How to pursue a homebirth

So you want to have a homebirth but dont know where to start? Here a guideline to push you in the right direction.

  1. Find a midwife (or three) to talk to. Ask all your questions of what it will be like and make sure you voice any big fears you have. Your midwife will be used to talking through these with clients and may have a perspective that you haven’t even considered yet.

  2. Reserve your spot! Pay your deposit for the midwife you want to work with so your spot is held. Midwives have a small number of clients they can take each month and they usually book up far in advance. If you want in, then it makes sense to work fast.

  3. Read through all your paperwork, make sure you understand the expectations your midwife has of you and what you can expect from her. Write down important dates in your calendar.

  4. Stay invested in your care. Continue to eat and drink according to your midwives guidelines. Work to be informed about your care and ask all your questions as they come up.

I hope this is helpful for all you soon-to-be-pursuing-homebirth clients out there!

Creating your birth space

You probably know that you want to have a calming and relaxed environment for your birth. This is because your cervix is really quite demanding with it’s very own timetable of how quickly it wants to dilate. So bossy! But it only want to dilate in a space that feels safe and for your cervix, you’ll do anything so let’s get started.

You can create this space in lots of different ways and simply being in your own home is an excellent place to start! Bring enough of your own things and you can set up a hospital room to be very cozy too.

I like to think though all five of the senses when preparing a birth space. Let’s start with what you will see. Here is where birth affirmations come in, the low lighting (think lamps and candles),and a clean environment. During a natural birth, your eyes will be closed at least half the time, when they are open they won’t always be focused but every once in awhile, when you are focused, it would be great if see something encouraging and beautiful before you sink in again.

Next let’s do what you smell. Here is the essential oil diffuser, attendants who don’t smell like anything (no BO people!) and bland food. Fresh fruit, cheese and nuts work well. Fresh ice water is a must (okay, well I guess this covers what you will taste too).

How about what you hear. Heres your birth playlists which could be songs or the sound of waves. Voices around you should be soft, calm and encouraging. You could have a carpet on the floor too so the sound of steps is muffled.

Finally is what you will touch. This is where water shines! In the shower, bath or a birth tub all forms of water is soothing and when immersed, the weight of your own body is lighter so you can change positions without the groans.

So when your preparing your birth space, grab an aspect for each of your five senses, make it your own and give your cervix a place to do its thang.

Is homebirth messy? 

That homebirth is messy is a common thought for individuals who haven’t seen birth or a brand new to it. There’s an idea that fluids shoot out of the mother’s body followed quickly by fluids from the newborn’s, and soon enough there is blood dripping from the ceiling! Or wait… Maybe that was my idea when I first started going to births. I think that partly had to do with my fear that went hand-in-hand with thoughts of birth. The fear that mother’s bleed too much, there’s a whole lot of screaming and that women couldn’t do it without their doctors, preferably male at that. Oh how I’ve changed!

My fear has been replaced with reverence. My work at Birth is done with compassion and in awe of the power that we as women hold to produce and sustain life straight out of our bodies! It is fantastical! Okay I might have just made that word up but it fits perfectly. Can you imagine that one body produces another. So have I seen a mother Hemorrhage and bleed too much… Yes of course. Have I seen her leave little puddles behind her as she walks across the floor, yes of course. Have I seen her water burst, spraying the area around her, yes of course! And guess what? It’s all quickly wiped up. At most we have to use hydrogen peroxide to Bubble it out of the carpets, but I’m telling you it’s like the baby came from a stork by the time we leave. It’s that clean! Except for the fact that Mom is sore and exhausted from some of the hardest work she will ever do.

Getting Partners involved in Birth

As a doula and midwifery apprentice I see a lot of dads and other partners at a birth who are standing around awkwardly, just lost, and not knowing what to do. And thats okay, I know how hard it is! I started out that way too, but now I’m deep in this process of supporting women during birth here in the Greater Cincinnati area and have learned some things. I want to prepare you, as partners to a pregnant woman, to be your very best self, one who is prepared, willing to work hard and will meet the mom right where she is.

So there are a couple things I want to talk about…

First: If you get nothing else from this post, I want you to remember that during a birth, you should be calm, grounded, peaceful and know without a shadow of a doubt that she can birth her baby. Everything else after your grounded energy comes second.

For those of you who are list people, here are the top things i think you should have under your belt.

Before the birth, its incredibly valuable if you, as the partner…

  • have met the care provider and established a relationship of trust and respect
  • are friendly, grounded and aware of others in the birth space
  • know the mothers birth plan and a little about each aspect
  • share the mothers expectations of you during the birth experience
  • have practiced different positions and ways to touch her during her labor
  • are familiar with the stages of labor
  • have 2-3 encouraging phrases that you know she will like to hear during her labor
  • know that its inappropriate to be on your phone in her line of vision during the labor
  • are able to establish boundaries around the mom if she needs a it
  • be open to having an experience too

Luckily for you… I have midwifery classes, which means I have to make client handouts, and then want to share them with all of you! So here is mine on supporting moms as partners during her labor and birth : ) PS: its a trifold in case you want to print it out. Partners at Birth.pdfbuiltforbirth-1