Bringing a child into the world is one of the most awesome and incredible things a woman will ever do. It will change her forever, this growing life inside of her dependent on her from conception on wards. Most women will want to have a positive and momentous delivery. They will want it to be as painless and easy as possible for themselves and baby.
In most low risk pregnancies this can be accomplished by having the birth naturally done, and even at home. A lot of women can consider having a home birth, especially if they have had a low risk pregnancy. This would mean that they would most likely not have any side effects, and they can remain comfortable at home while bringing in their little bundle of joy to the world. This is not an easy decision for many women. Even those that want a home birth and have had low risk pregnancies, are often worried that it will not work out and that they and baby will be in danger. That is not the case. The majority of the time everything will work out well.
Above all a woman should never be forced to give birth in either a hospital or home setting if she is not comfortable. But if she wants a home birth, other than severe complications with hers and baby’s health, nothing is stopping her from accomplishing this. The only thing is that she needs to decide what is best for her and her baby, as well as to be prepared for anything good or bad that may arise. The more prepared she is the better off she and baby will be. So on that note here are 15 Steps For A Home Birth That Too Many Women Are Not Following.
15 Research It First
It is really important to have all the information one can find out about home birth so that a woman is prepared to see if, number 1, this is really for her and her family, and number 2, what she would like her home birth to look like. A home birth will most likely go really well for a woman who is having an uncomplicated pregnancy, however she still needs to think through other things to decide if she wants to follow this through to the end. It’s unlikely that she won't find a certified nurse-midwife to attend to her birth in the home.
Most of these certified midwives are taught that birth could many times end up needing interventions in the hospital. She would need to be comfortable having what is called a direct-entry midwife tend to her in the house. She should also look for a candidate with lots of experience. Questions to ask would be how many births she has attended, how many she was in charge of and how many she had to transfer to the hospital. It’s important the midwife has attended at least 100 births and was the primary birth attendant. She also should work with an assistant.
14 Back To School
It’s important that she gets an idea of what a home birth looks like. Watching some videos and documentaries on the subject will help her see what is out there and available for her to make a choice for her and her family. There are special documentaries geared for single births, twin births, water births, breech births, unassisted births, birthing while standing up, etc.
Attending prenatal classes and birthing classes in person will give her an idea of home birth and what takes place, and perhaps, if she has a friend who is having a home birth who is comfortable with the woman attending she can sit in, at a bit of a distance, of course, to get an idea if this is something she feels is for her and her family. She will either love it, hate it, or be slightly uncomfortable with some things while enjoying others. It will be up to her to decide at that point whether home birth is the right choice for her.
13 Get A Team Together
It’s important to assemble one’s team well in advance of the big day. And who does this include? Well, for starters it would be one’s midwife and her assistant followed by the woman’s partner who would still be an active player in helping her manage pain and discomfort. Make sure the midwife and her assistant have adequate certification and credentials so that you are comfortable.
Other important questions to ask are who the midwife’s assistant is as well as their certification, who is the doctor she works with in case a hospital transfer is required, as well as preparing Dad-to-be for the whole home birth experience by taking classes together, watching videos together and asking him to express any fears or reservations up front so that these issues could be resolved. Other people on the team could be older children who may be present and need to understand and know what is going on in advance.
12 Stock Up The House
There are many things needed to get ready for a home birth for it all to go successfully. Yes, the woman needs to be comfortable on a nice bed in a room where she feels at ease. That’s just the start. After that she will basically need most of the following: disposable water pads, maternity pads, water bottle, baby hats, large underwear, measuring tape, sponges, gloves, straws, rubbing alcohol, plastic cord clamp that is sterile, scissors that are sterile, lip balm, olive or coconut oil, a plastic sheet, music, essential oils, candles.
These are just basic things. If she needs or wants other things, she can discuss that with her midwife practitioner and the assistant, and together they could complete the list with anything they feel is missing. The important thing is that she feels her list is complete, and then she can truly relax and enjoy one of the most incredible experiences of her life - giving birth.
