Today is my Girly’s 1st Birthday! As any Mama, this day brings my mind back to place she was born. In our case, that means her bedroom. We planned a home birth, with medical support from a professional midwifery clinic.
We had a successful hospital birth with our BigGuy, and full health insurance. So, our decision wasn’t necessarily a monetary one, but it did save us a whole lot of cash. All costs were fully covered by our health insurance, including the birth tub and birth kit bought online. I certainly don’t advocate for considering a home birth based on finances alone, but it is a safe alternative to hospitalization. Here’s an interesting article from Fit Pregnancy about Better births, lower costs.
I was inspired by the eye-opening documentary “The Business of Being Born.”
I had considered myself to be fairly well educated, but this film made me realize just how the obstetrics industry has been stripping mothers of our right to birth naturally. Statistically, only 1 in 100 American babies are born at home. Yet, 1 in 4 American babies now come by Cesarean surgery and the majority of mothers/babies are sedated by drugs at birth. I feel very lucky that my first hospital birth had minimal interventions and no drugs. Not everyone is so fortunate.
Before I go any further, I want to say that hospitals are amazing places for high risk pregnancies, where moms and babies need medical support. In an emergency, I would not have hesitated being transferred and fully appreciate modern medicine.
My top 10 reasons for having a home birth:
- Safe – with prenatal care, contingency plans, and professional home birth equipment
- Sustainable – minimal carbon footprint
- Inexpensive – even with insurance, our first birth cost a few thousand dollars
- Comfortable – the comforts of home, even if birth isn’t
- Family-friendly – our son announced that she was a girl; our closest family was there
- Thoughtful – professional midwives prepare clients with extensive knowledge
- Playful – music and water helps relax and energize between contractions
- Empowering – you make healthy decisions to benefit you and your baby
- Free High – you may not get drugs at home, but the birth “high” is incredible
- Home healing – being at home to heal with postnatal visits for baby and mom
If you or someone you know is considering home birth, I’d like to offer up these resources:
- Ina Mays Guide To Childbirth is an essential read for home and hospital births
- Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife is as intriguing as it is hilarious, written by the first midwife with hospital privileges in the early 80’s
- Welcome with Love is a children’s book sharing the story of a family’s home birth
- My Best Birth is a new film coming April 2010 with lots of inspiring birth stories
- Vivante Midwifery was very professional and has tons of info on their FAQ page
My last two cents on the subject: birth is a natural process that has been going on since our beginning; having faith in this mysterious process has helped us endure and succeed. Plus, home is where the heart is, where families grow, and dreams are born.
Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.