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My partner is not comfortable with home birth, any advice?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

My husband and I see eye to eye on almost EVERYTHING- it is wonderful!  With the birth of our first son, I had an incredibly positive, spiritual, pain-free, drug-free, intervention-free natural birth. It was just perfect in my mind!  We had a midwife and a doula and my husband was the best birth partner anybody could ask for. The event took place at our hospital which is progressive and great for letting birthing women bring their midwives/doulas and letting us birth on our won without any 'hospital/medical stuff.'

 

So, now with this pregnancy, I really wonder why should go to the hospital?  I am totally confident in my body and from my first experience with birth - I am very attracted to the idea of giving birth at home.  There is midwife center in town that provides midwifes for  home births and they have a great relationship with the hospital in town too, so should the need arise, they can move you to the hospital during birth with no problems. And we live 10 min from the hospital. 

 

Okay, my problem is, I expressed my desire to birth at home this time and my husband said it made him really - really....really uncomfortable.  He saw me give birth the first time so he knows, first-hand how wonderful it was for me- but I think he feels too nervous about the chances of something going wrong.  I don't want to convince him because I wouldn't want him to convince me to go about this his way...and I do know that I cannot give birth with out him - he is the best birth partner and if he is nervous or on edge during birth at a home birth, well that isn't worth it--  I'd rather be in the hospital!!  He has to be comfortable too- we're in this together! 

 

So, yes, I don't want to convince him BUT-- I also feel really strongly about this and I think this may be our last baby, so it is my one and only chance to have a home-birth experience.  I just think it could be incredible-- I know it could be-- and I don't want to have regrets.  So, if anybody has any advice for me on how to see his side more, or how to help him feel comfortable with a home birth-- I'd greatly appreciated it.  He is comforted by facts and studies and concrete medical information-- so if you have any links to stuff like that - that backs up the safety and smart choice of home birth --that would be helpful. 

 


Thanks mamas!!!!!

post #2 of 38
Do you think he would watch a movie about birth with you? There is a really beautiful short film called "birth day" that is a Mexican midwife's homebirth, filmed by her grandfather. It's this wonderful, woman-led, normal birth. (even though you don't really see her much, she has a very hands off midwife in the background.) it's about 13 min, and I think you might ba able to find it on YouTube, but it's produced by Sage Femme.

The Buisness of Being Born is great too. There are lots of experts, lots of grest homebirth stories, but One of the best things about it, is that the film maker does not get to have her homebirth due to something that was not caught by her doctor throughout her pregnancy. When her midwife arrives during her labor, she makes the call to take her to the hospital. It shows what a great model of care exists when there is good respectful midwife/doctor partnership, IMO.

Pushed by Jennifer Block is a good book, but it's a little intense. Henci Goer's "thinking woman's guide to birth" is a good choice as well.
post #3 of 38

Has he met the midwives yet?  Maybe if he's able to ask some questions and get some answers that make sense to him, he'll feel more comfortable. I think its normal for men to feel uncertain and I bet the midwives have some information that may make him more comfortable.

 

Off topic a bit -- are you still in NC? Are these CNMs?  Its so hard to have a homebirth here with a legal care provider :(

post #4 of 38

I do think the Business of Being Born is a good one, and ya can watch it instantly on Netflix. 

It gives good information and perspective, and although my husband wouldn't actually read any pregnancy/birth related stuff he did watch that documentary with me and seemed to get a lot out of it. 

 

Hopefully you can bring him around. I do think you "convincing" him is different than him trying to convince you, because YOU are the one giving birth. The child will be both of yours, but the birth itself is something only you can do. So I pretty much think it's the husband/partner's job to just shut up and support whatever the woman wants when it comes to birth choices. You know better than anyone else what will make you feel comfortable and safe.

 

Something you might want to focus on with him are what problems are possible, and what different scenarios are for dealing with the different issues. Most indications of problems happen long before labor.. The midwife will know how to handle all sorts of emergency situations. What, if any, situation would require actually being IN the hospital to give birth, and what are the chances of that happening?

 

At least it does sound like a good hospital to have available if you do chose that route.

post #5 of 38
I really liked this blog - thank goodness I had a hb... There is a part where the mw talks about an interview with a couple where she is interested, and he is not.
Oh, and I've been there before - we had my twins at home in October, and my husband who was not originally in agreement became an amazing support.
Sometimes you don't have to convince someone... but only have them explore it a bit?
Here's the blog: http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/?p=1751
post #6 of 38

I'd give him as much NON biased information about homebirth as possible(yes, even include the "bad" side of things!) and see if even after seeing a non biased prospective towards homebirth how his feelings are. I personally wouldn't want to go into a homebirth with a partner who wasn't 100% on board, I feel that not only would my biggest labor support be stressed out, but I'd stress out over them being stressed out. In the case of not being able to agree, I'd look into a birth center. 

