1) I want an amazing birth experience where my husband plays a key role. We both anticipate him doing more than holding my hand and cutting the cord.
2) I want complete control over who will share in this intimate experience and I can get that in my own home. Call me a control freak… but I am not comfortable with a new cast of characters coming in with each shift-change.
3) I want to be where I feel most comfortable and uninhibited. I want to be able to scream, cry, laugh, curse, puke, etc. There’s no safer space for this than my own bedroom.
4) Labor is hard work! If I get hungry or thirsty, I want to eat or drink and I don’t want to be told that I can’t. Many hospitals don’t allow food or drink during labor. I’ve done the research; this misguided practice is surgery prep, not birth prep. I believe it’s far more important that I keep up my strength throughout my labor.
5) I want my birth to progress naturally at my body’s pace, not at a pace dictated by routine protocol or an obstetrician’s schedule.
6) I want a natural and un-medicated birth. Interventions and medications carry risks for both me and my baby. Even though I’m a bit of a wimp most of the time, other comfort measures can be as effective as drugs. I don’t want anything to inhibit my ability to fully experience and participate in my labor and delivery.
7) I want to be able to move around and change positions during labor. Being confined to a bed is not my idea of a good time (although, that is how I got into this mess… thanks, 50 Shades of Grey!)
8) I want to give birth in whatever position I find most comfortable and effective. Some positions are far better than others in facilitating an easy birth. My own comfort and ease of delivery should take complete priority over a doctor’s view.
9) I am terrified of my vaginal opening being cut with a scissor! If I tear, I want to do so naturally. A small tear heals easier than an episiotomy.
10) In a low-risk pregnancy attended by an experienced practitioner a home birth is just as safe (or safer) than the alternatives, and can be a really beautiful experience!
My first birth was a hospital birth. In truth it all went very smoothly, but during that pregnancy I became fascinated by the birth process and the current state of women’s health care. I’ve read everything I could get my hands on since then. My husband and I struggled with the decision to opt for a home birth, but after even more research and interviewing several midwives we decided that this was the right path for us. We’re incredibly excited and plan to report back on our home birth experience after our baby is born in February!
Authored by: Michelle Stern