Planned, Unplanned; Assisted or Unassisted
There has been a lot of interest in a homebirth section of Birthing Naturally. Several readers have made requests that I add home birth specific information. My first response is always, "What exactly do you want to know?"
You see, there isn't really any difference in techniques or tools that may be useful, good positions for labor and giving birth, or even in the need for the mother to be comfortable and confident. Most of the information you need to give birth at home is listed in the other sections of the web site (see the comfort measures, judging progress in labor and overcoming labor challenges).
However, I remember preparing for the possibility of a home birth with my son. I know I had a multitude of questions about what to do and how to stay safe. I wrote down all my questions and took them with me to my midwife visits. Her insight and encouragement helped me prepare for what ended up being an unassisted homebirth. You can read more about the story of my son's birth, the decisions we made and why throughout this section.
The following pages are written to help you organize your thoughts as you consider or plan for your homebirth. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about what a homebirth is like. This means I cannot quote from textbooks, I can only share what I learned from my experience. Remember, what worked in my situation may not be appropriate for you. Because my experience was in planning for the possabilty of a fast labor without help, most of my answers will reflect the mind set of an unassisted childbirth. If you are employing the services of a homebirth midwife she will be able to answer any of these questions in much greater detail for you.
Homebirth isn't for everyone, but it should be an option for most women. Take the time to investigate this option, considering the advantages and disadvantages to you and your family, and make an informed decision regarding your child's birth.