Planning a Home Birth | Ft. A Lynchburg Doula

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Hello fellow moms!

With COVID-19 creating some new hospital regulations, I’ve seen an influx of home births occurring so that mothers could have more control over their environment. As someone who has had two hospital births, the point of this post is to help answer some questions expecting mothers may have about home births. I asked Morgan, a local mom and Lynchburg doula at New Life Doula Services, to come on here and answer a few questions for us! I hope this provides help to some of you out there and empowers you in the decision that you make ­čÖé

What is the biggest difference between home births and hospital births?

Besides the obvious (location) I believe the biggest differences between home and hospital births is that at home you are choosing your environment. You choose who is there first and foremost. The people present are not strangers. Your environment is familiar, everything is your own and of your choosing. Everyone is more comfortable at home than in a hospital setting. Also, the pressures of people aren’t at home. Nobody is pushing any interventions on you.

How do I know if I’m strong enough? If my body can go through it?
Your body was meant for this. One of the best things to do while pregnant is to do your research, take childbirth classes, and know that you can totally do it. You will also have a midwife closely monitoring you and they are skilled to know that if something unpredictable arises that would need a transfer to a hospital, they can make that call.

What if my husband is scared and isn’t on board with a home birth?
I hear this alot and it makes total sense. The idea of a homebirth is foreign to many and it can be intimidating/scary. Home birth is safe. If your pregnancy is low risk and you are healthy, then home birth is an excellent option. And sometimes a spouse just needs a little educating on it to understand that it is a very safe, good option for birthing! Midwives are trained to handle whatever comes their way and finding one you trust usually puts a worried hubby at ease.

Is a midwife important?
I believe a midwife is very important. whether in the hospital or at home. They are educated and have the skill set to deal with all possible circumstances. If you choose to birth at home without a midwife, thats called a free birth and can be beautiful but also has higher risks involved. Midwives are irreplaceable.
How can a doula help?
A doula offers a support that you might not otherwise have. They are with you through the laboring and birthing process solely focused on helping you with comfort measures and a consistent support. They will use massage, oils, positional changes, and whatever else the momma might need.
What would you say is needed for a home birth? What items would we need at home?
Your midwife will provide you with a list of things you’ll need for a homebirth. But some of the essentials I found handy were a birthing tub and liner (if you want a waterbirth), lots of towels, pads, heating pad, and lots of snacks!
What if something goes wrong?
Thats why a certified midwife is so important! They know what to do if things don’t go as planned and they handle them with such grace. Always informing the parents and making sure they’re in the know of whats happening. They also know when things are more than they can handle at home and when a transfer to the hospital is needed.
What are some different ways to labor at home? 
Laboring at home is great. You can bounce or roll your hips on a birthing ball, utilize hydrotherapy (warm bath), massage, going up and down stairs, taking a good walk, etc. The list goes on and on.
My insurance doesn’t cover a home birth. I want a doula, midwife, and photographer. Any financial advice for how to afford the birth team I want?

Plan ahead for what you will want. I believe a midwife is the most essential of the three. A doula and photographer are added bonuses! Most midwives and doulas have payment plans too so that helps break up the expenses.

(Keely here! I have payment plans too!)

Will my kids be scarred if they see me laboring at home? Lol

Kids being there while you labor at home is totally up to you. My older two were asleep during my third and even though I had planned on them being there originally, afterwards I was glad they weren’t awake for it. I feel like they would have wanted to be in the tub with me or hanging on me and I don’t think I would have wanted that while trying to labor. But that is totally up to each individual family. Also, its not scarring! They will be educated on the beauty of labor and delivery!

Any resources I can go to to learn more about all of this? IG or blogs?

There are endless resources. A few of my favs… Podcast (thebirthhour), Instagram accounts (badassmotherbirther), Facebook (Natural Birth Support Group).
Are there consultations to talk about home births?
Absolutely! It’s important to have consultations with midwives so you’re hiring the best one for your families needs. Feeling comfortable and safe with your midwife is key.

Thank you Morgan for sharing your wisdom on here and I look forward to working with you again during a delivery! If anyone has additional questions, feel free to ask below in the comments!

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