Many couples today are choosing to birth their babies at home. They are looking for more personalized care and don’t want a lot of intervention. It’s becoming increasingly popular despite people believing it’s only for hippies and people who hate doctors. Couples like that they don’t have to comply with the hospital policies and are free to do pretty much what they want.
However, a home birth can turn out to be anything but what you pictured. It’s often messy, leaving someone to clean up the blood, placenta, amniotic fluid, and more. If you have other children, it’s possible they will see you at your worst. You could be going through transition, naked in the pool, and yelling expletives at their father, while they stand open-mouthed in the doorway. Some people think it’s a good idea to invite other members of the family too. I’m sure that’s just what your father-in-law has always wanted to see – his son’s wife naked in the tub, spread eagle for all to see. It’s probably an image he will never be able to erase from his mind.
Healthy babies are always the goal at the end of a pregnancy. Home births can often give you that, but the actual experience may not be exactly what you were hoping for. Read on for fifteen more scary visuals that may convince you why home birth may not be for you.
15 Large Audience
You may expect a home birth to be calm and peaceful. With candles burning and soft music playing, you cannot imagine a more perfect birthing situation. You think because you are in the relaxing environment of your home, you should invite family members and close friends to witness the miracle that is about to take place. You picture everyone offering support as you calmly deliver your baby into the world.
What is likely to happen, is you end up screaming your head off during a contraction or cuss your husband out for getting you into this situation. The friends and family you invited are all sitting around watching like it’s a live movie, or they are looking away awkwardly wishing they never accepted your invitation. Take our advice, and only invite the people you truly want to be a part of the experience, and those who can deal with the mood changes and not judge you for them.
14 Clean Up
You may think it’s only fair that your partner should have some unpleasant task to do in return for you pushing out a human being from one of your smallest openings. However, do you really think he’ll agree to the fairness of the trade?
Cleaning up after a home birth likely means wiping up blood, and picking up towels, sheets, and chux pads soiled with blood and who knows what else. There may even be the embarrassing fecal matter that escaped your body during the pushing phase.
If your husband is left to complete this most unpleasant task, hopefully he is disciplined enough not to make a big deal about everything you left behind for him to clean up. The last thing you want to hear after the tiring job of producing new life is someone complaining about it. You might want to just set some ground rules about what happens after the birth as well as during it.
13 Bloody Water
Laboring while sitting in a tub is said to help with the pain of the contractions. We can see how that could happen – who doesn’t like to relax in a warm tub with candles lit, and music playing? This picture, however, doesn’t exactly leave you yearning for a tub though, does it?
Have you ever thought about what a home birth in a tub would really be like? You could be sitting in bloody water with other pieces of the amniotic fluid floating around in it. And what if you accidentally pass something other than vaginal fluids? Like poop?
Seeing a woman sitting in a tub full of blood water makes me want to run. To the nearest hospital, that is. Give me a clean, sterile room over a bloody, dirty bathing tub at home any day. Not even the music and candles can disguise the uncleanliness of this photo.
12 ER Trip
Even if you have your entire delivery planned, we all know things can happen to disrupt it. We all know what happens to even the best laid plans.
Possibly the hardest pill to swallow for some home birthing mamas is the possibility of an unexpected trip to the hospital. We, of course, will do anything we must do ensure a healthy baby, but the disappointing feeling of the delivery not going our way is real.
It’s devastating to go through all the planning of delivering at home just to have it ripped away in an instant. You find the perfect midwife and spend months meeting with her. You have you loved ones there supporting you, the room all ready to give birth in, and soft music playing in the background. The last think you expect is for something to go wrong and listening to your husband make a call to 911.
11 Buckets Of Blood
You decide on a home birth, and plan on delivering your baby in the birthing tub. You imagine the warm water soothing away the ache of your contractions while your husband rubs your back and offers words of encouragement.
Many women have successful home births every day, and have nothing but good things to say about their experiences. However, do they share the aftermath of their births as well?
Chances are, it will be your husband who has to empty the birthing tub. It’s possible that he’ll end up emptying it by the buckets full. There are many husbands who will be unable to do this task without gagging during it. In fact, if you are set on a water birth at home, you might want to refrain from showing our husband this photo. He might veto the idea before you can convince him of all the positives of a home birth.
10 Dirty Water
I bet this father is just thrilled about sitting in a bloody tub. It might be overshadowed by the birth of his child at first, but he will soon realize the water has changed from clean and clear to deep red. He’ll most likely want to jump in the shower as soon as he can.
Sitting in your own dirty water is one thing, but sitting in someone else’s is completely different. No matter what the circumstances are. You would probably see him jump right up if someone were to mention the blood, pieces of placenta, and possible feces floating around him.
Having a baby is a miracle, but it’s not a clean and spotless miracle. It’s hard work to deliver a baby, and the aftermath of it can resemble a war zone. Fortunately, you have this sweet new being to hopefully remind you that it was all worth it.
One of the advantages of giving birth in a hospital setting, is someone else must deal with the disposal of the placenta. The mother doesn’t even have to lay eyes on it if that is what she wishes.
During a home birth, the placenta disposal is your own responsibility. You may be lucky enough to have a midwife who can get rid of it for you, but you better have a backup plan just in case.
