Numerous people asked me why I wanted to have a home birth. Some asked me with an “are you crazy” tone of voice. Some asked out of pure curiosity. Some asked because they had actually thought about it too. There were several reasons I decided to have a home birth and why I would do it again. In no particular order:

  1. One of the reasons I wanted to have a home birth was to avoid the pressure from doctors and nurses for me to receive pain relief, specifically an epidural. The most common follow-up question about why I wanted to give birth at home was “what about pain relief?” Many people, both women and men, just could not fathom me giving birth. At home. Without pain relief. But to be honest, the thought of an epidural scared me more than the pain from labor and birth. After all, I had already given birth to Elexious without pain relief. Surely I could do it again. 

  2. Avoid unnecessary and far too common interventions in the hospital. Just Google “cascade of interventions” and you’ll see what I mean. I did not want to be restricted in my movement or when and what I could eat or drink. I also did not want to risk having to decline any interventions and fear the doctors or nurses threatening CPS as a means to persuade me. I know that sounds a little dramatic but it has happened and the thought terrified me. 

  3. Keep mine and my baby’s microbiome completely intact. I did not want me or my baby to receive unnecessary antibiotics. Nor did I want to be cleansed with betadine before birth, which kills the normal flora of the birth canal. In addition to that, I wanted to have my baby immediately surrounded by the bacteria in our home versus the bacteria in the hospital.

  4. I didn’t want a whole bunch of strangers holding and touching my baby. I didn’t want to be interrupted every 4 hours for vital signs or the dreaded fundal massages. I wanted to bond with my baby uninterrupted.

  5. Cervical checks. Sure, these occur with home births as well but less likely to happen as frequently or as unnecessarily compared to the hospital.

  6. I did not want to give my baby the Vitamin K injection or the eye ointment. Nor did I want him to have the hepatitis B vaccine right after birth. I did not want to have to worry if they were going to give him any of those behind my back or press the issue when I was in a vulnerable state. 

  7. I wanted to sleep in my own bed with my baby and my husband. 

  8. I did not want to be pressured to offer formula because my “milk had not come in” from misguided or misinformed doctors and nurses after my baby loses 5% of his body weight after 24 hours. 

  9. It just felt right! The idea of giving birth to my baby at home, surrounded by only the people I wanted there, just felt right to me.

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