I am so glad that you all had so many great questions. Now, I want to start out with this disclaimer. Homebirth is not for everyone. If you are high risk homebirth is not for you. High risk means different things to different people and midwives, so check with your midwife if you are considering this option and think you might be high risk.
Homebirth is not for everyone even if they are not high risk. It is the best choice for me and my family. Homebirth is a choice that is not to be entered into lightly. You should research all of your options. My goal of these posts is to educate you about your options and get those who are interested on the right path. I am not here to push anyone into homebirth or to say that how you gave birth is "wrong". We all do what is best for our babies and our bodies.
Now, let's get to some questions!
You mentioned it's illegal in Utah. Is it, still? And what do you say when you show up at the doctor's with a newborn that was CLEARLY not delivered in the hospital? Or do you skip newborn wellness checks? I guess I'm just curious how you got around the whole illegal (which is CRAZY) part of it.
It is not illegal in Utah anymore. In 2009 a bill was passed that made Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) and Licensed Direct Entry Midwives (LDEM) legal. While this seems like a great thing, it also means that Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) are not legal and there are some hinderences that the CPM's and LDEM's have. They can not legally accept a client who has had more than 2 C-Sections, is having a breech baby or having twins. So...while it is legal, it is not legal for all women. Something that we are constantly working on though.
I do not skip the newborn wellness exams. My midwife does an exam immediately after birth and then comes back to my home within 24 hours. She also comes back at 2 weeks and I go to see her at 6 weeks. At all of those appointments she checks both the baby and me.
I also talk to my Pediatrician about it beforehand and let them know I am having a homebirth. With each of my homebirths, we have had a different Pediatrician but they have all wanted to see the baby at about 5 days.
And to bjahlstrom, she says:
I have a lot of questions. Thank you in advance for your Wednesday post. I have been thinking a lot lately about this subject.
- Did you purchase the birthing pool yourself? I do, but not in the way that you are probably thinking. It is part of my birth kit that the midwife gives at my 36 week appointment. It is a kiddie pool and we put a plastic liner in it.
- Does your insurance cover having a midwife or doula at your home to help? No it really doesn't. None of my homebirths cost more than $2500 (if even that) so I wasn't too worried about it. My sister-in-law is a doula, so she attended my first and third homebirths. She was going to come to my second but had a baby 11 days earlier. So, I had a good friend, who is also a doula, come. My midwives do accept credit cards and let me pay a little at a time so it is not a whole ton at once. That is really helpful. With my most recent birth our insurance company did end up reimbursing us about $400. You just need to check with your individual provider to see what they will cover. Your midwife may know also.
- Is it the midwife who brings things like the placenta boat, scale, and other medical-type supplies to your home? Yes, the Midwife will bring everything that she needs. She brings oxygen, certain drugs for hemorrhage), IV fluids (for hemorrhage or dehydration), the scale, tape measure and everything else she needs.
- To which agency do your midwives belong? A great way to find a Midwife in your area is to go to MANA - Midwives Alliance of North America. They can send you a detailed list of Midwives in your area.
- Do you know if all birth centers reject people who have had C-sections in the past? No, not all Birth Centers will reject VBAC clients. It just depends on the individual Birth Center and what their policies are.
- Do you of other states off the top of your head where it is illegal? You can go to Citizens for Midwifery and see what each State's laws are.
- What happens after the baby is born, with the umbilical cord and stuff? I am wondering who cuts the cord and how, plus other medical-type stuff that happens post-birth. After the baby was born I sat in the water and held the baby until it was time for the placenta to be born. When I felt the urge, I pushed the placenta out and then it was put in a dish (or boat as it has been lovingly called here). When the cord stopped pulsing, my husband cut the cord. With this last birth, Jeremy and Seth (who was then 4) cut the cord together in our bed. We wrapped the placenta in chux pads and put it in a grocery sack until I was ready to cut it.
- How do you get through the pain? Honestly? I highly recommend Hypnobirthing, Hypnobabies or The Bradley Method. Your first step to having a successful natural birth (no drugs) is a good childbirth class. These three methods are fantastic in helping you to understand what your body is doing. When you know what the contractions, or surges mean, it is much easier to embrace them. I also found that my most difficult labor was the one where I did nothing to mentally prepare. Seth and Amelia's were my easiest and Libby's my hardest. When you know that everything is going well and you really don't want to leave your house, you get through the pain. Sometimes I would tell myself, "I can do anything for one contraction and then I will have a break". When I think I can't take it any longer, I realize that I am most likely in transition and I am almost done. Visualizations, music, my husband, my Midwife, my Doula...these are all things I can't do without when I am in labor. It hurts, yes, I won't lie. But it is nothing you can't handle if you have prepared yourself.
To be continued....
In the mean time, you can read about Seth's birth, Amelia's birth and Libby's birth!