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Because of covid-19 and mandatory social distancing the group that has the biggest decisions and face the most unknowns are pregnant women. The sick, contaminated, and contagious are going to the hospital. But perfectly healthy women are also going to the hospital to birth their newborns in probably the scariest environment.
It's not a surprise that many women are considering home birth especially with the very real possibility of some hospitals restricting and not allowing even partners to enter the hospital.
We polled our audience and 75% of women said they would rather birth at home with their support team then birth at a hospital without their partner.
So in case you are considering a homebirth here are some things you should know. (I have 5 children, 4 of them were born at home.)
Get involved in birth forums on facebook for your area. Ask for recommendations for homebirth midwives. Research those that were recommended to you then reach out and contact them.
Set up a consultation. Write down a list of questions and concerns to ask.
Feel them out, trust your intuition. Are you drawn to a certain care provider? After meeting with the homebirth midwives available do you feel at peace with homebirth or still want to deliver in a hospital?
If you decide to transition to a homebirth once you have decided on your new care provider all you have to do is tell your new provider who you were getting your previous care from, they will contact the clinic and request your records. It's very simple.
Generally if your partner is not supportive of homebirth it typcially means they are scared. Birth is hard for them, to watch the person they love the most in the world be in pain and go through something they perceive they can't fix. Usually they feel more confident in a hospital because they believe that's the place where you will be safest if something goes wrong.
We recommend that you encourage your partner to come up with a list of questions and concerns they have about homebirth. Then require them to come to the consultation appointments with the homebirth midwives. Make sure he asks his questions.
Usually it's a lack of education and fear. If they can become educated on the support you receive in an out of hospital birth, the level of preparedness and supplies a homebirth midwife has, and what they do in emergency situations, partners usually come around to the idea.
I think this is most people's biggest question. This was my biggest question when I was looking into an out of hospital birth. When I asked the midwife I will never forget her response;
"I am there, I am with you while you labor in your home for how ever long it is. I am watching and I am trained in labor. Most every emergency has warning signs. I am trained to see the warning signs. If I follow those signs there are two outcomes, 1. we shift and alter what's going on so it doesn't become an emergency or 2. we transfer to the hospital. If there needs to be a hospital transfer we typically call the hospital, tell them we are coming, we get in the car and drive to the hospital and they are there to greet us and take over care. Usually it's a very easy transition."
And guess what? Most of the time homebirth transfers to the hospital are not because of emergencies they are usually because mom is exhausted and wants some rest.
Call your insurance and check. We have been hearing more insurance companies shifting to covering homebirth with the current virus situation.
Still talk to homebirth midwives, a lot of them are very reasonable. Lots take monthly payment plans, some will even barter or trade services. See what they are willing to do and how you can both benefit. I have seen trades like: husband did handy work for midwife, or built a website, or childcare, or house cleaning. Get creative on skills you have that may be valuable for someone else.
Most midwives will give you a list of supplies they want you to have. But here are our recommendations:
Most all of the medical stuff your midwife will bring. But in case you have a very fast labor some things to keep on hand:
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Education is KEY to setting yourself up for your best possible birth. Knowing your options and how to advocate for yourself makes a huge difference.
With the main reason people develop hemorrhoids is from pressure in the bottom, it seems unlikely many women will experience pregnancy and birth unscathed.