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Why Birthing 3 Babies at Home Does NOT Make Me Superwoman

A common question asked in my town is "Where did you birth?" Mainly because many folks opt to give birth in a hospital out of town about 30 minutes away. When I get asked this question and I answer "I gave birth at home" I get some interesting reactions. One of the most common comments I get is "WOW you are brave" or "You must be superwoman!"  Their response automatically implies  that what I did  to them was inherently dangerous and that I had to have more courage than most women to accomplish this task. In my opinion, I was exactly the opposite of this. I did not have to have courage or have to be any "stronger' than the average woman. I simply had knowledge.

Knowledge of what my body was supposed to do and then let my body do its thing. I gained this knowledge from books. You know, those low tech things that contain priceless information? I also learned a lot from some higher tech resources like youtube. I watched a lot of gentle birth videos that convinced me, that my body too, was absolutely capable of a natural home birth that was tolerable. (Even though I did witness some orgasmic painless births!) Also, the legendary Ina May Gaskin has videos posted on youtube for FREE! Which to me was a gold mine of information that helped me come to my decisions about home birth. Because I don't always have time to sit down and read books, the Internet is a great option that will allow me to throw on some audio while I do housework.

A few life changing key points from my research:

1. When relaxed you feel less pain and have more efficient contractions (blood going to uterus instead of flexed extremities)

2. The cervix acts as a sphincter- sphincters only OPEN when you relax (i.e. laughing so hard you pee = open sphincter or when you cannot go poo because you are in public = closed sphincter)

3. Fear increases maternal heart rate- which increases baby heart rate- which can be perceived as fetal distress

4. Statistically interventions on low risk mothers, such as pitocin or epidural increase odds of complications and c-section. This is especially true for first time mothers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17467355)

5. Pelvic alignment matters: See a chiropractor to align pelvis so baby has optimum room to finagle itself out. (This can also decrease labor time AND pain! yay!)


When you focus on what can go wrong...or you go looking for complications, you will find them. This is generally what can happen in a hospital. People seek out birth in a hospital for "safety" reasons but with interventions and C sections on the rise in the last 10 years we need to re-evaluate the hospital birth systems. More technology does not necessarily imply a safer birth. US currently ranks 55th in the WORLD for infant mortality rate. There are some 3rd world countries that have better infant mortality rates than the US. This number has fallen from the last time I checked 2 years ago it was 46th. Something obviously needs to change. Whether it be more education for mothers, better hospital guidelines for low risk mothers, or teaching more natural ways to cope with labor...SOMETHING needs to happen.

After doing your research and reading and making an informed decision to birth in a hospital, home, or birth center, make sure you go in prepared and with a strong plan and strong support to see it through! Birth is about the MOTHER'S comfort. No one else's. If she feels safe her birth will overall go better.

I am absolutely NOT saying that hospitals are bad. They are AMAZING for when things actually DO go wrong or if a pregnancy is high risk.  But the rate for which we are utilizing interventions in hospitals is far to high and causing more problems than it should for both baby and mom. We have to stop running scared! Let us do something about it Mommies!

I didn't have my kids at home to be impressive or receive a pat on the back...  I did it because it was what was right for me and my family. felt safer at home because I didn't have anyone looking for things to go wrong or have a timeline for which I was allowed to birth or have monitors beeping at me or people checking me all the time. I felt free to roam about, sway my hips, and RELAX and let my babies just... come.

  • Sources: 
  • Reproductive medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology

Rates of obstetric intervention among low-risk women giving birth in private and public hospitals in NSW: a population-based descriptive study

  1. Charlene Thornton1
     2007 Jun;20(2):41-8. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

    Birth outcomes associated with interventions in labour amongst low risk women: a population-based study.

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