Anyone's family against the idea of homebirthing?

Gretchen - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My insurance isn't going to cover much of the pregnancy/birth, unless I switch and then it's still quite expensive. All for nothing I think because women are designed to have babies and know how to do it. I've had one in the hospital and ended up with an epidural because I thought I'd get a break before having to push and get to sleep (i was so tired from laboring for 2-ish days..and the thought of a 3 hour nap sounded awesome, especially since I knew sleep wouldn't come easily once she was born)... but alas, no such luck, she wanted OUT.

For my 2nd, I want a natural, un-medicated birth and have a Hypnobirthing book and know someone who's done it and am set on a natural birth, and DH is on board. However, MIL is an RN and I bet she'd FREAK if I wanted to just save money and not do the hospital thing, just do it at home with a doula and/or midwife.. or a birthing center (if we have one around here..), and I called my mom to see what she'd think and she flipped out too, saying there's so much that can go wrong and it's best in the hospital (she had 2 sets of twins and had complications a LOT with the 2nd set's deliveries).

And I kinda want an ultrasound half way through the pregnancy.

Soooo.. ? ANyone else deal with this and keep the peace?

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Rachel - posted on 08/03/2010

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I recommend having your friends and family watch the documentary "The Business of Being Born" - that got my husband on board for our home birth. Also, check out the forums on www.mybestbirth.com for some great article links about the safety of home birth versus hospital births that you can direct your friends and family to read. Finally, I liked sharing great home birth stories with my friends and family to help them realize that birth is NORMAL and everything is more likely to be okay at home in most circumstances. One of my favorite websites for birth stories is http://bringbirthhome.com/

My in-laws thought we were nuts for wanting a home birth. But, we did our research and shared some of the information we found. Ultimately, we expressed that it was our decision and we felt it was the right thing for us to do. They couldn't argue with the facts we were presenting!

I hope that helps!

Mason - posted on 06/14/2010

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We have frightened extended families all the time and usually it's just a matter of not being educated. So you have a wonderful opportunity to share what you've learned!

Some tips:
-Invite them to be a part of your prenatal care with your midwife. She's experienced at communicating with frightened families.
-Share books and videos, my favorites are :Giving Birth:Choices and Challenges" a film by Suzanne Arms and "Birth Day" by pediatrician Mark Sloan.
-Suggest that hospital birth carries its own set of risks and benefits; immediate c-sec (usually) VS. increased infection risk for example. And home has the disadvantage of not having an immed csec available (which is incredibly rarely needed) but your midwife likely will carry all the same medications used in hospital to treat hemorrhage.
-Call them after the birth :)

Hope this helps!

Mason, midwife

Katrina - posted on 02/05/2010

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Don't tell them. It's hard to get mad after the fact! Confide in supportive friends instead.

[deleted account]

Yes. In our case, my father was throwing fits left right and center. We had an amazing midwife who promoted non-medical birthing and who guided us all through the way. We had perennial massage classes, went on a raw diet from 36 weeks, we got prepped on any possibility and accordingly had to do a birth plan.

My midwife did extensive classes with us and explained that in any emergency, they still have to prep the operating room and that will take no less than 45 minutes which is what it would take you to get to hospital in most cases anyway. She had a woman who was crowning once and just hit a barrier and after an hour of not getting further along, she went into hospital and only when her mother arrived did the mental issue lapse and was she able to finish the birth.

Our little girl was born on the 25th of February 2009, from the start a little mediator. The morning I went into labour, I had bleeding. Unfortunately this is one of the things that you look out for and have to go into hospital in for (along with a prolapsed cord and fresh miconium).

Anyway, we went in, had a hospital birth. Also a brilliant doctor who knew my midwife and only saw me twice before the birth. He just stood of to one side and said he'd get in if he was needed. In the end our girl was land-birthed, no drugs, no tearing, no stitches, in the squatting position. The doctor said in the end we could've birthed safely at home.

What I want to say is, do what is right for you and your baby. And always remember that sometimes baby will chose their own way and you have to make peace with that as well. Our little girl chose a midway to appease the family in the end. But don't ever let anyone dissuade you. Just nod and agree (don't go into arguing, it is useless) and plan it your way. As long as you have partner that supports you and you KNOW this in your heart to be best for baby and yourself, you are following the way that was meant to be.