11 Plan For Emergencies
This is super important. Even if she is having a low risk pregnancy and is a suitable candidate for a home birth, things can still go wrong and she may need to be transferred to a hospital for hers and her baby’s safety. If this is the case, it is mandatory she has a backup emergency plan so in the case of something going wrong, at least the next step is clear. A good emergency plan would be asking the following questions: 1) Who is her midwife’s physician backup? 2) Where is the nearest emergency room? 3) Is her midwife active, or can she be active, at hospitals and which ones if she can? 4) What kind of emergency equipment does her midwife carry if any? 5) What reasons might she be transferred to the hospital for?
The woman has to remember that she will not be transferred for every emergency. However, if there are situations such as a long labor, little progress and exhaustion, dehydration, fever, or desire for pain medication the woman may be transported to a local hospital. There the midwife may have a relationships with an OBGYN and be able to work under him/her to continue the woman’s care. Otherwise, the woman would be transferred to the doctor and her care under his/her control.
10 Prepare The Home
Preparing one’s home for a home birth is also important. The steps to take would be to first of all make sure the woman feels safe, cozy, and comfortable giving birth in her home. She would need to choose the biggest room in her home to give birth in. The room should be spacious and near a bathroom. She should make sure the house is cleaned, and that everything that would come into contact with her and baby would be in plastic bags to remain dust and debris free.
Meals should be cooked in advance and frozen, and bags packed in case of an emergency room visit. Also having a full tank of gas is a good idea just in case. Have a plastic cover or sheet for bed as well as coverings for the furniture and make sure calm and relaxing music is available to listen to while you're birthing.
9 Get Dad Ready
This is a toughie as home birth is often harder on Dads-to-be than Moms. For women, childbirth is a natural thing and many are comfortable with the idea of it happening at home. Men do not necessarily feel that way. For them, they are often a lot more nervous. It is important that they watch videos with their partners about the process. It is also important to involve partners in the preparation steps for childbirth and on even attending in person classes together, looking at pictures and short videos, so that their partners can feel more a part of the process.
There are great documentaries out there to help partners of birthing Moms get more comfortable with the idea, such as “Business of Being Born.” The important thing is to talk and have an honest discussion about feelings, mixed emotions, and fears. With time, questions will be answered and both parties will hopefully be on the same page.
8 If You Already Have Other Kids
Having children present at one’s home birth truly depends on the woman. If she does want her older child to witness a birth though, a home birth is by far the best one to witness. She should involve her child in the birth preparations. They need to come to her prenatal appointments. This way the child would meet the midwife, see how they handle their Mom and be more comfortable with a lot of the process already. Taking the child with her to buy birth supplies also helps to show them what is necessary to have on hand for the birth.
It is a good idea however, for the woman to arrange for a babysitter to come and stay with the child for her labor and birth. The labor could be long and this sitter, that would best be a family member or other close individual, would feed the child, take him or her to the park, play with and read to him or her so the process does not seem that long to them. The woman needs to prepare herself for lots of questions. Mom-to-be has to honest in answering questions about the anatomy of the body and if she can show the child pictures of their birth.
7 Physically Get Ready
The best way to prepare physically for a home birth is to be fit and in good shape. This does not mean she needs to be an athlete in training, but just common sense techniques like eating well, drinking enough water as well as getting regular light exercise. Another thing to remember is to practice sitting on the birthing ball and doing exercises with it prior to labor.
Trying different exercises with the birthing ball, finding the right size birthing ball for her, and what birthing ball exercises she can do after she has given birth are things she needs to consider beforehand. It’s important she is comfortable with low aerobic activities both before and after so she can get into good shape, and later stay in good shape after baby is born when it is tempting to let it all go. She will find lot of tips in many of these videos to help herself.
6 What About A Water Birth?
Now this is something truly amazing. A water home birth is just that, baby being born in the water at home. This is not something new. Women have been giving birth in water for centuries. It is often easier on babies and a less traumatic entry into the world. After all, they have been living for nine months in their mother’s womb in water, so this is a natural transition out into the world.
