What's Homebirth Like?
Homebirth is a relatively foreign idea for most women. Unless you're in a circle of friends who are into having their babies at home, you might not have any idea what it's all about. So, I thought I'd write a quick note to demystify home birth in case you're a bit curious.
For the most part, the prenatal care is the same whether you use a home birth midwife or a hospital midwife or OB. Some midwives work in an office, some have an office at home, and some come to you.
Here's how the care is different. Appointments with a home birth midwife are longer than with a doctor- you can expect about 45 min. for an appointment. Things are much more "homey" and not so clinical. Home birth midwives check the same things as hospital providers: blood pressure, size of baby, your health, baby's heart, etc.
Your midwife will se you up with a birth kit to have at home for labor. You make sure to have just a few things on hand at home and she brings the rest with her.
A lot of people wonder, won't your stuff get ruined if you birth at home? No, the home doesn't look like a murder scene after a homebirth. You put a cover, like a shower curtain, over your mattress. Wherever you end up having your baby, midwife makes sure is protected well. By the time the midwife leaves, you'd never know a birth took place.
What's the actual birth like? You run the show. You get to labor how you want. You don't get poked and prodded the whole time. You can move around how you want without being hooked up to a bunch of machines. Your midwife comes to your home when you call her and she's with you through the whole labor, making sure all is going well.
How do they know all is well? They monitor baby's heart just like in the hospital. And while every labor is different, a normal labor still follows a pattern. Experienced midwives can tell when something isn't right. If that's the case and they can't handle it properly at home, the midwife makes the call to go to the hospital.
After the birth, baby doesn't get taken away for all the newborn "stuff." The midwife checks the baby right there- heart, breathing, etc. There's no rush for measuring, weighing, and bathing. You can get acquainted with your little one undisturbed.
Your midwife also checks you to make sure all is well. If you need stitches, she takes care of that, too. She takes care of you as long as you need. Homebirth midwives also take care of the follow up appointments, checking on both mom and baby to make sure everything is normal. If you want blood screening and hearing tests done on your baby, most midwives offer that too.
Hopefully that gives you a little bit of an idea of what homebirth is like. It's not such a weird thing as many think. For most ladies who have a home birth, it's an amazing experience.