Good luck.

Frances - posted on 01/21/2010

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I had four natural births using the Bradley method. See if you can find the book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. The Bradley method works great. Before you get that ultrasound, research the links on the web about ultrasound and autism. I avoided ultrasound during pregnancy, with my first I was 33 weeks along before the doctor heard the heartbeat! Did you know that a planned homebirth is statistically safer than a hospital birth?

[deleted account]

If you read mothering magazine you will see that a planned homebirth is actually safer then a hospital birth. My family was very much against it but we did it anyway with no regerets. I told them this is how it was going to be and I didn't want to hear anything about it. When they tried to push me the other way I ended the conversation. Most complications are caused by hospital interventions. I really recomend reading the book by Henci Goer I believe. I can't quite think of the title but it will tell you the pros and cons of all interventions. Just curious why do you want an ultrasound? They are less and less accurate the further along you are.

Kristina - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have to agree with some of the previous comments, I am fortunate to live in Canada. I had both my children via natural childbirth in the hospital with the assistance of a midwife(like many Canadian women) and I would never go with a doctor EVER. If we do decide to have a third it will be a home water birth with the assistance of a midwife
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If there are no complications in the pregnancy I won't even recommend my friends go see a doctor. I don't know about in the states but here doctors are cold, rude, callous, uncaring and rush you through everything. Midwives will take the time to explain everything to you, ask you what you would like, answer your questions and give you useful information.

Ultimately it is your body and your decision, and if people try to pressure you into going with a doctor, hospital and drugs tell them it's not their child and you are old enough to decide what is best for you.

Jayna - posted on 10/23/2009

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Go for a homebirth but please get a midwife and not just a doula. In the end, this is your birth! Not someone else's. Just please research as much as you can now and dont make a decision based on economics alone. You can still have an OB for ultra sound and then switch to the midwife for the end result. Make your birth everything you want it to be, all it takes is planning! =)

Terri - posted on 07/21/2009

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Yea i have been there too. Wirh my first 4 being in a hospital.1 ) c-section due to meds they gave me2) delivered in my dress 3) had dinner dr. broke my water we had a baby 5 min later 4)checked in at 8:50 am had baby at 9:20 am went home at 6:30 pm . Then 12 years later ened up with a surprise pregnancy and my husband and i decided to have a midwife and have the baby at home. It was worth the flak i got. everyone either thought i was stupid or irresonsible but it was the best. just remember they are your memories about you and your family that you are building .so make choices for you and the rest will have to accept it and if the y dont thats ok too. bithing a baby is a personal choice. Just make sure you are aware of all th epros as well as cons. inother words make an educated choice.as for an ultra sound checkaround and sometimes a midwife will work with a person that runs a mobile ultr sound business.

Jillian - posted on 07/20/2009

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I chose to have my daughter in the hospital but i can see the appeal of birthing at home and the money that saves. If you research it thouroughly trust your midwife or doula it could be a positive experience. Unfortunately if there are any complications it could be harful to your baby. SO important things to think about 1 have you had easy births before? 2 How far are you from the hospital in case of complications and 3 do you believe you could safely deliver at home??? Good luck

[deleted account]

I just realized how lucky we are in Canada to have the health care that we do. I had both of my children with a midwife but the first naturally in the hospital, and then we had Ayla in March at home. Having a home birth was the best experience that I have ever had. I was so much more relaxed before and after and you truely get the chance to bond immediately without anyone interferring. If you want and need help then you have it but if you want to be left alone you have that as well. When you choose to go the midwife route then you have to know that if anything is going to go wrong they usually know before hand and then you must go to the hospital. They also are very quick to call for backup if anything starts to go wrong while in labour.

I would totally recommed a homebirth / natural birth to everyone.

Tamara - posted on 06/05/2009

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Well, it's your body, your baby, and your decison. I def can relate to dealing with in-laws who are very outspoken and think they are always right when we know they are NOT. I also know the majority of people think babies should be born in hospitals, but there are soooo many reasons why you should have a homebirth. Do what you think is right for you and design YOUR birth plan. Then MAKE SURE your husband or partner is going to fully support you and I do mean fully. Get it signed or something, tell people in advance your plans, and make sure everything is done your way. Remember, it's all about you, the baby, and your own family. Don't feel pressured to listen to others just to keep the peace. Tell them to get eduated about homebirths and remind them that it's the natural way to have a baby plus many of us have done it multiple times. If the baby is healthy and you are healthy, I would say everything will go just fine, but this is just my opinion.



