July 11, 2017
Not only have I photographed both home and hospital births, but I’ve also experienced both for myself. Which is why I feel more than qualified to share why I think it is time to normalize home birth once and for all.
It’s important to remember that women have only been giving birth in hospitals for the past 100 years or so. Before that, every birth was a home birth! There wasn’t another option. So your great-grandparents (and possibly even your grandparents) were probably born at home.
Repeat after me: there’s nothing weird about giving birth at home.
Many women prefer to be at home. Home is where they are comfortable, where they feel safe. And best of all, you don’t have to go anywhere! Midwives and doulas come to you. You can give birth surrounded by the people you choose, in the place you love.
There’s nothing wrong with giving birth at a hospital. They can be a great place to give birth, especially if there is a high likelihood of complications. Many mothers and babies are alive today thanks to the hard work of doctors and nurses. Hospitals will (and should) always have a place in the birth community.
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However, for women who are not high risk, giving birth at home can be an equally great option. A recent study found that outcomes between assisted home births and hospital births were basically the same for low-risk mothers.
Unfortunately, home birth still has a stigma to it.
Not only that, but many states (including Oklahoma) have introduced legislation time and again to restrict women’s access to home births.
The problem likely is that people don’t understand home birth.
….they don’t understand that home births are typically well planned and attended by trained midwives who are prepared with vital medical supplies.
….they don’t understand why a woman would want to give birth at home.
…. And they don’t understand that if done correctly, giving birth at home is completely normal and safe.
Like with most things related to birth, the best thing to do is make an informed decision for yourself and your family. Learn about the options in your area and visit with midwives and obstetricians. Take tours of birth centers and hospitals. Meet with real women who have had home births or hospital births in your area. And then decide for yourself what is best for you and your family.
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