Now, more than ever before and due to COVID-19, families are considering having home births. But wait, before you get all judgy on me, it’s not like the 1800’s midwife preconception that so many people have. I had the best care I could have ever imagined with both of mine.
Finding a good midwife that you’re comfortable with is crucial to you and your baby’s health and success.
I had my first home birth in November of 2017 after a traumatic hospital experience with my 3rd child (not so friendly staff, lack of care which caused a late epidural that didn’t work, trying to force a C-Section on me for no reason other than the doctor “didn’t want to wait for me to push” [her exact words as she stood at the head of my bed], the unnecessary use of tools to get my daughter out even though she was coming on her own without risk to either of us, the list goes on and on).
My first step was to research home births in Ohio as I didn’t even know it was a thing. I came across a state midwife page, inquired, and I was put in touch with a midwife who I ultimately hired. She lived 2 hours away but was willing to come to me. I also joined a couple of home birth Facebook groups as I had lots of questions. After emailing with the midwife, I found out that it would be her and another midwife who would work together for my care. I met with both of them and after talking with my husband about it, we hired them.
My most recent pregnancy was with twins. One of the midwives from the last birth moved to Cleveland. We also moved further from the other midwife so it just didn’t make sense to have her make the long drive. I asked around in my Facebook groups and found another amazing midwife and had a successful twin home birth last December (we also hired a wonderful birth photographer to capture all of the special moments).
The care that I received both times was unmatchable! It was so convenient that they came to me for my prenatal appointments, especially because I am a work-at-home mom with other children and do not have childcare. I also loved that if I had questions or concerns between appointments, I could call or text them directly and they were quick to reply and very helpful, even after hours or on weekends. They did all of the things that normal doctors’ offices do (fetal heartbeat, urine checks, fundal heights, etc). Each appointment lasted at least 45 minutes which is so different from the regular “in and out” doctor.
Some midwives require that you have parallel care with a licensed physician, some don’t. I did one of each. For both of mine, I was able to get ultrasounds, blood tests, and whatever else I needed or wanted. Some insurance companies will even pay a portion of or all of the home birth midwife’s care. Speaking of costs, the price varies depending on the midwife and if your insurance will cover it. For us, the out-of-pocket cost was significantly less than doctor and hospital costs. Home births are legal in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky and your child gets a birth certificate and social security card just like hospital births.
With each home birth, I went into labor on my own. The midwives and their team arrived within minutes. They had their own medical-grade supplies and equipment in case of emergency for me and/or my babies and they practiced sterile and safe practices. If a hospital transfer was wanted or necessary, they were also on board with that. Through labor and birth, they were as hands-on as I wanted them to be. After the births, they stayed with me to make sure everyone was okay and for as long as I wanted their support. They did my postnatal care and visits as well.
A home birth is not for everyone though.
It’s important to completely trust your body and your midwife. If you are high-risk, talk to your midwife about it and you can decide the best route for you. With a home birth, there is not an epidural or pain medicine. However, I am a big baby when it comes to pain and I did it, and even more than once! For me, each home birth was serene, peaceful, and I felt much safer there than at a hospital, and after all, there’s no place like home! If I had known of the experience with my first three children, I would’ve had them at home, too, and if I were to ever become pregnant again, I’d do another home birth in a heartbeat, especially given the current time that we’re in.
Have you had or would you consider a home birth? Let us know in the comments! Do you have questions? Ask away or send us a private message.