I have had two COMPLETELY natural, unmedicated homebirths. With the first baby, I almost had the baby all by myself with my husband in the living room. Our midwife didn't think I was in true labor and she was out of town...nice, huh? Anyway, she eventually called another midwife to "check" on me, but I was on my last push and out the baby came within minutes of her arrival. In the end, I couldn't have been happier doing everything my way! It was perfect and I actually loved the substitute midwife whereas I really didn't even like my original midwife. This all took place in SC.



My second baby was also born at home - this time when we lived in MI - with another midwife I was iffy with, but I couldn't find one I loved like the substitute in SC. However, everything went fine and the midwife was there for the last maybe hour of the birth. I would never have wanted to have either baby in the hospital where even more can go wrong and you have zero control.



Obviously you posted this months ago and I'm hoping you have been able to make the decison that is right for YOU! Best wishes and be sure to update everyone on your story.

User - posted on 05/28/2009

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Hi girls I've just been reading through this with my mouth wide open half the time. I'm and Australian and I can't believe half your states don't allow midwives to attend home births. I must say it isn't exactly a "normal" choice here but I'm in a fairly small town and we have two regestered midwives who do homebirths and also a birthcentre. I was in a hospital with my first and they were alright but not happy about me wanting a natural birth but the doctor wouldn't come in the room until I gave the ok because I did need some intervention. It still wasn't the best situation but with a doula present I think it kept them all in check as well as my very comprohensive birth plan. I'm undersided on next time but I'm not pregnant yet, it will either be at the birth center or at home. Good luck with your home birth, and keep fighting that thing they call your health care system. Women are stronger then anyone thinks, and if we all stopped encouraging massive intervention during birth there would be alot less pressure on all our healthcare systems.

Daryl - posted on 05/27/2009

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if money is your #1 concern, i'd say switch insurance companies and go to the hospital. However, if you want the homebirth for other reasons (i.e., gentle birth, no/limited intervention, less stress) than I would recommend finding a midwife that will do a homebirth. For my first daughter I delivered her at the birthing center and my experience was wonderful. I'm due with our son in September and we're planning a homebirth this time. My family's freaking but I've told them its not open for discussion, that I've done my homework and my mind is made up.
Also, you can get a sonogram during your pregnancy without having an ob and a hospital birth. Most midwives give you a choice if you want it.

Samantha - posted on 05/14/2009

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I am from Arizona originally, but then moved to North Carolina where Duke is the name of the game. When I found out I was pregnant my fiance and I decided to move to Ontario, Canada where he is from to have and raise our baby. It is very common to have midwives up here, and lots of them are at home. I was a bit weary of the idea of using a midwife. I had pictured my birth in a hospital with an epidural and all of that. But since I was not a Canadian citizen and the health care up here did not cover me, midwives were my only option, if we didn't want to pay and arm and a leg to have our son. If you use a midwife in Ontario as long as you have an adress it is covered by the government, citizen or not. We decided to go with it, and try them out. As the birth neared, I decided to have a home birth, in a tub. The midwives were fantastic. This was my first child and I would never go to a hospital after the experience I had. My mother was a bit weary of the process I had chosen. But She drove up the night Avery was born and got to meet the midwives, and was thoroughly impressed. In the 2 weeks following his birth they came to me, so I didnt even have to leave the house. My home water birth was a truly amazing experience. I didnt have the time to enroll in any classes about learning about water births or even for my breathing for that matter, and everything went so smoothly.

Elisi - posted on 05/11/2009

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I am a mama to one for now and I tried to have her at home. My mom had my two brothers and I all at home so home birthing was never a totally alien idea to me. When I got pregnant I planned to go to the hospital, but planned to do a natural birth. After watching "The business of being born" and then having a close friend go through exactally what they explained could happen with a hospital birth, my husband and I decided to look into finding a midwife who would help us with a home birth. His parents were very very skeptical, but we just explained what we wanted and made the choice that it didn't really matter what they wanted because it was our birth and we needed to be comfortable with it, not them. If you do choose to go that route, hopefully your friends and family will be supportive, but I think what is most important is that you are confident in your decision. It is your body and your birth and you should be able to stand up for what you want and need. Good luck.

