Network of NW Suburbs of Chicago. We meet this Tuesday, May 1st at 6:30pm. It is a group for moms and anyone else who is interested in learning more about holistic living. Some of our topics include breastfeeding, natural childbirth, green living, organics, and much else. Feel free to check it out. Email me at or check out the website Good luck with your decision.

J. Q.



answers from Chicago on

I had a wonderful homebirth with my third child with Dr. Elvove and one of his nurses. His office is in Libertyville, and he is also on staff in Highland Park hospital. I delivered in Highwood at home and it was the easiest and fastest of all births! I f you want more details let me know.

P.S. I also know of a great midwife that does homebirths, named Sara Simmons. I know quite a few people that have delivered at home with her. I was considering it, but at the time we lived closer to Dr. Elvove. Now we're in Evanston. Sara is in Chicago.



answers from Chicago on

Just wanted to offer my support. I don't know of any midwives other than the ones mentioned, but I wanted to disagree with one of the posters who said once a c-section, always a c-section. That is NOT TRUE!!! 60-80% of women who attempt a VBAC are successful. You CAN do this, and I am sure that you will do your research. Look up ICAN for info on doctors or midwives who will be supportive.

I am pregnant and due in November and am hoping and planning for a VBAC. One of the biggest things is believing you can do it! Check out the Finding your Tribe section on and see if anyone there knows of midwives who will do homebirths after C-section. Hugs to you!



answers from Chicago on

Please disregard some of the inacurrate infor posted. In case you're not sure you can double check on your research however midwives are far more effective and have been around waay longer than physicians and their training is way more in tune with the woman's body, needs, and the child's entrance to this world. The reason for it becoming more a "trend" as someone put it is because it has always been around, however women are way more informed these days and they like being empowered to have their experience "right" and that their body should be treated properly, unlike the barbaric ways women sometimes used to be treated and dealt with in other cultures and in America until recently. On a personal note, go for your idea. If you need to talk or if you need leads with midwives who birth at home drop a line and I'd be happy to get the info for you. Way to go for making an awesome choice for you and your future child. I only wish I could birth at home but unfortunaately I've had some health issues so I need to be monitored more closely with IV's and all. But I am all for the midwife thing. Mine was with one and the rest intend to be too. They are so great. Compared to all my friends with doctors at their births and labors thank G-d my experience was in another league all together in term of EVERYTHING. Even with many complications the midwife was way more on the ball. Good luck and keep up the great choices!



answers from Chicago on

I am a huge fan of homebirth. And Homefirst docs and midwives are AMAZING! I would strongly recommend them. Despite what some have said on here, statistically midwives ARE safer for a healthy normal pregnancy. Do the research, be informed and you'll be able to easily decide what's best for you.

I'd also encourage you to visit (join the yahoo group too) we have our monthly community meeting tomorrow on the topic of Midwives and Doulas which would be greatly informative for you. (Feel free to email off group if you'd like - itsybitsyyoga at



answers from Chicago on

If you really consider having a home birth, you are truly the bravest woman I have ever heard of! Give me a hospital and some drugs! Sorry I didn't have advise, but I felt the need to put my comment in. I wish you all the luck in the world which ever your decision!



answers from Chicago on

Dear E.,
I have had the exact same experience as you - first baby breech and I never want to repeat it again - it completely shattered my plan of having a drug-free birth experience. I have also considered homebirth for my second when the time comes, but I'm just not sure... for me, I would just hate for anything to happen even though the risks are low. Of course, we all have our own comfort levels. I have done a bit of research and my current plan is to VBAC with the Midwives at UIC - they have the highest VBAC rate in the City of Chicago, so I figure if anyone will make it work it will be them.

I know the forums at Mothering (mothering_dotcommune) has a section on HBAC (homebirth after C-section) - I'd read up on it and see what the other people think. Chances are that everything will turn out great. Just be sure you have an intelligent backup plan. Good luck!

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