Visit my website to learn more about my services. Is it just semantics? "I'm having a homebirth" versus, "I'm planning a homebirth"? I often wonder why more women don't plan homebirths. Planning a homebirth doesn't rule out hospital as an option if it's needed or desired. Planning a homebirth keeps all options open and allows women to make the decision about place of birth towards the end of the pregnancy or even in labour. Planning a homebirth is a wise thing.
Sometimes I'm concerned when I hear, "I'm having a homebirth". The same way I'm concerned if I hear, "I'm having an epidural / induction / waterbirth" or whatever. Yes, these are our plans, but we never really know what's going to happen until the time.
There is a transfer rate associated with homebirth and this reflects safe practice and respect for women's decisions. Bearing that in mind, it's wiser to say, "I'm planning a homebirth" rather than, "I'm having a homebirth".
Also, consider the impact of these words on family and friends. When we "plan" a homebirth, friends and family are put at ease. Plans can change if they need to. The common response, "Homebirth?!?! Isn't that ... dangerous??" is no longer needed because plans can change to minimise any risks in homebirth. Sometimes when people hear, "I'm having a homebirth", they don't understand that if hospital is needed, we go. The common questions like, "what if you need a caesarean?" "what if you need an epidural?" are valid when we frame it as "having" a homebirth because these interventions are not available at home. But when homebirth is "planned", those questions are no longer necessary: plans can change.
But getting back to the start, why aren't more families planning to birth at home? Is it about fear? Is it about meeting the expectations of others who feel that hospital is safer and the "right" place to give birth? I'd love to know! What are your thoughts?
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