Why a home birth is right for me...and why its okay it isn't for you.

A common question I get asked now that I am pregnant again is, 'so where are you having your baby.'  A pretty standard question that, I'm sure, pregnant women all around the world hear and have to answer all the time! The not so standard part - my response and their reaction.

When met with the answer 'oh we're having a home birth' people seem to, almost recoil and you can see the confusion on their faces as they reply with 'oh. wow. great...why would you do that?' So rather than answer each person individually here is my answer:

Because I want to.

And that is pretty much it, that is all you need to know.

Home births, especially now-a-days, seem to be surrounded with confusion and certain ideas about the type of mother that then makes you. I have had a few people genuinely say 'but isn't that for hippy people?' 

What?! Why does the fact that women want to feel comfortable, in their own surroundings, with their own things, mean that they must be 'hippy?' And even if women do identify as 'hippy' does that mean that they must automatically want a home birth? No. Every woman is different and every woman's decision to give birth at home is the culmination of lots of research and thinking about their options, that lead them to the conclusion that home birth is right for them. And if it's not right for you then that is fine to. A woman's birth preferences are as individual as the woman experiencing them and that difference should be celebrated!
So if you have a daughter, auntie, partner, niece etc wanting a home birth instead of asking 'why' ask 'why not' and maybe talk to her about her decision. You'll be surprised how much it will mean to her and how refreshing it will be for her to talk to someone about it who accepts her decision, and wants to know more about what led her to her decision.

Women can chose home births for many different reasons such as because of a previously bad or traumatic hospital birth that didn't go how they wanted. Some chose a home birth for the aspect of control it can give women, especially if their previous birth left them feeling out of control. Some women chose a home birth because it is important to them and their experience, to have more people present than are allowed in hospital (this played a part in my decision to have a home birth also.) But some women, such as myself, chose a home birth because they don't like the over medicalised feeling of a hospital and would rather be at home surrounded by their possessions and feeling much more relaxed and would like to actively avoid as much medical intervention as possible. 

Last week I attended my first home birth group (if you are interested in a home birth I am sure you could find a home birth group near where you live) and just being in the same room as a group of women who  have either had a home birth or are planning a home birth, be it their first or fifth, is such a great feeling. To know that women have the same worries (because even though you chose it that doesn't mean that you don't get anxious about home births, just as you would if you gave birth in hospital) or have been through similar previous experiences and have still had a successful home birth, really helps. They were able to answer any questions that I had and to really out my mind at ease about some of the points I was more unsure about.

This time, I am so looking forward to being in a safe, familiar environment, with people surrounding me that I really want there, and this time, in a birthing pool! Unlike my first birth, there is actually a part of me that is looking forward to giving birth and I believe it is because I am so in control of where I give birth, who is there and the use of the pool, that it makes me feel much more relaxed about the experience I will have.

If you have any question about home birthing or what led  me to make this decision or even what your options are please feel free to leave a comment below! Or if you have had a home birth, I would love to hear about your decision and your experiences!!



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