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How do you get ver your fears with homebirth/

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i really want a homebirth for this second child. My reasons are many including not wanting to be separated from my family the night after the birth. I am going to a midwife at a birth center but I've recently heard they have a high transfer rate to their partnering hospital. AAgh1 I dn't want that! So, back to the homebirth opeion. Here in my neighborhhod the hospital is really really scary and I am afraid that if there is some problem, I'd be stuck there in a much worse situation. Any thoghts from others who've been in a similar situation?
Thanks. Sorry this is suddenly so short but DS just woke up and I've gotta run!!!

post #2 of 14
Well, when I initially heard of home birth it sounded like the craziest thing in the world to me, but then I started reading and reading and reading and now it seems like the most natural thing in the world. One book I really liked was Sheila Kitzinger's Home Birth. Also, read a lot of home birth stories online. There are many wonderful stories in the home birth forum of this site. There are also a lot of great stories of home births (some unattended) on the birthlove site (www.birthlove.com). Also, talking to an experienced homebirth midwife or others who have done a home birth may make you feel more comfortable that it is a very safe option for those who are low risk and healthy. Here is a great site on the safety of homebirth:


After reading and talking to others, see how you feel. Good luck!
post #3 of 14
I was the same as serenity - the idea of a homebirth seemed crazy at first.... but once i went to the birthing center and learned they would not do a birthing center vbac and was left with the choice of at a hospital or at home, i started doing a ton of reading. once i did more reading on homebirth i felt a lot more secure about it. birthlove is an amazing website, also compleat mother has many homebirth articles - and i'm sure you've read the recent mothering article on HBAC?

I'm now in my fifth month, using a homebirth midwife - i find her to be extremely reassuring as well. Meet/interview some homebirth midwives - and find out who their back-up doctor is, and what hospital you'd be transferred to - it very likely will not be the "scary" one in your neighborhood. also - you did not say how your first birth was - i would think if it was vaginal you would have a lower possibility of transfering to the hospital, as your body has physically birthed already, and even lower if your first was also natural.

good luck - and let me know if you want some midwife rec's
post #4 of 14
The studies that have been done comparing homebirth vs. hospital birth outcomes were very reassuring to me, showing that statistically homebirth is as safe or safer than hospital birth. Given that, and given the differences in quality of experience and risks of drugs and other interventions, why would any healthy woman choose to birth at a hospital?
post #5 of 14
As a VBAC mama, I was more afraid of what might happen to me re. interventions, "policy" and a slow labor at a hospital than I was of staying home.....I live within 8 minutes of a decent, smallish hospital, and by the time I got educated enough to chose a homebirth, I realized that in a true emergency situation (the only reason for a hospital transfer) I wouldn't be really making all that many choices - because everyone would be doing whatever was medically necessary.
post #6 of 14
I diddo Serenity and Celine. Read, read, read and talk to others who have done it. Kitzinger's book, Homebirth was excellent. Spiritual Midwifery was also good for me. It got a little monotonous--story after story--but when I was finished, birth outside of a hospital setting just seemed normal. In fact, I think why would anyone who deosn't have to want to have a baby in a hospital?
I had my first baby in the hospital and it just didn't quite end like I had wanted. I wasn't sold on home birth when I became pregnant with my second child, but we started seeing a homebirth midwife early in my pregnancy and I feel pretty confident.
I'm a social worker in a pediatric hospital and my boss is a pediatric emergency room physician who sits on the child death review board. She tries to scare me with stories about child deaths in home birth and other things, but I just try to focus on all of the information to the contrary that's out there. She's slowly coming around. In fact, just this week, she offered to be at my house for the birth. I can't even imagine her in my home, but I agreed to call her if I had any concerns.
Talking to those who have done it before is the best thing.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Celine, I'll PM you about some midwife rec's. Thanks. I think it would help to talk with them like you've suggested.

Just to clarfy, I am not even remotely considering a Hospital birth! My question is weighing freestanding birth center (with possibly hight transfer rates for non-emergency situations.) and with Home birth in my neighborhood with the hospital that seems to screw up EVERY emergency patient that goes in there. (My FIL for one.)

i think I should look into the possibility of beign transferred to a Manhattan hospistal even though I'm in Queens.

Celine, yes, My son's birth was natural and fairly easy, once I figured out what relaxing into the rushes truly meant. It was a hospital birth but the OB was extremely "progressive" in that he let the nurse practitioner and my Bradley-trained husband let us do the laboring. So, no meds or pressure really. No episiotimy and they left me off the IV and the monitor except for the mandatory occaisional check. soooo. I feel my body is definately in better shape for birth than even last time. Bradley classes and then my subsequent training as a Bradley instructor (I'm not one yet as I've postponed until my kiddos are older...)

