You're having a home birth?!?!
When we decided to have a home birth for our second child, my New York friends thought we had lost our minds. They decided that moving to California meant we had abandoned all logic and decided to live like hippies in the San Francisco Bay area.
"You're having a home birth?!?!"
While interviewing doctors in the area, I found my best chance for a natural birth would occur in my own home with a licensed midwife. I visited a few medical offices to inquire about their midwives, but I was rushed in to meet with a doctor and was met with such hostility. One doctor looked me straight in the eyes and said "how could you be so irresponsible?"
Wow! If I wanted to be judged, I would have gone back to high school.
I was looking for a midwife, because I wanted a birth specialist and a relaxed birth at home. I wasn't offered these with my first birth, a traumatic story that became the first and last time I will ever admit myself into a hospital.
In my hospital experience, the staff intervened before I was ready to part with my baby and ignored my requests for bonding after my beautiful, natural birth. The nurses swept away baby to conduct tests and sanitize her without my consent and then rushed baby back to breastfeed in front of a panel to see if we were capable. The nurse yelled at me after several nervous attempts and left frustrated while I questioned my every instinct.
Forced to remain in the hospital alone that night, I asked to sleep next to my baby so I could attempt breastfeeding in a quiet moment. Unfortunately, the pain from my post birth was settling in and I called for an aspirin. (Not too much to ask for post natural birth), but nobody came for me the entire night.
I fed baby successfully in the quiet night, which gave me a bit of hope and strength, but the next task was changing her diaper. Have you ever tried to clean meconium from an infant without a baby wipe? I struggled out of bed, barely able to lift baby and found some washcloths to wet. I was alone, inexperienced, and in pain without help or proper care.
Birth Number Two
Rosanna Davis, a licensed midwife and an amazing birth specialist allowed me to have a happy, healthy, home birth. I happy birthing seems a far stretch from reality, but you can assume I'm talking about the moments after my child came out of my body.
If you're still shaking your head in disbelief that a home birth is safe, I completely understand. My husband and I thought the same thing when we met a couple preparing for a home birth in our child prep classes. 10 years ago we were staring eyes wide, and winking at each other while making the coo coo sign behind their backs. However, they had a calm and empowered birth story whereas we had a stressful, hospital experience.
3 Safety Facts About Midwifery Care:
First: midwives are licensed to attend healthy women with a 37-42 week term. There are no premies that need acute care, no twins, nor women with major health problems. Thus, the rate of complications is very low.
Second: midwives are first responders which means they are trained professionals to resuscitate you and save your life. A midwife is a very good person to have on hand in case of an emergency.
Finally: your chances for a vaginal birth are much higher at home. There is very little intervention that could lead to major surgery. This is very important for the health of your baby's immune system.
If cesarean birth was a harmless procedure, this would not be worth discussing, but the fact is that it reduces the infant's chance at building a healthy immune system. According to Dr. Sonnenberg, Stanford Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, there are 4 main triggers that destroy a healthy immune system.
4 Offenders of the Micro biome
- Sanitization – as in hand sanitizers
- Bad Diet – refined sugars, refined vegetable oils, and refined carbs
Unfortunately a c-section will yield antibiotics and sanitization. Thus, the elective cesarean birth is a triple hitter when starting baby with a weakened immune system. If you fall into the mandatory c-section criteria, you will want to look into the swab technique. Doctors can rub the infants face with vaginal secretions to share the micro biome and be sure your baby receives breastmilk, which can rebuild a weakened immune system.
For women not intending on major surgery for your natural process, chances improve when working with a midwife and having a home birth.
Three benefits of working with a midwife:
First: you'll be coached on diet and lifestyle which can immediately improve your birth and the health of your baby. Rosanna Davis, my midwife, and the President of the California Association of Midwives offers supportive meetings in her community practice. She and her team offer a whole body, whole baby approach that gives you more education and understanding about your birth.
Second: you'll be in charge of your birth story while your midwife and her team support you every step of the way. You won't be forced into a preterm birth or have to dodge nurses trying to force you into an epidural (like I did). With Rosanna, I learned about the birthing process and was prepared for the many challenges that I could run into.
Third: you'll be encouraged to treasure your first bonding moments. In my home birth, we never had to leave the comfort of my own room. The midwife came to me and after the birth, I held my baby in my arms while he quieted down to snuggle. My midwife cleaned up, my bed was made, and I settled in to nurse. I had a quick, healthy snack from my own fridge, and took a little nap. When we woke, my midwife checked our vitals and made sure I was healthy and happy before heading off for some necessary sleep.
This beautiful experience is why women are turning to home births. They understand the importance of vaginal births for the child's immune system. They are ready for the birth of a child, but not for surgery, antibiotics, and heavy drugs. Finally, they feel comfortable in their own home with a first responder they can trust.
Midwifery care is growing as people take back their health and the health of their families with the ancestral wisdom of traditional methods:
- Growing their own food
- Learning how to cook
- Raising backyard chickens
- Community recreation
- Home births with midwifery care
- Larger families living together for support... because let's face it: It takes a village!
If you're looking to join this movement and interested in a midwife or maybe you want to offer community classes to a great group, check out the Village Prenatal care, Rosanna Davis offers in her California Midwifery practice. Rosanna is pioneering the movement for licensed midwives in CA. She sees an opportunity to offer more education and more training for midwives to offer families the most specialized care.
A specialist that continues to research, learn about her trade, and educate others. Isn't that the kind of expert you want for your golden moment?
I will be speaking with Rosanna in the California Association of Midwives Annual Conference, September 8-11, 2016. I am so excited to share deeper nutritional wisdom with this group of inspiring women furthering their education and enthusiasm for healthy home births.
Wouldn't you like to know that your birth provider is attending classes and keeping up to date on the most current health advice out there? To be sure you are receiving this kind of care, I highly recommend the service of a midwife.
California Midwifery, californiamidwifery.com Rosanna Davis, LM, CPM