February 29, 2012

Big Pregnancy Decision: A Homebirth

oh. My. Goodness. Edu wants me to seriously look into a home birth! I’m so excited! He saw photos of the birthing center we were going to choose for the birth, and said it resembled a hotel (the rooms look exactly like a nice hotel room) and that it’d be better at home.
all information brought to you by Google.

·         In the 1950s, most births in the U.S. took place in hospitals. Cesareans, epidurals and heavy doses of pain meds were the norm.
·         This can (but not always) keep a woman from feeling and experiencing birth through their bodies, and the drugs have adverse effects on mom and baby.
·         A mother choosing homebirth must deeply desire to give birth at home. It can save money, but cost along is not sufficient motivation.
·         The most successful home birthers are highly committed and trust their  body’s natural ability to give birth. Devote time and energy to finding the right birth practitioner. Take care of yourself!
·         The prospect of being at home in familiar surrounding provides tremendous comfort and reassurance. Homebirth is safe with a skiller midwife.
·         Families choosing homebirth may be confronted by family members and friends who, conditioned by a society afraid of out-of-hospital births, challenge their decision, feeling it both unwise and unsafe. Showing a strong inner commitment is required to stand up for the right to birth as mom and dad choose. Showing them evidence is helpful.
·         Midwives assist homebirths.
·         A birth plan helps create the desired atmosphere. Special music, candles, individuals present, which room in the home will be the birthing room, what kind of support the mom desires, etc.
·         When labor begins, mom calls midwife
·         At homebirths, family and friends frequently join together to provide encouragement.
·         Midwife helps calm those who are present at birth. Tension in the room can slow down or stop a labor. The midwife handles this so mom and hubby can focus on the birthing process.
·         During labor the hubby and family nurtures the mom. The midwife watches for complication or signs of distress in either mom or baby. Throughout labor, the midwife asks permission to perform any procedure and explains to mom what she is doing and why
·         The birthing process is allowed to take its own course and set its own pace. The general philosophy is that any interventions (administering drugs or trying to hurry things along) cause more harm than good.
·         In the safety and security of her own home, mom can try more labor positions and locations. She can sit on a toilet or walk outside. She can eat or drink whatever she wants. She writes her own script.
·         Occasionally, complications occur during labor. The midwife is trained to recognize the early signs of complications and takes necessary action. Transporting to a hospital may be necessary. For smooth transition, some midwives have their pregnant moms pre-register at a nearby hospital.
·         The rate of cesareans is generally very low for midwives attending homebirths, compared to hospital births. Part of this reason is because most homebirths are kept low risk by good prenatal care. Midwives don’t hurry the birth, ironically speeding things up at times. The midwife and the mother build a personal relationship, this trust helps women let go and have their babies more easily.
When talking to my midwife about this, she gave me an awesome run-down of how things would go with a homebirth, step by step. It was so comforting to my mom and my husband, who were both a little nervous about the homebirth thing. Here’s what info I got:

·         All the same prenatal care is received for hospital or out-of-hospital births
·         Toward the end of pregnancy, I’d fill out out-of-hospital birth consent paperwork
o    Risks, etc, sign off it
o    Packet of supplies and where to purchase them
o    A list of things to have at home (old towels and such)
·         Call midwife with any contractions (just as we would if we were to have the baby at the birthing center or hospital)
·         One midwife will be at home during contractions, then upon pushing another will arrive to assist (another midwife or someone trained in birthing assist).
·         I would return to the center for a 2 and 4 week appt with midwives
·         Monitor baby, full newborn check upon birth, any concerns we’d go to a hospital
·         At 10 days – first pediatrician appt
·         The midwives call us day after to check on mom and baby
·         Waterbirth in standard tub isn’t do-able since baby has to be completely under water upon birth
·         Doppler checks baby’s heart throughout labor and pushing every 5 minutes or so
·         Emergencies? All depend: a very true emergency, ambulance would be called and we’d go to the nearest hospital. Non-emergency transfer in a car to hospital.
·         Vitamin K shot is done at the house

buckwheat soba noodles and cilantro, pepper, sesame dressing. oh delights to my belly!

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