I had a home birth attended by a midwife and her team. I had done a ton of research to come to the decision that a home birth was right for me and my baby and I feel it was the perfect choice.
-More likely to have a successful natural birth if at home (has to do with relaxation and lack of interventions etc.)
-Was able to labor and birth in water which was super helpful (for pain management and to avoid any tearing, also loved the transition for the baby)
-Safer for mom and baby. This is what the research is for. I had a completely healthy pregnancy and I was considered very low risk so I was a good candidate for a home birth. I had the support of my doctor as well as my midwife. Because I could labor at my own pace, I did not need Pitocin, which I would have gotten because I did not meet the hospitals 1cm per hour standard, which Pitocin makes things more painful so most get an epi then you cant move so labor slows and doesn’t progress to the hospitals time limits, so then they order an “emergency” c-section…. I wanted to avoid unnecessary major surgery. Now, My Dr is awesome and would have let me do a lot of things my way, but I had a 32-hour labor and during transition the baby was sunny side up. I would have been hard pressed to avoid a c-section in a hospital situation. Thanks to my awesome midwife team some creating positions during contractions helped her turn. Ina Mays “guide to childbirth” is a good starting point if you feel this resonates with you.
-Comfort. At a home birth you get to eat and drink as much as you want, in fact it is encouraged for energy. Birth is a marathon, you need fuel. I could have whomever I wanted in the room at any time. My midwife only came in to check things every now and then and for the most part they try to be very hands off. The best part is when the labor is over, I got to walk two feet to my bed (cord got cut later after it stopped pulsing, when I had been laying with baby for awhile-there are benefits to this) and lay with my hubby and baby and try and nurse and snooze for an hour before they took any measurements etc. I didn’t have to go anywhere and it was awesome.
Well… the “what if” part. Thats why I did as much research as I did and had lots of talks with my midwife (they are super educated about birth, more so than a Dr… it is a rare case if a Dr has ever witnessed a natural birth without interventions). I also had a hospital plan. We had the route planned to the nearest one and besides since Midwives are so educated on the natural birth process they can most of the time spot problems ahead of time. I in the end trusted my body to do what it was created to do and had to let go of fear. I understand this is not for everyone, to have a healthy birth you have to be relaxed and comfortable and to some that is not at home.
-Pain. Childbirth is no walk in the park. The pain is there and it doesn’t stop, but its not like pain of an injury its an internal natural feeling, like cramps. It’s hard to explain. Your body has great natural coping mechanisms and releases all sorts of endorphins and adrenaline to help. It is also the most amazing experience to go through. I got to feel every second of my baby’s journey into the world and the second she was born I felt fine and energized, not to mention that love cocktail my body produced at the end which beats any drug.
What I would do differently:
I would get a doula; as much as my Husband helped me he isn’t trained in that specific kind of care. I would have loved a doula for proper counter pressure on my hips and to remind me to change positions when I got too comfortable which would have speeded things up. I had a midwife’s student who helped the most with her aroma threapy and massage, more like what a doula would do.
Yes to a natural birth again!! Since I am moving to a farm in a different county I will be needing a different midwife and the interviewing process will start all over again. It will be the best way to meet a Dr, which is ok with both a home birth and my other natural choices as a parent. Since the farm is far from a hospital I may decide on a birthing center. I will have to discuss that with a midwife.
Health: hands down the best thing you can do for your baby. Feeds the brain and the body. I was determined to breastfeed since mental illness runs in the family and good healthy fats like from breast milk can prevent it. your milk changes daily to meet the nutritional needs of your infant and has exactly what their virgin guts need. For the mother it is proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer and helps your uterus contract after birth.
*I understand that in some rare cases women don’t produce milk or are on meds so its not safe, but many women are uneducated about breastfeeding (me included) or their community doesn’t support it. I recommend finding a lactation consultant outside of the hospital for guidance.
Colostrum: That first week a milk that is basically natures superfood. Builds antibodies and strengthens the immune system. Pump some and freeze it and give it when your baby is ill. Its miracle juice.
Bonding: when breastfeeding your baby your body releases chemicals that stimulate bonding.
Calming: the best tool hands down. Use to soothe a crabby, fussy, teething, or sick baby. Or to put a baby to sleep.
IT’S FREE! and available immediatly. no warming stirring etc.
Always on call: Unless you pump like crazy (which I did not) you are always on demand. You get up for every night feeding and always wake with the baby. I love love love sleep, but had no problem waking up to nurse it’s easier than heating a bottle, you just pull the baby into bed and lay there half asleep and then they fall back asleep nursing and I just put her in the bassinet right next to me. (cant co-sleep hubbys a weird sleeper)
Pain: yes it can be painful. I have had many clogged ducts and bleeding nipples, but It was my lack of education for some of that. It was never long lasting. Our bodies adjust.
