There comes a time when every pregnant woman must decide what kind of birth she will want to experience. Nowadays we are blessed with many options, from a home birth to a birthing center or a hospital. But how does one choose?
There is so much information for and against home births, as much as there is a huge campaign for and against hospital births. For the birth of my two children, I chose a home birth because (for me) I felt safest at home.
I had a wonderful nurse mid-wife (Davi Kaur Khalsa of TLC Midwifery) whom I trusted tending the birth. My backup doctor was at the hospital five minutes down the road from my house and I was low risk, which meant that both the baby and I were in good health. My doctor thought it was okay to give birth at home with my chosen midwife, I’d gotten his “thumbs up”.
Everything went perfectly both times. I am not advocating that every woman have a homebirth. Birth is very personal and subjective. It must be thought through and carefully planned with the woman’s and baby’s needs in mind and really, ultimately, no one else’s. What I hope for is that every pregnant woman goes into her birth experience feeling educated and empowered and supported by a strong team, whoever they may be.
Read books like Ricky Lake’s Your Best Birth and see her movie, The Business of Being Born. Both give you a great picture of birthing options in America. Ricky and her partner Abby Epstein also invite you to join them on their online community, My Best Birth.
There are a lot of other wonderful books, a few that come to mind that I read include Active Birth by Janet Balaskas, Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper, and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Keep checking in with us at Pregnancy Awareness Month but above all make it your job to understand the options and feel confidant about your pregnancy and birth choices.