I know that a lot of people are thinking about switching from a hospital birth to having a homebirth because of everything that is going on with COVID-19.
I recently spoke with homebirth midwife, Bronwyn Moir (Holistic Midwifery) so she could answer some common questions that are coming up. She has noticed an increase in homebirth enquiries. Not so much because people think they will catch coronavirus in the hospital, but more along the lines of being able to receive the care and support they want.
In some places, options are being limited due to COVID-19. For example; not being allowed to birth in water, not being able to use gas, not being able to have the support of their doula or partner, or being separated from their baby at birth.
"It's really important that people reach out and speak to local privately practicing midwives to talk about their individual circumstances. It's good to find out what options are in your area and who the midwives are that are available."
"I think the biggest difference I've noted from working as a midwife in the system and working privately as a homebirth midwife, is the continuity of care. Home birth seems to have a higher continuity of care. This means you’re seeing the same midwife throughout your pregnancy, labour and for six weeks postnatally.
I feel like I can offer more individualized care. I can talk to women about her individual wants and desires. The woman is the one in-control. She's the one making the informed decisions. I think overall people feel more supported and more empowered during the process."
"There's no place like home! We are mammals, and just like other mammals, we need specific things to help birth flow. Birth is an orchestrated hormonal event and we can't ‘think our way through this’.
By understanding how birth works, we can understand that the environment has a huge impact. Home is generally where you do feel the safest. In your own space, you can have your own things around you, your own bed, your own food and your own smells. These things can help us feel more relaxed, which allows the right hormones to flow. Birth tends to flow more easily when we feel safe and supported."
"Yes. It’s been proven that homebirth is just as safe for women who don't have any pre-existing medical conditions, who are considered low-risk and who are supported by skilled well integrated midwives, especially if they live within a reasonable distance to a hospital.
Privately practicing midwives are highly trained and skilled healthcare practitioners. We carry the equipment we need to deal with problems and we have the skills to recognise if there is a problem and transfer in a timely manner."
To find out more about the services that Bronwyn offers, visit www.holisticmidwifery.com.au
Hopefully, one of the silver linings in this pandemic is that more people realize that homebirth is a viable option and that with the right support it can be a very satisfying experience.
This is your story to be written. Definitely take the time to become educated on the options available to you so that you can have the healthiest and happiest birth and postpartum possible.
I really believe that the right support makes ALL the difference.
Download this free natural birth checklist that covers practical tips and natural suggestions for the three stages of labor. Start feeling more confident about your birth plan.