I am a Certified Professional Midwife living in Somers, CT. Let me tell you all about the wonderful benefits of having an undisturbed Connecticut home birth. Some of you may be curious but feel it is not safe to have a baby out of the hospital. Some of you just want to find out what it is all about. Well I hope to dispel some of the fear that surrounds this subject. I hope to give you some helpful and informative information on the subject so that you can decide for yourself, the type of birth you want. The place of birth and the people you chose to be at your birth can have a profound influence on you and your unborn baby. Often it is the mom who had a hospital birth with her first baby, that then decides she wants to be home for her second.
Home birth is not about having your baby outside, hugging a tree. Home birth is about having a baby in your home with people that you chose to be with. Birth is a normal physiological event and not a medical event. Most of the time birth goes perfectly fine with very little intervention.
Let’s take a moment to compare the Connecticut home birth experience to hospital birth. For simplicity we will talk about these two places to give birth. A third location, a free-standing Birth Center, does not exist in our state. We will of course use the example of a low risk woman. Approximately 80% of all pregnant women are low risk.
A few key advantages of home birth:
1. Your home birth prenatal appointment is about an hour compared to 15 minutes with your OBGYN Dr. When your labor begins, you stay home and your Midwife comes to you, along with her assistant and birth kit supplies.
2. If you have other children, they don’t have to go anywhere. You just need an adult to watch them. Often the older children will wake up in the morning, rubbing the sleep from their eyes to greet the new addition! It is sad when the mom and dad must leave a child behind to drive to the hospital. This happened to me during the birth of my 3rd baby in the hospital. After 3 days I arrived home to a 2-year-old daughter who was sad and confused as to why her mom and dad left. It did not make for a good transition to our expanded family.
Is a Connecticut home birth safe?
Yes! For low risk pregnancies it is. Studies show that the outcomes for home birth is the same as it is for a hospital birth in terms of infant and maternal mortality. A Certified Professional Midwife carries equipment for you and your baby. She is trained in Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Life Support.
What about the mess?
A lot of folks ask about the mess from the birth. Yes, we clean it up. We will make sure you have had a good nourishing meal and have started a load of wash before leaving your home. If it is the middle of the night, we will make sure that you are tucked into bed and the house is cleaned up before our departure. The average length of stay for a home birth is about 2-3 hours. We then return at 2 days, 2 weeks and 6 weeks postpartum. This is compared to your one 6 weeks postpartum with your OBGYN
You get personalized care:
Once your baby is born and placed on your chest a blanket is placed over your baby. You will deliver your placenta and it will be placed in a chux pad next to you. We don’t clamp and cut the cord (dad gets to do the cutting) till 2 hours later after you have had plenty of time to get acquainted with your baby. We honor the golden hour or two after the birth because, after all, you carried your baby for 9 months and the birth of your baby is very important to you and your family. Of course, we want that time to be undisturbed. There is no weighing, measuring or shots to give immediately. This is YOUR special time with YOUR baby. All those things can wait.
What about a home water birth?
You can have a water birth if you desire. The warm water and buoyancy relieve pain - many call the benefits an "aquadural". That's right - water can greatly reduce labor pain (contractions). Many women love the relaxation benefits of hydrotherapy and it can help labor progress.