Women like giving birth in water as it is easier to handle contractions, pain and any labor discomfort. It is also calming and reduces the stress in the room when there is a pool of water there. Her blood pressure lowers, and she feels less stress, too. It has also been shown to reduce instances of perennial tearing, and overall just makes many people feel more comfortable. Most women also experience less chances at being medicated for pain, and it is less shocking a birth experience for the baby.
5 Plan Who Will Attend Birth
Finally, a woman must decide who will be attending her birth. Will it simply be her and her partner and the midwife? Would she like children or other family members to be present? She must also consider the fact that if she moves to a hospital she will be transferred to a doctor’s care and other specialists may be involved as well. These could all, in theory, be present at the birth.
A woman needs to also decide how close she is to a hospital, what sitter she will use for her child in case she is dropping them off while in labor, and remember the woman makes the rules on how will be attending the birth. She and her partner could discuss this and come to a solution that makes them both feel happy and calm. She could also see how other women have done home births and compare and see if she wants to experience the same thing.
4 She Still Needs Tests Done
A woman could have lab work which is standard throughout pregnancy, done in a doctor’s office as per her midwife’s recommendations. Her insurance would cover it. The tests (other than standard ones), would only be done if the midwife felt they were necessary. Though money is the last thing we tend to think about when having a baby, it is best to have all the particulars ironed out in advance so that then she could concentrate on the most important part of the home birth, having a baby.
Depending on what the midwife finds in routine tests, this would determine what future tests to send the woman for. She need not worry. They know what they are doing. And only if there is a real problem, would opting out be an option. The tests would be the standard blood tests where a woman’s inner body is examined and dissected to the utmost to make sure she is doing alright as is baby. No chances will be taken if there are any discrepancies.
3 Plan For Insurance
It is important to also make sure she has insurance to help cover the birth if possible. Not all companies do this, but it is important to try. Most will cover any costs in the $1500-$3000 range, but it really depends on the woman and her circumstances. In many cases she can get a lot of the expenses covered. She just needs to be honest about what she needs beforehand, then call the company to ask them about what they will reimburse.
At that point, she at least has an idea of what she will need to put aside for the child . The sooner she gets this settled the better. This means she can then focus her attention and effort on all the rest of the baby preparations and what she needs to do to get ready for the little mini version of herself or her partner. This is, after all, what all this is about.
2 Understand The Risks
It is so important that despite the fact that most home births go well, there are always the chances of things going wrong. She needs to go into the home birth experience feeling positive, strong and ready. But she has to be aware that there is risk involved physically to her and baby, and that her birth plan may have to change, just like it would in a hospital setting.
According to a study in the journal “Obstetrics and Gynecology,” the risk of death of newborns delivered at home is twice that of babies in hospitals. Also, even with an emergency plan for a hospital trip, a woman could lose valuable time in transit. Home birthing Moms were also more likely to have postpartum hemorrhage and a very long labor. She also needs to make sure her midwife has the latest credentials and the experience necessary for as safe a birth as possible.
1 Take It As It Comes
This is the most important lesson. If she is not pacing herself, whether in baby preparations, sleep, diet, and later when the little bun is out of the oven, she will miss out on all the incredible baby moments like when the baby kicks for the first time, she sees them on the ultrasound and any other time when she becomes aware that, wow, I am carrying the next generation here in my very own belly!
She also needs to be at peace with herself whichever way the birth goes. In the end all that matters is that she delivered a healthy baby and that she and baby are healing together and will begin to teach each other amazing things. A mother does not have to deliver a certain way to be a mother. She is a mother instantly when that child is born caring for her little ones. It is time she and her partner enjoy the moment when they meet their baby for the first time.
Now that she has a list of 15 Step by Steps For A Home Birth, she has some of the important basics to have as successful a home birth as possible. The only thing left to do is enjoy the experience and the new little life she has helped bring into the world.