A prenatal appointment with Sacred Song Homebirth
Considering a home birth or wonder why someone would want to have their baby at home? Recently I interviewed Kansas City midwife Beth, of Sacred Song Homebirth, to learn more about having a baby at home and what kind of moms might be interested in home births.
Beth, what are some of the advantages of birthing at home?
- Laboring mothers don’t have to worry about when to go to the hospital since her care-providers come to her.
- At home a woman can labor and birth in the privacy and comfort of the familiar surroundings of her own home, surrounded by loved-ones, in whatever positions and attire she finds most comfortable.
- Labor is allowed to progress naturally, without interference and unnecessary interventions.
- During labor the woman is encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change positions, make noise, shower, bathe, etc.
- She can have anyone she desires present: family, friends, children, etc.
- Continuity of care. Her birth team (midwife and birth assistant(s)) do not go home because their shift has ended or because it was supposed to be their day off or because it is a holiday or because they planned something else. Continuous one-on-one care is given by the midwife, providing ongoing assessment of the baby’s and mother’s condition throughout the birth process and postpartum period. Her care provider knows her well and she knows her care provider. They have established a relationship of trust.
- Bonding is enhanced and breast feeding success rates are higher.
- Intervention, episiotomy, and need for cesarean section rates are very low.
- The cost of a home birth may be an advantage to some (but it certainly should not be the most important).
- Continued postpartum care following delivery beyond the birth-day. Home visits for postpartum check-ups as well as office visits.
- Women may choose a homebirth for a multitude of reasons.
- Homebirth moms usually view childbirth as being a natural process that progresses best with minimal intervention (or none!).
- Some choose homebirth so that there isn’t even an option to receive or be offered pharmaceutical pain relief. Water birth is a popular reason some are choosing homebirth, as most hospitals don’t offer this option of natural pain relief (or have strict limitations on their water birth protocols).
- Women who want active and ongoing participation in the decision making of their care.
- Women who don’t want to have to worry about their birth plan, or whether their desires or denial of certain procedures prenatally, during labor, and to their newborn will be respected.
- Women with special needs due to trauma following earlier hospital experiences or who have experienced assault.
- We carry all of the same equipment that a birth center has, we just bring it to the laboring woman instead of her going to it. These include tools to assess all vitals of mother and baby during labor (including Doppler for listening to baby). We readily carry oxygen and resuscitation equipment as well as multiple methods fortreatment of hemorrhage.
- A homebirth care plan is always made with arrangements for transfer if the need arises, which includes both the closest and preferred hospital. A good homebirth midwife, however, is well trained in avoiding and handling complications and performing neonatal resuscitation. She has the proper tools with which to control hemorrhage if the need arises. She is well versed in normal birth and is willing and ready to transport a woman to the hospital if it becomes necessary or desired by the client.
Most homebirth midwives practice independently (and may have birth assistants orstudents work along side them). We are both Certified Professional Midwives practicing together as partner midwives (we also usually have students following us).
We are both active participants in each client’s prenatal, labor, and postpartum care, and tag team to provide continual and individualized care for each woman’s differing needs and desires.
Together we handle phone calls/texts, prenatal visits, collect and run labs, attend and assist during labor and delivery, give breastfeeding support and newborn care guidance through the post partum period, and complete paperwork.
We offer perspective and care from two similar, but also unique, personalities and experiences.
- Homebirth is for low risk women and midwives are educated and trained to risk out women who would not be safest birthing at home.
- We do have access to and can offer all of the standard of care lab work, ultrasounds, and tests during pregnancy that aid in determining any risk factors
- The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
Thank you Beth for your time!
Watch the home birth story below or contact Sacred Song Homebirth to learn more!
Earlier this year (2016) I photographed the birth of Beth’s baby, Gabriel, delivered by fellow midwife Amber. The video above is her baby’s birth story.