Of course, on board or not, it's 100% your decision to make, I just personally wouldn't do it without my husband on board.

post #7 of 38

Could you ask the midwives if they know of another dad or two that could share their experience with your husband? Sometimes hearing from another dad what homebirth was like for them is more helpful that any book.  Good luck. 

post #8 of 38
I agree that having him meet the midwife coups do the trick. We interviewd the midwife together. The plan was to meet a few. DH was not so interested in HB. But the second we left the meeting, he said "she's the one." I didn't feel so crazy about her but since he was so confident in her and would need a strong husband during birth, we went with her. And now he is a big advocate for HB!

Good luck!
post #9 of 38
My husband is more conventional than I am and I ended up convincing him we should do a homebirth. He sat and watched The Business of Being Born with me as well as attended three midwife interviews with me. I did all the research to make sure it was safe but did ask him to look up the good and bad himself (he ended up just trusting me.) We ended having to transfer because my water broke and it took a day and a half to go into labor by which time I developed an infection. Everyone ended up healthy, though, and we are about to attempt our second home birth. We decided we have another low risk pregnancy so there's no real need for a hospital and we want to stay comfy at home.

The Netherlands has what is considered a high infant mortality rate in Europe. Their response was to scrutinize their practice of low risk women delivering at home. This is admittedly another country with very overall different practices than us, however they found home birth was not to blame for high infant mortality rates. Here is a link to their findings http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/04April/Pages/HomeBirthSafe.aspx which I hope is helpful. Good luck!
post #10 of 38

I'm afraid your citation is called into question by the more recent 2010 BMJ study on homebirth in the Netherlands which found that midwife attended homebirth with a low-risk mother had worse outcomes than OB attended hospital birth with a high risk mother.

 

http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c5639.full

 

Also, unless the OP is planning to homebirth with a CNM, all european studies purporting to show safety generally are inapplicable -- european midwives are better educated, more closely regulated and more fully integrated in the health care system than DEM/CPMs are here in the States.

post #11 of 38

I agree with you in not wanting to convince your husband. I would let him know how important it is to you and why, and hope he convinces himself without any coercion.

I was in a similar situation regarding vaccinations. I didn't want to, but my whole family was very unsupportive of the idea. I decided that my son would be vaccinated because if heaven forbid anything were to go wrong, it would all have been on me and I would have blamed myself. Of course no one would blame or say anything, but you know everyone would be thinking "we knew this was a bad idea". 

post #12 of 38
I think it is important to let your partner know why you feel homebirth is right for you guys. I didn't grow up with health insurance so we rarely went to the doctor. This might be the reason I feel this way. But when I really thought about where I feel most comfortable in such a vulnerable state, it was home. I'm not as familiar with hospitals so feel very skeptical and on edge when in them. Since so much about labor is keeping the oxytocin flowing and avoiding adrenaline as much as possible - I knew I'd benefit from laboring at home.

I have good friends (DH included) who grew up around hospitals and feel safe in them so homebirth would not be for them.

Try picturing yourself being as relaxed as possible during labor. Where do you see yourself? Share this with you DH.

And if you choose to do a hospital birth, consider laboring at home for the bulk of labor before you transfer.

Good luck!
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljay18 View Post

Hey all,
My husband and I see eye to eye on almost EVERYTHING- it is wonderful!  With the birth of our first son, I had an incredibly positive, spiritual, pain-free, drug-free, intervention-free natural birth. It was just perfect in my mind!  We had a midwife and a doula and my husband was the best birth partner anybody could ask for. The event took place at our hospital which is progressive and great for letting birthing women bring their midwives/doulas and letting us birth on our won without any 'hospital/medical stuff.'

So, now with this pregnancy, I really wonder why should go to the hospital?  I am totally confident in my body and from my first experience with birth - I am very attracted to the idea of giving birth at home.  There is midwife center in town that provides midwifes for  home births and they have a great relationship with the hospital in town too, so should the need arise, they can move you to the hospital during birth with no problems. And we live 10 min from the hospital. 

Okay, my problem is, I expressed my desire to birth at home this time and my husband said it made him really - really....really uncomfortable.  He saw me give birth the first time so he knows, first-hand how wonderful it was for me- but I think he feels too nervous about the chances of something going wrong.  I don't want to convince him because I wouldn't want him to convince me to go about this his way...and I do know that I cannot give birth with out him - he is the best birth partner and if he is nervous or on edge during birth at a home birth, well that isn't worth it--  I'd rather be in the hospital!!  He has to be comfortable too- we're in this together! 

