With so many hospitals and birth centers in the Kansas City area, why are so many families choosing to give birth at home?
Well, just like there's no "one size fits all" for parenting, birthing choices are also varied. And we are lucky to live in an area where, not only is home birth legal, but we have so many midwives to choose from! Let me break down some of the reasons why home-birthers choose this route.
1. More autonomy.
We all like to be in control to some degree when it comes to our birth. When you give birth in a hospital, you still have a lot of options, but there are the hospital's policies to navigate. Unless you have a doula to help you through that, knowing your options is harder and limited. In the home birth environment, it is a LOT more hands off! You don't have to be on those limiting, scratchy monitors; your midwife will use a doppler intermittently instead. You don't have to have cervical checks to be admitted, because, well, admitted where?? We watch YOU, not the clock. You get the point. Home birth puts more of the control into your hands.
2. More relaxed environment
In the famous words of comedian, Jim Gaffagan in his routine about his wife's home births "I didn't want to put on pants!" But seriously, what is worse than driving to the hospital when you are in labor? Not a lot of things. You are in the comfort of your home, you don't have to deal with bright lights, you really really don't have to put on pants!
3. They want older children to bear witness of the miracle of birth.
Now, I realize that this part isn't for everyone, but for some families, this is a key motivating factor. This is a definite, hard "no" for hospital births too, so if you are wanting to have your children around you while their sibling is born, home birth is a great option!
4. They can sleep in their own bed that same night.
You really don't know the magic of this reality until you've had to sleep in a hospital bed, your partner has had to sleep on the World's Most Uncomfortable Couch and you have nurses in and out of your room around the clock whether you are sleeping or not. During the first 24 hours of life, your baby will be the sleepiest that will be for awhile - you should be allowed to sleep and in your own bed!
5. The special bond they have with their midwife.
Birth is an intimate time. The people in your circle should be people you trust and have built a relationship with! That's why, as your midwife, we spend more time with you and make ourselves available to your concerns and questions. Once you've gone through your prenatal care, had your baby and your 4th Trimester, I promise that you will have a friend in your midwife!
6. Two words: Water birth.
Except for New Birth Company, your only option for a water birth in Kansas City is your own home. Hydrotherapy is a great tool for pain management, but giving birth in water is also beneficial to avoid tearing, makes position changes easier, provides a layer of privacy, and makes relaxation easier.
7. More care during your Fourth Trimester
When you have a hospital birth, you are there for 24-48 hours, depending on how your birth went, time, policies etc. And that's all until your 6 week appointment! No home visits, nobody checking in on you to make sure breastfeeding is going well, nobody to ask newborn care questions unless you have worked that out with a mom friend or doula - you're on your own. But with midwifery care - especially Dreaming Tree Women's care - you have all that and more! You aren't just sent out on your own to figure it out without a support network. We believe you deserve better than that.
8. Less likely to have distractions to cause labor to stall out.
I'm not going to say that your labor will never stall out if you have a home birth, but the distractions that arise to cause it are much lower. As we know, oxytocin is the driving force behind contractions. Dim lights, feeling safe, feeling calm and being able to not go anywhere are key in a smooth, continuous labor. Home birth delivers!
There are many more reasons that families would choose a home birth over a hospital birth, but these are the more common reasons. Did you have a home birth? What was your reason?
Do any of these reasons resonate with you and make you consider the home birth route?