Victoria - posted on 03/13/2009

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I had my first in the hospital where I almost died due to the complications I had with misoprositl  induction.  My second and third were born at home in a birth pool attended by a traditional midwife - not licensed, not certified, and my naturopath.  When I was researching homebirth, it was great to learn what countries have the best morbidity and mortality rates for mothers and newborns.  The US is at the very bottom.  The country with the best stats is the Netherlands and just over half of all births are midwife attended homebirths. 



When I chose homebirth, I had extended family giving me a bit of grief.  It's interesting that those well meaning family members don't seem to consider that you've done the research and are making an informed decision, not just doing what you're told.  I feel that labor is not a time to argue and fight for your rights and desires.  In my hospital birth experience, that is exactly what I did.  Fight during labor, transition etc for a good birth position, to be able to move, and such.  Home birth for me has been an experience filled with support, confidence, peace, calmness and love.  Hospital birth was an experience frought with fear, concern, let-downs, emotional pain and regret.  Just my two cents.

Ginger - posted on 03/13/2009

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I'm a bit of a special case myself, I'll be finishing the midwifery education program in ontario, canada in 2 weeks and am due with my first babe in 2 ish months... so i don't give a crap what my family thinks about our birth plans. My hubby and I are planning a home water birth. We are breastfeeding and co-sleeping, with cloth diapers and trying to be as natural as possible. I have a midwife (covered by my provincial government). And different factions of my family don't get my work or birth choices. And i have a number of clients that tell me the same thing... their families don't understand... here is the bottom line for me if the woman understands her risks and benefits and makes her choice I will support her 150%. The family will come around eventually. Any for anyone choosing homebirth, when they are low risk with appropriately trained care providers (and trained can be official university or college courses or years of experience, or both) present then homebirth is just as safe is hospital birth with fewer incidences of un-needed interventions.

Annabel - posted on 03/03/2009

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My entire family were against me having a home birth. But I ignored them all and stuck to my own plan. I told my husband that when he gives birth to a child of our he can choose where he has it. I am a nurse myself and a hospital just wasn't right for me, home was the best place. However all my local professionals kept trying to presuade me to do the usual thing. But I said I would only go in if they could give me a clear clinical reason to do so. But I was fine, my results were always fine and I presented with no adverse risks. I achieved my home birth but afterwards I was transfered to hospital as my placenta would not come out and needed to be removed in theatre. That was a good enough clinical reason. But to reassure you it is VERY rare and does not effect your future pregnancies or your right to a home birth in the future.

However my own mother found it too stress full when my placenta wouldn'tt come out. Despite everything going well, she thought I was going to die and still cries at the thought of it. I don't think she could cope with a home birth again or perhaps it would be best if she wasn't there.

Emily - posted on 02/19/2009

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Here in Utah, most (if not all) homebirth midwives are certified... but many are not licensed, by choice. There are super strict restrictions on what licensed midwifes can do, and they are much more regulated, so several choose not to license so they don't have to follow those strict regulations.. and there is no law stating that they must be licensed, so it is a choice. Also, only licensed midwives are allowed to carry things like pitocin for hemorrhage and other drugs like that.

So, basically, as a mother we have to decide what's more important to us... do we want the drugs and things "just in case"? or do we want to go with an unlicensed midwife who is a bit more lax (but still responsible) on her "risk-out" factors? For example... twins and breech births are automatic hospital transfers if you go with a licensed midwife... but many non-licensed midwifes have no problem attending those births. Personally, I would have no problem delivering a breech baby at home, especially since I've already had three fairly uncomplicated and all drug-free births. I would not want to be sent to a hospital for a routine c-section just because my baby was breech... I would prefer to attempt to birth at home first, and transfer only if necessary... and I would still want a midwife there to attend me, and share her breech experience with me.