So, yes, I don't want to convince him BUT-- I also feel really strongly about this and I think this may be our last baby, so it is my one and only chance to have a home-birth experience.  I just think it could be incredible-- I know it could be-- and I don't want to have regrets.  So, if anybody has any advice for me on how to see his side more, or how to help him feel comfortable with a home birth-- I'd greatly appreciated it.  He is comforted by facts and studies and concrete medical information-- so if you have any links to stuff like that - that backs up the safety and smart choice of home birth --that would be helpful. 



Thanks mamas!!!!!
My DH & I went through the same thing...he has a PhD, teaches medical school & is a research scientist, so VERY critical of HB. I had 2 natural childbirths in a hospital with a reputation for being a baby factory & for #3 knew that I didn't need or want to be there with another low risk pregnancy. I had decided on a water birth at home & changed to a HB CNM at 21 weeks. DH initially supported my decision but then the last month of my pregnancy once all of his big ticket work items had been addressed & he had more free time to think about the upcoming birth he freaked out & sadly we fought about it. The night before our little one was born DH said that he wanted me to just show up at the hospital that is at his institution when it was time to have the baby. I thought that was the worst possible idea as we had NO background there with any OB, they didn't have midwives at this hospital where the one that our other 2 children were born did & even if I caved into his demands I'd labor at home as long as possible to avoid intervention but that could leave us having the baby in the car by ourselves...at 11 pm we discussed all of these things & he was on board as he knew that I knew my body & I should be comfortable during the birth. 11:30pm bloody show! The baby just needed to know it was OK to come now that we were in agreement! When the CNM & her assistant arrived with all of their gear my husband was at ease as they are prepared to handle many situations. (He described it as the the Navy Seal team, ready for anything) We had a beautiful water birth with my sister there to take care of our kids when they woke up. The difference in the care i received at home was far superior to the care I received in the hospital. At home all of your needs are met in a very personalized way & what is best for baby is what happens...no taking the baby for measurements/APGAR testing/bath moments after birth...you dry your baby & nurse as long you want, APGAR testing is done while babe is in your arms, measurements taken when you are comfortable with it. Postpartum care is also hands down better than after delivering at a hospital. My midwives had 4 opportunities in the 6 week postpartum period to check in on the health & well being of me & my son, unlike the single 6 week check up after you are discharged from a hospital. The whole HB experience is much more from the heart than at a hospital, all while exceeding the standard of care that the hospital provided. It is the job of the midwives to have healthy mamas & babies! They will not jeopardize your health or the baby's for the sake of being at home. HB is their livelihood so they must keep it safe. Our midwives were very clear about what would constitute a transfer & asking about their statistics from previous years also made the choice for us a no brainer. My DH is a convert & if we were going to go for #4 he said we'd absolutely do another HB but I think we are going to stick with 3:). Your birth will be wonderful no matter where you are because you & your DH will work together to welcome your little one into the world!
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

I'm afraid your citation is called into question by the more recent 2010 BMJ study on homebirth in the Netherlands which found that midwife attended homebirth with a low-risk mother had worse outcomes than OB attended hospital birth with a high risk mother.

http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c5639.full

Also, unless the OP is planning to homebirth with a CNM, all european studies purporting to show safety generally are inapplicable -- european midwives are better educated, more closely regulated and more fully integrated in the health care system than DEM/CPMs are here in the States.


Thanks for the link, Buzzbuzz. Perhaps I shouldn't have compared our system to theirs - I'm still a HB advocate. Hospital births in the States are full of interventions like constant fetal monitoring, pitocin and artificial membrane rupture which statistically lead to our high cesarean rate. On top of that when you tell then your decision to a proposed course of treatment they bully you if your answer doesn't match what they think you should do. Obstetrics is largely personal belief here, not fact based science and I feel more confident in my certified midwife, who is also an RN, than the team of "professionals" at the hospital.

If only they'd do large studies on home births here!
post #15 of 38

I guess I'm a little confused by a homebirth advocate whose problem with obstetics is that it isn't science based enough! 

 

99% of what I would call "midwifery type" practices lack any foundation in science at all.  For example, there is no scientific evidence that (a) eating placenta prevents PPH, (b) that eating placenta prevents PPD, (c) that using castor oil to induce labor is safe and effective, (d) that using vodka to stop contractions is safe and effective, (e) that using garlic to treat GBS is safe and effective, etc., etc.  And that's not even getting into the more alternative practices like induction by flashlight or treatment of PPH by aromatherapy!

 

"Hospital births in the States are full of interventions like constant fetal monitoring, pitocin and artificial membrane rupture which statistically lead to our high cesarean rate."