Many people like to keep the placenta. Some plant it in the garden or along with a new tree. Others encapsulate it. This involves steaming, dehydrating, and grinding the placenta into a powder before putting it in a capsule. They then swallow it to help with postpartum depression, and increase energy and milk supply. Some women choose to eat their placenta. It actually means “cake” in Latin. It is said to give new moms a burst of energy, and many moms claim to have very positive physical reactions to eating it. Not to mention all the important nutrients they will be ingesting.
8 Messy House
We’ve all had days and nights where life was just too overwhelming to properly clean the house. Maybe the kids were sick, you had to work extra hours, or you were just too exhausted being pregnant to pick up the dishes. You may fall asleep on the sofa while the leftover food is sticking to the dinner plates left on the table.
The only thing worse than someone stopping by unexpectedly and seeing the mess, is going into labor and having your family and midwife show up. They not only see the mess, but they must work around it. Most people will probably pick it up for you, but you want them to witness the miracle of birth; not to clean your house.
It also doesn’t seem very sanitary to bring a perfect new baby into a dirty and cluttered environment. You are supposed to be focusing on a relaxing complicated-free birth and not stressing about the condition of your home.
7 Family Tub
I have to admit that this photo turns my stomach a little bit. Did they think that this was a good place to take their first family photo with the baby? The water is bloody and disgusting. I can’t believe the new mom wants to stay in it, let alone bring her husband and older child in with her. It has to be traumatizing for that child. I think each person will need to take another bath after the photo. Although this time it should be alone in clean water. Preferably a shower so the bloody water can wash right off of them.
If this is what a home birth looks like, give me a hospital birth any day. I would rather have my first family photo on the hospital bed, clothed in a clean hospital gown, with no signs of the delivery in sight except for my sweet new baby.
6 Kiddie Pool
If you are planning on a having water birth at home, you might find it difficult to line up a birthing tub. Hopefully your midwife will take care of the details, but the task of finding a tub is often left to the mothers to be. Birthing tubs can be expensive and in short supply, so many women opt for purchasing a kiddie pool instead.
Maybe it’s fitting to give birth in a tub that has pictures of children’s characters or silly animal pictures all over it. It doesn’t seem as relaxing as a birthing tub should be. I’d prefer a sterile blue color for my birthing pool.
What happens to the pool afterwards? Do you toss it, or clean it up for the kids to use when the weather gets warm? My vote is for the trash can. I’m not sure how clean the average person can get a tub that has been full of blood and other bodily fluids.
5 Photo Shoot
If you choose to have a photo shoot immediately after your baby is born, you might want to clean up a little bit. I’m not sure there are many people who want to see a photo like this one. In fact, most people will probably look the other way. I’m not quite sure what good the towel on her lap is for, since both mom and baby seems to be full of blood and spreading it all over.
A photo like this one might just scare women away from getting pregnant. At the very least, it will scare them away from delivering their babies at home. Take the time to clean your baby and yourself up before posing for a photo shoot.
4 Children Participation
Is a home birth really the perfect opportunity for you to teach your young children about the reproductive system? I would imagine it could scar a young child for life seeing his mother lying on the couch, with a bloody mess coming out of her body. The poor kids probably think their mother is dying, and blame the child that was just born for causing the damage.
There are some things that are better left unseen until a child is older and can process what has just taken place. Their minds are not mature enough to separate the joy and goodness of the miracle that has just happened with what actually looks like a murder scene. If you do decide on a home birth, it might be wise to wait until the placenta has been delivered, and all has been cleaned up before inviting the youngsters in for a look.
3 Screams Of Joy?
It’s hard to tell if the woman holding the baby in this photo is screaming words of joy, or if she’s screaming “why the heck am I not in a hospital?” The woman behind her looks to be possibly her mother or midwife, and she seems to be generally happy. But then again, it wasn’t he who pushed out an infant while kneeling on the floor. Now the poor mother has to stand up with everything running out of her and get cleaned up.
I always find it interesting that many women who choose to have a home birth, end up pushing their baby out while naked. In the hospital, the new moms are usually covered by a hospital gown. It’s so much easier to take off a soiled gown and donning a clean one than to have to jump in the shower immediately after the birth. After an exhausting labor, the last thing a lot of moms want to do is get out of bed.
2 Baby Emergency
There has to be no worse feeling in the world than to see your newborn being shipped off in an ambulance. It doesn’t matter how much you plan and prepare, you can never truly be ready for an emergency in a home birth. Before you decide on a home birth, you better be prepared with a backup plan in case something doesn’t go as planned.
There’s a good chance that if your newborn does have to be taken to the hospital because of complications, you may not be able to go with her. You may still be at a point in your delivery that the placenta needs to pass yet, or you might even need to be stitched up. Your midwife will make sure you are fit enough to travel to the hospital. In the meantime, have a plan with your husband on who will ride along in the ambulance with your baby in case the situation arises.
1 The Aftermath
A huge advantage to having your baby in a hospital setting is that someone else has to clean up the mess. The only thing you need to worry about is getting through labor, pushing the baby out, and bonding as soon as he is placed on your chest. Someone else deals with the amniotic fluid that is all over the floor and bed, the blood that passes with the baby, disposing of the placenta, and even wiping you down. These are all things you must think about when planning your home birth.
You will need to decide who will take care of the messes. Does your midwife handle it all, or do you need to draw straws to see who comes up with the short one? Luckily, since you are the one doing all the hard work, the messy clean up falls on someone else’s shoulders. And as long as it gets done, you probably don’t care who ends up doing it.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Baby Center, What To Expect, American Pregnancy