Thursday, August 29, 2013

What you need for homebirth to be safe.

I have come to see pregnancy and birth as a beautiful and natural time. I have seen that when in the familiar and calm setting birth deserves, it can be not just rewarding and memorable, but bonding, and as a general rule, safe.  Honestly, the more interventions from caregivers, and thus the more unnatural you get, the higher the risks are. Sometimes people or their caregivers suspect they are (or actually are) high risk, and it justifies a few of the interventions, but in most cases, the intervention may be the cause of you being high risk in the first place! Those rare cases of actual high risk are: 

  1.  usually preventable with a good diet, and safe habits and/or practices.
  2. usually genetic or unavoidable if they are't fixed with diet and good habits. (Knowing about the rare chances of real problems, and worrying about them happening though, is more likely to cause the problem.)
There are some things that might show a readiness for a homebirth besides having a good diet, smart lifestyle choices and good genes though. 

Those being your thought process:
  • If you are constantly amazed with nature and all it's workings, trusting in the natural processes of it.
  •  If you know that the body is perfectly capable of birth, as the human body has always been.
  •  If you know that supporting a natural process means helping the body through and listening to your symptoms, not just symptom controlling with drugs.
  •  If you trust YOUR body and your baby's to do what it needs to do to birth. . .
  • A belief that your health is your responsibility. Of course, if you go far down that path, you may end up doing an "unassisted" homebirth. . . but that's getting into my next post. 

To be responsible for your own and your babies health it takes much research though, and I would highly recommend not just anyone jumping into homebirth, and certainly not lightly. . .as you will need to become an advocate, and you will likely make some enemies for your stance. So if you are up for the challenge for the good health of you and your baby you will need to do a lot of reading and have conviction and confidence in your choice. And lest you are concerned if it is legal, thankfully there is no way that the homebirth can be considered illegal or get the parent in trouble in any state. . . as it is not a preventable thing. That said, if you choose to have a certified Professional Midwife (CPM) or a Certified nurse Midwife (CNM) assisting you in some States, it can mean trouble for them if they are caught practicing without a state license. (Which they cannot get!)

Even when they are certified in legal states, they are held accountable to a board of Doctors for everything they do, and are likely to get in trouble for the least little thing that goes wrong, whether or not the family has a problem with it or blames her. The CPM and CNM's in legal states are supposedly protected from jail time, but are put through just as much stress from the scrutiny of the board from all I have heard. It's a bunch of red tape that has caused some (like myself) to not pursue the certification or license and instead call themselves a Doula or if they are brave, a direct entry, traditional or lay Midwife and hope they can get homebirth clients by word of mouth. Like I have found with massage therapy, certification doesn't equal skill. You either have what it takes, or you don't, and no amount of training can give you what it takes to be good. 

If you want more info on the numerous aspects of homebirth, the following are good resources that many people have found helpful. (Especially for convincing family members of the safety of homebirth): 

Articles & Links:
 Is Homebirth For You? 

Homebirth Safety and Benefits

But What If...? - Questions Commonly Asked of Homebirth-ers by Kim Wildner - Great list of questions and answers written by a homebirth mom.

  British Medical Journal study

For men only: - This list is a place for husband's and partners to safely discuss their concerns, fears, experiences and joys concerning the births of their children.
The 7 Secrets of Being A Home Birth Dad By Ven Batista - a lovely mini-essay.
Happy Father of Home Born Babies - This is designed to be a forum for fathers who have homebirthed their children or for fathers who are contemplating the homebirth experience. 


Immaculate Deception
 by Suzanne Arms
Special Delivery by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Birth at Home by Sheila Kitzinger
The Cultural Warping of Childbirth by Doris Haire
The Home Birth Book by Charlotte and Fred Ward
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer
Birth Reborn by Michael Odent
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities by Henci Goer
Pushed by Jennifer Block
Guide to childbirth by Ina May
Your best birth:know all your options, discover the natural choices and take back the birth experience. By Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
Childbirth without fear by Dr. Grantly Dick Read
Gentle birth choices by Barbara Harper
Baby catcher: chronicles of a modern Midwife. By Peggy Vincent.
Birthing from Within. By Pan Egland and Rob Horowitz
Natural childbirth the Bradley way. By Susan McCutcheon