Erin - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi everyone, I'm new to this group and am intrigued with this conversation.  I'm getting ready to finish nursing school in October and want to get a Masters in midwifery.  A certified nurse midwife has to have completed a BSN at a accredited school and then go for their midwifery license through an accredited masters program.  When interviewing midwives, make sure of their licensure and ask if they are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  If your state allows home-births with midwives it is a great option for a women in a low-risk pregnancy.  If your state doesn't allow midwives (unfortunately a lot don't) you can hire doulas or other "natural method" professionals to help be an advocate for you in the hospital setting.  I was fortunate enough to have my son with a midwife in New Mexico where midwifery is appreciated and doctors are willing work over the CNM.  The most important goal you should have is to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby.  Hope this helps.

Emily - posted on 02/18/2009

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Just a thought. I've been interviewing midwifes in preparation for our planned homebirth in September, and I've been asking everyone about backup doctors. Apparently, here in Utah, no midwives have backup doctors... there just aren't any doctors willing to work with a midwife on a regular basis. The midwives have all told me that they are familiar with the doctors that are comfortable helping transferring moms, and they will call several hospitals in the area to see who is on call before they choose where to take a mom, but they just don't have doctors who will form a real professional relationship with a homebirth midwife.

Erin - posted on 02/17/2009

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Never had a homebirth but wish I had. I am an RN in a labor and delivery ward and I see first hand all that can happen in the hopsital with women who want to go 'all natural'. In labor you are in a vulnerable state and can be easily convinced to deviate from your plan. Hospitals aren't 'vindictive' or 'mean' they just honestly think they have your best interests at heart - even some hospital based midwives. (I had one convince a mother who didn't want an epidural to get one because she (the midwife) didn't like to see someone in pain - DUH!) I have been trying REALLY hard to change their way of thinking, and I am making some headway, slowly.



But anyway, believe that your body can do this and you will be right. Women are incredibly strong, and labor isn't so bad really. (What they do to you in the hospital makes it bad). sO I say go for it!! I am in agreement with those above: 1. Acknowledge how others may feel about your choice but then explaion to them how you also feel. 2. Do lots of research and get the facts to support your claim. The Henci Goer book mentioned above is a great one. Also Marden Wagner (who is a neonatologist and advisor to the World Health Organization) has a great book out there as well. The movie Business of being born is a great and fast way to make your point in under 2 hours. 3. I also agree with knowing the laws in your state and what you can do comfortably within those laws. Even those who are advocates for homebirth will tell you it is only safe if you have a qualified professional midwife who ALSO has a reliable doctor willing to back her up should transfer to a hospital become necessary. Things can go bad fast, usually though not without warning, and the easier and faster you can transfer to the hospital the better the outcome. besides you don't want some idiot doc giving you a hard time in the ER b/c you tried to do it at home because you didn't have a doc to back up your midwife.



Just food for thought. I wish you a happy and safe birth where ever you choose to do it.

Giselle - posted on 02/05/2009

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I had my son (firstborn) at home almost a year ago with a midwife, doula and a birthing pool. It was the most amazing experience! My mom was pretty sceptical at first, but I was adamant so she had to just be there for me! Midwives are truely dedicated caregivers and can pick up on any problems pretty early should you need to get to a hospital. Don't let other people make you doubt what you were born to do!

Rebecca - posted on 02/03/2009

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Don't you just love the HypnoBirthing book? We *ARE* made to give birth! :) If you can, I highly recommend taking the classes--you get so much more information and practice on the relaxation techniques.

I think the best way to talk to family members with 'concerns' is to validate their feelings and then express your own. Like if you were to say, "You know, you're right...nothing is certain in life, but this is how I feel about it..." It can't hurt to let them know you care about their opinion...even if you don't agree and even if it doesn't change your own opinion.

Emily - posted on 01/27/2009

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Most midwives will help you schedule an ultrasound if you want one, though it would cost extra. We had our first two as drug-free hospital births, our third was a birth-center waterbirth. We wanted a homebirth, but we were living with my parents at the time, and it would not have been a good emotional environment for me to birth in. We will be planning a homebirth this time. Our insurance will cover a hospital birth (at least most of it), but not a homebirth, so we'll actually be paying more for a homebirth. I toyed with the idea of planning a hospital birth, then just not going to the hospital when the time came... but DH said he doesn't want anything to do with the hospital for a birth unless it's absolutely necessary. We're actually more freaked out by all the things that can go wrong at the hospital.