I guess I keep fearing those horrible situations which people allude to as *happening* during birth.

I'll read birthlove website.
post #8 of 14
Easy. I read, of course, every book and took the Bradley class. But, was still neurotic. I had a dr. who wanted me to go to the hospital--the ONLY safe place. So, I kept the dr. and the mw hanging until labor started and I realized there was no way in HECK I would go to the hospital!:

So, I guess my advice would be to leave all your options open. You call the shots and if, at any time, you don't feel safe then change the course of action.

--Just read what you posted same time as me! Well, gosh, the center seems to have been a very positive place for you. But, in the event of an emgcy, you'd have to be transferred from the ctr anyway. My mw really impressed upon me that there is little difference between a ctr and my home. She brings all the equip. including oxygen, etc. w/her.
Tough call. Best of luck.
post #9 of 14
I'll make one more plug. I found Ktizinger's Homebirth book very helpful in alleveviating many of my fears about the horrible things that can happen during birth. I think it was the chapter that covered possilbe transfer to hospital situations. She just had a nice way of presenting them in a very "natural" way that wasn't frightening. I walked away feeling really empowered that most of the stuff could be managed at home and if not, no big deal getting to the hospital. Just a suggestions. Jennifer
post #10 of 14
There really seems to be little point in using a freestanding birth center( I used one for my daughter and wouldn't again, though the care was excellent). You are encouraging complications by changing locations at a possibly sensitive point in labor, and you are bound up in their protocols and transfer requirements. All that they have there your homebirth midwife brings to the house (oxygen, methergine, etc). If there are no licensed midwives in your area you will have to seek out unlicensed midwives, which gives you a huge responsibility in terms of checking them out via references. Also, most hospital transfers are not rushing in an ambulance- care may be transferred long before labor, in which case you can choose a hospital farther away that better meets your needs. Or, the decision is reached during labor and you ride in your own car. Unassisted homebirths, however, aren't shown to be statistically safe, although I know Jeannine Parvati Baker has some info on them, and, I believe, has had at least one herself.
The best way to alleviate fear, and thereby remove and reduce your risk of complications, is to educate yourself, and that means read virtually everything you can get your hands on. Not just one or two books on homebirth or pregnancy etc, but everything. Only then are you equipped to participate fully in the experience as well as any decisions that need to be made that might change plans.
post #11 of 14
I started out going to our local freestanding birth center, but I changed my mind when I was about eight or ten weeks prego and decided on homebirth. It just seemed totally normal to me; I was more fearful of a hospital birth than a home birth!
I also spoke with a good friend of mine who had her first in the hospital and her second at home. The way she talked about it, glowed about it, raved about it, got me thinking that I should interview her midwife and see if I was comfortable with her. She turned out to be excellent. I also read "Immaculate Deception 2" by Suzanne Arms, and watched her video, "Giving Birth: Challenges and Choices". I knew it was safest for myself and my baby.... and on top of that, no needles, no lab coats, no strangers, no car ride.... I was in heaven
post #12 of 14
I just wanted to second what Milo said. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I knew I wanted to have the baby at home (just seemed to sad to leave my home to go to a flourescent ugly hospital room - no birth centers here). The way I looked at the possibility of a transfer was that if it ended up that I needed to go to a hospital then it meant interventions anyway and I would still have my midwife with me for support and to help make decisions. I think the main thing you need to do is find a midwife you trust completely. I had an amazing homebirth experience and I truly believe it was because of the bond I had with my team of midwives.

I say (as if what I say matters!) find a great midwife so you can have a wonderful home birth.
post #13 of 14


Which is safer? A growling tiger in the hospital, or in your home? Dumb question, huh. They are equally dangerous or safe. I feel the same is for birth. Whatever is going to happen during your birth will happen whether you are in the hospital or at home. The only thing changing is the atmosphere. If you truly believe birth is safe, and I believe it is, then home, is just as "safe". And once you accept death as a possiblity in anything that is beyond your control, and most things are, then you can handle the responsibility.
post #14 of 14
I would say to educate yourself. There are many good books on the subject. Then you will know what to expect. Also, have confidence in yourself. You can do it. I do think it is important that you feel comfortable giving birth at home or your fears will make your birth more difficult.

Have confidence! Your body was designed for this.

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