BENEFITS FOR MOTHER
RESPECT for women’s instincts, knowledge, and concerns.
Longer prenatal visits provide the necessary time for building a relationship in which women can feel seen and supported.
Autonomy to choose or reject elements of medical care without coercion or threat. Not having to spend energy defending your choices in labor.
Microbione-friendly — No pressure to take experimental antibiotic therapy for Group B Strep that endangers the mothers vaginal and gastrointestinal microbiota.
No looming inductions at 41 weeks. Homebirth midwives recognize that normal “term” pregnancies commonly go to 42 weeks or longer.
Unhurried birth — Midwives trust the process and dynamics of birth. Longer labors are not routinely forced along with pitocin or other interventions to speed things up.
Privacy — The only people present at the birth are those chosen by the mother. Women need privacy in order to surrender to the work of the body. Invasions on their space disrupt the hormonal feedback rhythm of normal birth.
No routine interventions — No “routine” vaginal exams — Midwives honor that all labors are unique and proceed best when not interfered with. Mothers are not automatically subject to routine procedures. No electronic monitors strapped to their bellies, no routine IVs or antibiotics.
Pushing however her body wants to – In whatever position she want to be in, breathing however she wants to breathe. Women are not told to start pushing when their cervix is found to be 10cm upon vaginal examination. Premature pushing causes problems for mother and baby. The Fetal Ejection Reflex is much more likely to occur when women’s bodies are supported in doing what they know how to do. Women are less likely to tear when they are not forced to push before their bodies and babies are ready.
Less risk of cesarean, forceps, and vacuum. Less risk of all of the complications from major abdominal surgery.
Waterbirth! – a tub deep enough to provide ample water for pain relief.
Attachment — After the birth, mothers and babies are never separated. The newborn exam is performed right next to the mother.
BENEFITS FOR BABY
Born in their own time — Babies are born when they are ready! Labor is not artificially started through routine induction practices.
Vaginal birth — Babies are more likely to be born vaginally, without the use of instruments like forceps and vacuum.
Happy babies — Oxygen — Babies are significantly less likely to suffer fetal distress in labor because they are not under the influence of medications and the mother is not forced to lay on her back or do “purple pushing” — both of which restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to baby. Baby are less likely to be born with breathing difficulties.
No drugs on board — Babies are born without the effects of narcotics or other central nervous system depressants.
Less risk of infection
Babies keep ALL their blood — NO early cord cutting. Baby receives her FULL blood volume from the placenta because her umbilical cord is not cut prematurely. Less risk of anemia and other problems related to immediate cord cutting.
A healthier microbiome! — Baby is born into the natural bacterial landscape on your body and in your surroundings. There is no exposure to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria commonplace in the hospital. Babies are immediately skin to skin. The baby’s microbial colonization at birth sets the stage for innumerable vital physiological process down the road, like immune system organization and function.
Gentle birth — Babies are born gently, without force and unnecessary maneuvers. Babies are welcomed into a warm, loving environment without bright lighting or loud noise and chatter. Babies are welcomed first by the hands of the mother, father, midwife, or some combination! The mother’s voice is often the first one baby hears.
Attachment — Babies always stays with their mothers. The mother-newborn bond is never sacrificed for institutional purposes.
No unnecessary pokes — Babies are not subjected to routine glucose tests or other lab work.
Honoring the experience of birth — The baby’s experience of birth is valued along with the mother’s. Every attempt is made to honor the baby’s normal, physiological transition earthside.
BENEFITS FOR FAMILY
Family-centered care — The mother and family are treated with dignity and respect. Mothers and partners are encouraged to catch their own babies.
Precious moments —The moments just after the baby has been born is honored sacred and fleeting. This is a time for mothers and babies to greet each other and fall in love. Midwives safeguard these instinctive moments by keeping the birthspace free from unnecessarily distractions. Do not disturb the mother!
Siblings are cherished — They are free to participate with ease, and are encouraged to do so. They feel safe and secure at home and can help welcome baby with confidence and love. They will always remember welcoming a baby at home. Kids especially love waterbirths, and can be in the tub with mom if she desires.
Safe and relaxed at home — Mothers and babies do not have to leave the house in the first week — the midwife comes to them for postpartum checks. A midwife remains on-call 24 hours a day for any urgent postpartum concern.