Home Birth Rights

@Mom101 said it best:

I’m still amazed that my own uterus is a bigger concern to American voters than oh, say…everything in the world.

A lot of people are probably wondering why I’ve been so forthcoming with the details of my recent home birth. On one side, I’m sharing because I had a great experience and I hope other healthy mothers will consider this option for their births. However, it’s more important for me to share merely so that this stays an option for mothers. In this era when politicians batter women’s rights by making ill-educated statements and judgements on both sides of the spectrum, it should come as no surprise that the very right to choose home birth is under attack in certain jurisdictions. Not only do we often pay for these expenses out of pocket while the costlier and more invasive hospital alternatives are covered, but certain states bar the right to a home birth altogether. The unfortunate thing is that no one has turned home birthing into a large corporate practice that funds study after study to prove the benefits of the practice. You merely have to take my word for it and the word of others willing to share. (Although compelling research is beginning to come forth comparing home birth to hospital birth, it is slow in reaching the masses.)

You may not agree that a home is the best place to give birth for some mothers, but I can tell you it was 100% for us. I had an empowering labor, followed by two restful weeks of bonding with my baby. Now I’m nearly fully recovered and getting back into the swing of Motherhood with both my girls. Because of this, it was the best choice for our whole family.

The reason why any mother should feel comfortable considering a midwife to be the prenatal care provider is that midwives are able to recognize and test for issues that might inhibit a safe home birth. In rare cases, they can even facilitate a transfer to a hospital. You can hire a doula for post partum care if you’re concerned how you would function without a nurse.

Once you take the time to understand the benefits of natural labor and home birth, it’s hard to argue that there is a better way to have a baby. However, it is important for Mothers to have access to hospitals for emergency situations. Unfortunately, the tradeoff for having access to important, life saving, procedures is that hospitals can’t accommodate the needs of a mother who desires to labor at her own pace without interference; the way nature intended.

The trouble with the male-influenced practice of obstetrics is that the primary goal is to eliminate pain in labor. However, pain is what opens our body and moves the baby through it. When given the freedom to work through contractions and harness the effects of the pain for the relatively short duration of active labor, a woman will benefit from a less painful and potentially shorter recovery period. I chose to labor without fear, without a restrictive “birth plan,” and without medication in order to reap the benefits for my baby and myself. I’ve learned so much about childbirth and my body over the past two years, but the most important thing I learned is to trust myself. We can appreciate science for skillful doctors, but we should trust that all mothers are miracle workers. Why else would we be built to do such great work?


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