Also, I would highly recommend taking a full natural childbirth class for your next one. I personally loved HypnoBabies - http://hypnobabies.com/ but I've also heard great things about the Bradley method and Birthing From Within.

My parents are not really into the whole homebirth idea, but they recognize that I have super fast labors and may not make it to a hospital (though at the moment we live literally a block away from a hospital), so it's probably best to just plan to be home. If something does happen, our hospital isn't that far... so we could transfer easily (though probably not without a fight from me).

My only random concern this time around is if for some strange reason I'm carrying twins. I have no problem delivering full-term twins at home, but our state just outlawed midwife attended twin births... so I'd have to go unassisted (which I'm not sure I'm comfortable with at this point), or with an unlicensed midwife.

Laura - posted on 01/26/2009

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I would do as much research as you can, Educate yourself. If you are secure with your choice then I wouldnt' worry what they say. Also, have the nay sayers watch the movie, "THe Business of being born"...that should answer all their questions or at least get them to understand why you want to do a home birth.



My family didn't give me a hard time but their use to my weird/hippie ways..LOL

Rachael - posted on 01/18/2009

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To be honest its your choice and your body and I wouldn't spend crazy amounts of time trying to convince someone else (except maybe your husband if needed) about what you feel is the right choice. My mother is a midwife, and I had my daughter at a birthing center (just didnt want to be home but not at a hospital) and I even had a water birth. It was great and if I ever have more kids I will do it again. My mom has always been the "hippie" mom and the rest of my family dont agree so to be honest she, and now I just dont discuss our choices or make a big deal about them. It tends to give them more ammo to use.



 



As for midwives, Katie is right, you should check your laws but mostly they are fine. You can have ultrasounds and everything else with a midwife, I did. Many have relationships with doctors who would be on call if (God forbid) something went wrong or you decided you did want an epi. As for the cost I know many midwives will work with you if you cant cover it with insurance. You can also look at your state's insurance. I know I was on my states insurance when I was pregnant (I was still a broke college student at the time) and they even covered my midwife and birth center.



 



Good luck!

Katie - posted on 01/15/2009

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Yeah, laws vary greatly from state to state, so you'll have to find out what your options are for midwives in your area. I would think the doula would know. Best of luck!

Gretchen - posted on 01/15/2009

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Wow thank you ladies :) I'll have to look into that book. I'm not pg yet but am researching options, KNOWING I want a more natural, unintervened birth this time around :) Not that my last one was bad..

We have a doula in my area but I don't know about midwives--I've been conversing with the doula about such things too. :)

Katie - posted on 01/15/2009

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I would reccomend becoming as educated as possible on the benefits and safety of homebirth, and I would share that information with your parents. The fact is homebirth is as safe as hospital birth with much lower rate of intervention. I reccomend the book The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth by Henci Goer.



This is your baby and your birth. If you decide that homebirth is the best option for you, that's what you should choose. Your moms can choose to support you, even if they don't agree, or they can object, but either way it is YOUR birth and you need to do what is best for you and your baby. My MIL was not crazy about our homebirth, but I am so thankful that she chose to hold her tongue and be supportive. I know it must be hard when there is conflict surrounding your birthing choices.

Jill - posted on 01/15/2009

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I completely understand, my husband was into homebirth but my mom and most other people I knew were against it and completely brainwashed by the medical community into thinking that childbirth requires a hospital and medical intervention. I decided to not listen to those who were against it because even though it was my first child I knew what was best and knew that my body was designed to give birth. My mom at first said she wasn't going to be there for the birth which hurt me until I told my midwife (which I highly recommend you get) and she gae me a great piece of advice. She told me good for her, she said she had been to many births were the mother/mother in law as antihomebirth and brought a negative vibe that eventually sent the laboring mother to the hospital. So, I told my mom what my midwife said and told her I understood why she wasn't going to be there. Fortunately my mom changed her mind and was there and supported me through the experience. I too, had a very long labor 41 hours from my water breaking to delivery and did it all without drugs. My mom on the other hand hand to take Xanax :) I personally feel that your frame of mind has a huge influence on what happens. I KNEW I could do it and just powered through it! Hope that helps, if you have any more questions, send me an email!

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