Homebirth in the Covid Era

With the rise in COVID cases across the country and here in Connecticut, many families are opting for a home birth for a variety of reasons. The first reason is the need to stay out of hospitals where COVID resides. Another reason is the lack labor support being allowed with the laboring mother. But there is another reason why families are deciding to home birth. Women are feeling that they do not have autonomy and choice when they birth in the hospital. With the hospital restrictions such as no food or drink while laboring. Position restrictions (have to be on back) and the "rushed" approach from Medical personnel to get the beds emptied and filled for the next patient; It's no wonder women are fed up. There is also a movement across America to bring attention to black and brown women who are 4x's more likely to die in childbirth. This has fueled the drive for many to seek alternative childbirth arrangements.

In my Practice, Joyful Home Birth, LLC, I am acutely aware of the disparity that women face when choosing between a hospital or home birth. Many women call to say that they had a horrible birth experience at the hospital and want better care. I hear these stories again and again. Some are having their 4th baby and some are having their second. One mother, after having a wonderful home birth recently wrote a thank you letter. Her words pretty much summed up a lot of women's sentiment on the subject of home-birthing. I will never forget her words. "Thank you so much for being my Midwife and granting me my bodily autonomy" and "Thank you for listening to my birthing wishes and fulfilling them". This is what home birth is.

Yes, we are living in challenging times with COVID. It has not been easy for families. What began as a concern for safety by avoiding hospitals: Ended in the realization that home birth is about taking back your birth choices and bodily autonomy. You can walk over to your refrigerator while laboring at home and grab a snack. And you don't have to drive anywhere. You just birth your baby and stay home. Midwives do all the clean up and will even tuck you into bed if you deliver in the wee hours of the morning. Home Birth is here to stay.

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