When it comes to a drug-free childbirth, home is the place where you will feel the most supported in your goals. Unfortunately, people often think that a home birth is dangerous and messy. For low-risk pregnancies with a licensed midwife in attendance, a birth out of hospital is a safe option. For high-risk pregnancies or for people who desire medical pain management, home would not be their best option.
Who can have a home birth?
Home birth clients are a remarkably diverse group of people. Some are having their first baby; some are having their tenth. Some are in their 20s, and some are in their 40s. Some are deeply religious, while others do not ascribe to a certain faith. Some have a spouse; others have chosen to become parents on their own or did not chose to stay with their partner. A growing number of folks in the LGBTQIA+ community are seeking midwifery care and home birth. Many of my clients over the years have been physicians and nurses. Some clients are affluent, others struggle to make it to the next paycheck. I point this out because sometimes I hear people say they do not think they should have a baby at home if they are not having a second baby or if they aren’t under 30 years old or if they don’t fit a specific body type. The best way to know if you are a suitable candidate for out-of-hospital midwifery care is to contact the midwife to arrange a consultation. In a consultation your health history is reviewed, and your goals are discussed.
What does midwifery care look like?
As a midwife, I see my clients every four weeks until 28 weeks, then every other week until week 36, then weekly until they give birth. Each appointment is about an hour long, and I focus on education, nutrition as necessary and building relationships as well as taking vitals and assessing your baby’s position. By the time you are term, we know each other well and have established trust. Significant others, children, extended family, your doula, all are welcome to attend your visits if you wish. Lab work and ultrasounds are ordered as needed; referrals to other providers are done when necessary to facilitate co-care. It is not home birth at any cost. Plans sometimes must change, but I try my best to help you achieve your childbirth goals.
What about emergencies?
Midwives are highly skilled specialists in out-of-hospital labor, delivery and postpartum. While we do bring our hands and our herbs with us, we also bring oxygen, anti-hemorrhagic medications, antibiotics, intravenous fluids and other tools that may be needed in an emergency. We have been trained to manage post-partum hemorrhage, resuscitation of newborns, shoulder dystocia, repair of tissues and a myriad of other skills. We will not hesitate to activate emergency services if needed. We are not magic; we are skilled professionals.
What about the mess?
A straightforward birth is not very messy. Once you have had your baby in the comfort of your bed or in the water, I make sure that you have a shower and a satisfying meal in a freshly made bed. I make sure that you and baby are healthy and stable before I leave with my assistant. When I leave, I usually am having to take out one bag of trash to your trash can and have put one load of linens in your washing machine. Yes, that is typically the extent of the mess.
Interested in learning more?
Book a free consultation by visiting austinbetterbirth.com or calling 512.580.9271.