 

How much of our cesearan rate is primary versus RCS?  How much of it is c-section on maternal request?  How much of it is complications due to a population that is more likely to have multiples and high order multiples (thanks to access to fertility treatments)?  How much of it is due to a population with more patients with advanced maternal age and/or obesity?  How much of it is due to women who would historically not have survived to childbearing age (due to heart conditions, disabilities like cerebral palsy, etc., etc.) now being able to survive to maturity and get pregnant?

 

Also, while evaluating the use of c-section is important, let's also never forget to take our eye off the most important ball of all:  morbidity and mortality rates for mother and baby. 

post #16 of 38

Oh dear, I feel like I need to comment on this:

 

Quote:
99% of what I would call "midwifery type" practices lack any foundation in science at all.

 

Let's remember that an overwhelming majority of midwives in the US are Certified Nurse Midwives (they probably outnumber CPMs and 'other' midwives 10 to 1). CNMs also attend about ten times the number of births as do the 'other' midwives (10% of all births = CNMs, 1% = CPMs and others). Most midwives in the US practice in hospitals, have graduate level educations and are considered independent providers at an advance practice nurse level. I would argue that most US midwives DO have a solid foundation in science, and they have very good outcomes supporting their practices.

 

But I get it, sometimes it SEEMS like 99% of midwifery type practices lack any foundation in science at all - I will concede that. BUT - we really can't let a few (loud, vocal, placenta-smoothie ingesting) individuals represent the whole of midwifery in the US. Especially since, by their numbers, they are clearly in the minority.

 

Perhaps "midwifery type" meant to exclude certified nurse midwives. The non-evidence based opinions are out there - loud and proud and all over the place. But let's remember that most US midwives are not this 'type.'
 

post #17 of 38
Krst234, thank you. I'm not a midwife and I was offended by that generalization too. Thank you for saying something. smile.gif
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

Also, while evaluating the use of c-section is important, let's also never forget to take our eye off the most important ball of all:  morbidity and mortality rates for mother and baby. 

I think it's telling that you, Buzzbuzz, who I assume is not a HB advocate, think that you know that the "most important ball" is in terms of HB advocacy.  Can you tell us a little about your experiences as a HB advocate that bring you to that conclusion?

 

On a weekly basis we make choices for our children that may well put them at an increased rate for morbidity or mortality. While of course if we had a crystal ball we would look into it and decide to not let our kid play on that rock wall...but we don't and so we make our decision with a great number of factors. We weigh morbidity and mortality risk with other risk factors which often have lower stakes but much higher likelyhoods. We weigh things like quality of life and how our choices impact society. 

 

In terms of HB many of us consider the impact of HB on the culture of birth for all women. I think that relatively intervention free birth as an option is good for all women. I believe that the movement towards HB puts some much needed counter pressure to the direction of obstetrics in this country (US) and around the world. I believe HB midwives are preserving knowledge that is on the verge of extinction that is an asset to birth as a whole (these "midwife practices" you mention).  

 

So, yea, I would say if you're prone to more black and white thinking, HB is probably not for you. In that case perhaps weighing in on the factors that go into choosing HB is not really the place for you. 

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

99% of what I would call "midwifery type" practices lack any foundation in science at all.

For someone so interested in science and the stats of HB I find this statement just....headscratch.gif

post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljay18 View Post

So, yes, I don't want to convince him BUT-- I also feel really strongly about this and I think this may be our last baby, so it is my one and only chance to have a home-birth experience.  I just think it could be incredible-- I know it could be-- and I don't want to have regrets.  So, if anybody has any advice for me on how to see his side more, or how to help him feel comfortable with a home birth-- I'd greatly appreciated it.  He is comforted by facts and studies and concrete medical information-- so if you have any links to stuff like that - that backs up the safety and smart choice of home birth --that would be helpful. 

I am terrible about keeping studies and facts in my head but I will say that if it's straight-up stats that will convince your DH, you may have a difficult time weighing a really positive hospital birth to a slight increased risk of HB.  I think HB does a great job of balancing the increased risk of negative outcomes of a hospital birth but I'm a bit concerned about how it will stack against your birth if stats are the thing to put your DH over the edge. 

 

So...what to read and what to discuss with him?  

 

Well, why don't you talk about the reasons you would like a homebirth? I think HB is an especially good choice for families who already have children because it gives you far more flexibility in terms of how you involve your LO in welcoming your new child. What are the other factors that you feel make HB the best choice for you? 

 

I think I'd just talk about it. Ask him to do some reading/research on his own. You two seem like you have a really good relationship and I think I'd trust in that first and foremost and go from there. 

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