Pumping is a pain: man I hate pumping, but it’s the only way to work or have a break if you still want to give your baby all that healthy brain food. I found a hands free bra (I made from sports bra by cutting holes in it) and some good shows on Netflix before bed or at nap time works the best. Double electric pump is a must.
Hungry; you are constantly hungry because it takes so much energy from your body to make milk.
I will most defiantly breastfeed again, but this time I will know what I’m doing. I had a really hard time in the beginning and got really frustrated. I will know what to expect and know what to do when problems arise (call a LLC consultant)! I will also pump a whole lot more. Mommy needs some me time.
Finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time
With my baby I wanted to find out the sex of the baby, but I only had one ultrasound and she was hiding it from us and so it was left to be a surprise. We had our assumptions but could never be certain.
The ultimate surprise
Cost: Less spontaneous buying of cute things since I had to keep it all-neutral. If i would have known it was a girl I would have spent all my time thrifting.
Less bonding. The entire time I was pregnant it wasn’t a boy or a girl, just a baby. I feel like it took me awhile to bond to her.
Next time I want to know, as much as I love surprises, I want to bond more quickly and I know this will help mentally. I also want to sew cute little newborn diapers and clothes!
YES YES YES. I wish I had started them from the beginning. I had used 7th generation diapers for a bout a month with my newborn and after switching to cloth I would never go back.
Environmental Friendly: no mass water usage in the production of bleaching cotton and poisoning water supply, no toxic chemicals (used as the absorbent core for diapers) and no involvement in process of creating those chemicals. No landfill additions, no plastic packaging, less garbage bags, less gas etc. I made my own and will reuse them for the next child. It uses more water to create a diaper than it does to wash a load every two days. This whole water vs landfill space argument (water is the scarcest resource, we have landfill space) I hear about is phooey to me. Too many variables not included, who is making this study? You sure use a ton of water in the production of diapers and you use as much water a a potty trained adult does going to the bathroom five times a day to do a load of wash. And wash is only every other day. ok environmental stuff gets me going, sorry.
Cost: They save you thousands. Yes thousands. I read once that by the time you child is potty trained you would have spent about 3-4000 on diapers. Even without making your own you could cloth diaper for 80 bucks (prefolds and covers). Of course it can get pricier if you want fancy diapers, but not anywhere near the cost of disposables. It is even cost effective if you have to pay for laundry. I had to for a while.
Convenience: yes. It is easier! I never have to run out and get diapers, I never run out. I just throw them in every other day and walah. I am not one of those people who has my house stocked with goods for months and I would have to run out at the most inconvenient times, with baby, just to get diapers. I prefer to stay home and sip coffee and do laundry.
Smell: cloth diapers are by far less smelly than a trash can full of disposables. I have a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet and just hose it off and drop it in a bucket until laundry day.
Poo in public: I haven’t had this happen yet, but I have had baby poo at someone else’s house, I just plop off what I can and throw it in the wet bag until I get home.
Babysitter Friendly: some people are weirded out by cloth diapers, simple as that. But I find the All- In- One diapers that function just like disposables seem to be more sitter friendly. I know my hubby loves the ones with covers more for some reason, I think he likes using a snappi. 🙂
I will defiantly be cloth diapering again, especially since I wont have to buy any. But this time I am going to make some cute newborn fluff.
Baby Led Solids:
No buying baby food: I just feed my baby in proper sized bits, what ever I am eating. Which forces my family to eat healthier…so salt, low sugar, whole foods.
I can eat too!: by allowing my baby to always feed herself, I have given myself the pleasure of eating with her instead of shoveling in my meal after spoon feeding a baby who will most likely reject the food. (They wont choke-see book recommendation)
Healthier for baby: (if you offer healthy food) they will pick what their bodies need nutrition wise. They may eat eggs like crazy one week and not at all the next. It also expands their palette and creates non-picky eaters.
Works on motor skills: it allows babies to use their hands freely and explore food, along with developing muscles in the mouth, it develops hand eye coordination.
Cost: She eats what I eat, no buying extra baby food.
Great book: Gill Rapely’s “Baby Led Solids”
Eating out: not all restaurants have good healthy choices so I found myself bringing food along sometimes.
Mess: yup, its really messy, babies don’t have the fine motor skills at first to control the mess, but I have dogs. 😉
Yes I will be doing this again
All in all I will be repeating a lot of what I did with my first. The difference is this time it will be planned ;), I want know the sex ahead of time (unless it hides again), I will be a seasoned breast feeder, and I will hire a doula. I will also encapsulate my placenta because I had a hard time with post partum blues and it is proven to help regulate hormones (and god knows I cant eat it raw). TMI I know.