5 Reasons Why Families Choose Home Birth
Ray Rachlin, Certified Professional Midwife and Owner of Refuge Midwifery, explains why families are choosing home births now more than ever.
Home birth is becoming more popular, and some folks right here in Philadelphia are deciding to give birth in their own beds.
Pregnant people choose home birth for a variety of reasons, such as personalized, empowering care and minimal interventions. Despite the growing trend of home birth, it’s an option that’s often misunderstood.
For example, you might be wondering if your body is strong enough to give birth without medication or an epidural. (Spoiler alert: It is!) Or maybe you have questions about the safety of home birth. Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered.
Here are five reasons why families choose home birth with me at Refuge Midwifery.
1. You are in control of your body.
Contractions can feel different for each birthing parent, and the sensations you felt during a previous labor may be unlike what you experience during a subsequent labor.
When you have a home birth, you decide how to cope with contractions. You choose your position, whether that’s lying down, squatting, getting on hands and knees, or sitting on the toilet. You are free to move around, walk, or dance.
You also decide when to push. Pushing will be at your pace and, again, in whatever position you prefer.
2. You are safe.
Most births are low risk, and Certified Professional Midwives are the experts in normal physiological birth. During your birth, I regularly listen to your baby’s heartbeat and check your vitals to make sure both you and baby are coping well. I carry oxygen, IV fluids, and medications to control postpartum bleeding. I am also able to suture if needed (another pro of home birth – we have much lower rates of perineal tearing!) and administer routine medications to your newborn.
As you get closer to birthing your baby, I will call a second certified midwife, so you have two sets of trained hands available.
Part of my training is handling routine complications at home, and also identifying when a birthing parent needs to transfer to a hospital before there’s an emergency. Most home births that transfer to the hospital do so for non-urgent needs, like a long labor process where the birthing person is tired, and pitocin or an epidural is the next right step for supporting a vaginal birth.
3. You can have a water birth.
Many birthing parents find relief from laboring in water. The warmth and weightlessness can help you cope with pain and relax. Some people find it so comforting that they even fall asleep between contractions!
Research has shown that laboring in the water can reduce anxiety, lead to better fetal positioning in the pelvis, and help the cervix to dilate more rapidly, shortening the first stage of labor.
If you want to give birth in water, the only way this is an option is with home birth. Hospitals and birth centers allow laboring in the water, but they require you to get out of the tub for the birth.
4. You are in the comfort of your home.
With a home birth, you are able to labor, birth, and even receive postpartum care in the security of your own space.
You can hang up affirmation cards that remind you of the positivity and strength you need during labor and birth. You can create a cozy, dim environment or decorate with strands of twinkle lights. You can eat and drink whatever you choose, whenever you’d like.
As a home birth midwife, I will work around your needs. I tailor my care to you, whether that’s verbal and physical support or being a quiet, calm presence in the corner until it’s time for your baby’s birth.
5. You know who attends your birth.
When you plan a home birth, you will have a relationship with a known provider, thanks to months of prenatal care with your midwife.
I respect your desire to know who will be at your birth. During pregnancy, you will have the chance to meet your entire birth team, including a second midwife who will assist at your birth.
You can invite anyone you’d like to your labor and birth. This might include a doula, your partner, older siblings, and other family members or friends. I value the presence of loved ones who bring positivity into your birthing space. I can also offer advice for setting boundaries when you prefer privacy.
Are you ready to learn more about home birth with Refuge Midwifery? Schedule a free consultation!