No, You're Not Crazy/Irresponsible/Dangerous/Unsafe for Wanting to Birth at Home
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
You are a wise and connected woman. Birthing at home is in your DNA. This ancient Knowing lives within your womb, no matter how you birthed in the past, were birthed or will birth in the future. Your ancestors birthed this way. Intuitively you know this truth. The Truth that birthing at home gives you the space to be vulnerable, raw, primal, ecstatic, orgasmic, powerful, emotional, messy, loud, to walk through the fire and initiation and come out on the other side. You are a powerful human being; you are a powerful mother. You might not even know exactly WHY intellectually you want to birth at home, but something deep down within you is calling and pointing you in that direction. What would it look like to follow that desire? What could be unearthed for you? What is waiting for you to reclaim? Maybe it’s the subtle calling of your ancestors reminding you of your power, or your body communicating this ancient wisdom, this sacredness and normalcy of birth.
And it can be really hard to go against what is normalized. We tend to normalize things that happen over and over again and especially across time, like normalizing a sedentary lifestyle. But just because this has been “normal” for x amount of time, does not mean that it is actually normal and when I say normal I really mean physiological. As humans and mammals and beings of earth, we are given a physiological blueprint for how we can live thriving lives. We are all mammals and our needs as beings of earth haven’t changed much.
I think when we really get down to it, when given the opportunity to really tune in and feel how these modern birth practices feel in your body when you consider them, you will notice that they are not normal at all. When we can align with our physiology, we flourish and our babies flourish too. Some modern birth practices happening in 100% of hospitals that are normalized but in no way actually physiological or normal: Mothers being drugged up, disconnected/numb to their pelvis. Babies being taken and separated from their mothers at birth. Birthing with clothes on. Babies being touched and received by a gloved hand and not the Mother who held and created baby, the only person this baby has known. Birthing on your back to accommodate gloved person receiving your baby and not because you want to birth on your back. Babies being pulled out from their mothers. Being told how and when to push. Being told you are not able to choose your birthing position. Your cervix being checked many times and by someone you don’t know. Birthing with strangers. Being woken up every few hours to be poked and prodded in the early postpartum. Baby being whisked away to be poked, prodded and washed. Baby being held/touched by anyone except mother, partner or close family in the early hours, days and weeks. Baby’s cord being cut immediately (any time under at least 1hr) after birth. Being prevented from eating or drinking in labor. Being told you will “kill your baby” if you don’t do this test. Being told you will “kill your baby” if you go past 42 weeks. Being told you will need an induction. Being treated as if you are not the expert of your own body. Being continuously monitored by machines. Being hooked up to an IV “just in case.” Birthing with the lights on and 10 people in the room looking at your vulva. Receiving synthetic oxytocin to speed your labor because “you’re not opening fast enough!”. Being threatened with a c-section if you don’t open and birth fast enough according to an old and flawed standard created by a man. And so many more. And of course, birthing at home does not make you immune to these above practices, and not at all hospitals/doctors/nurses do all of these things, and yes, sometimes these practices are necessary, rarely though, or wanted. I am speaking generally and from the stand point of what our physiological needs are. There is no way every mother NEEDS these modern practices or wants them. There is definitely a spectrum on all the options, but birthing at home does give you more autonomy. You get to choose your birth team, you get to ask questions and for the most part, your wishes will be honored especially if you are inviting people into your birth who are truly invested in you and your family’s health and inviting in people who have witnessed and understand the needs of physiological birth, trust the process and who practice in this way. According to the Giving Voice to Mothers , about 1 in 3 women are mistreated (loss of autonomy; being shouted at, scolded, or threatened; and being ignored, refused, or receiving no response to requests for help) in the hospital setting vs 5.1% at home. I or almost anyone who has seen birth in both settings will tell you that place of birth definitely plays a factor in how you will be treated. Birth requires a deep deep deeeeeep surrender of your entire self and it is no wonder to me that women want to be numb when the way birth is offered in a hospital is not normal, is not physiological. How can you go to the depths of your being around people who you don’t feel comfortable with? You’re not crazy for wanting the best experience for you, your baby and your family even if you don’t really know why you want to birth at home, follow that knowing and see where it can take you. You are a wise and connected woman!