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Anyone ever labored/birthed in the forest?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Last weekend we were out in the woods and it was the most peaceful, relaxing few hours I've spent in a long time. The quiet and lack of electricity running around was heavenly. My dream has always been to birth in a forest, but I knew I would never do it. After this weekend, I'm seriously starting to consider it. We would be about 20 minutes from a hospital, so no worries if I have to have an emergency transfer. What do you think? Has anyone ever done this before? What would I need to take into consideration out in the woods that would be different than at home?
post #2 of 63
I would be concerned about two things: weather and insects. I'm from New England, and the mosquitos can be fierce here, and then of course, there's ticks. I don't know how you feel about bug repellent, but depending on when you're due, it might be worth some thought.

Weather - when are you due? Would you feel as positive about birthing in the woods on a day with imperfect weather?

Okay - extra concerns: is your due date during hunting season? Who owns the woods in question - are they public, private, limited access? In the event that you needed to transfer, where would your car be parked in relation to where you were laboring?

I walked a *lot* during my last trimester, and see no reason why that walking couldn't have been done in the woods, even during labor, but I would hesitate to plan to birth anyplace where I might be interrupted by deer hunters, park rangers, state cops, or Appalachian Trail through-hikers who might interfere with the process.
post #3 of 63
I would also be concerned about access to running water, refrigeration (for food), a soft bed, places to sit, and also, a toilet. In addition to the things the PP mentioned.

I can definitely see going for a walk in the woods in labor, though.
post #4 of 63
YES! I have

probably gonna sound like a freak here, but I planned my UC at a rainbow gathering in Brazil.
We had a tipi set up in the forest, and I've attended a few births that were camping. one on a beach.
We didn't have running water or electricity. we had a campfire for cooking. and it was great

my personal experience was deciding to transfer after 60 hours of labour (baby stuck in OP), but I don't think that was anything to do with our location. Actually, we didn't make it to the hospital, DD was born with me squatting on the back of the car, in the rain, in the mud, on the edge of the village soccer field.
she was fine and healthy so we drove back up to the moutain

If you're comfortable with it, then go for it.
you can easily prepare to have everything you think you will want or need for the birth. bring a camp mattress, folding chairs, a hammok bring a camp stove and an ice box full of food. heck, hire a campervan (RV) for the day if you feel like it - then you have the full equipment of a home, and access to the woods all in one go.

but that's just me :

ETA: toilet. oh, well, we dug a hole. but where we were, that was acceptable. it was private land and we had permission to birth there.
post #5 of 63
I didn't actually birth outside, but my in-laws live out in the woods on 120 acres. I labored and birthed at their house and spent a fair amount of time outside. It was especially nice during transition because it was so peaceful and dark outside. I took a blanket outside during transition and labored there. I would definitely recommend it, though I liked having a house with electricity nearby because I'm spoiled.
post #6 of 63
Nope though I did/do consider it.

Here's an awesome birth story....not in the woods but still outside. This is the one that planted the seed (it is a midwife attended birth). The pictures rock!
post #7 of 63
thanks for that link!
post #8 of 63
Just a month ago someone has had a UC in the forest, story with pictures and all:


post #9 of 63
No, but I WISH I could have. i think it would be awesome to welcome a baby into that environment!
post #10 of 63
i would do it. i would make sure it's a park area that isn't heavily trafficed by others, as they get jumpy and want to call 911 and stuff--but otherwise, i would totally do it.

my husband has me running around on the 'buddy system' now because he says who knows, i may not realize it's labor, and give birth someplace completely whacky, and then others would get involved with 911 and all of that. LOL

that's the last thing we want. so, i'm on the 'buddy system.' i walked in the park this morning (it's gorgeous here today!), with a buddy, just in case.

i could definitely birth out there.
post #11 of 63
I searched and found one photo of me in labour - I'm hanging onto dp during a ctx, and you can see our tipi in the background. http://flickr.com/photos/majikfaerie...7601043548390/
man, i always regret not having more birth pics
post #12 of 63
With my first birth I took some beautiful walks in the woods alone while dh was out getting the birthing tub. It was amazing. I felt a bit tethered by the phone though since my midwife and doula expected me to stay in touch. When they arrived I felt trapped--the energy changed. But I will always remember my beautiful walks.
post #13 of 63
I rolled around in the grass with my toddler in the backyard. ...

But I would definitely go outside to give birth. A tent would be fine as long as you could keep the bugs out. And a nest of blankets and pillows would probably be way more comfortable than the hotel bed I dozed on the first night.
post #14 of 63
I haven't, but I definitely would. When we eventually buy our own land and house, this is my plan (unless we're up north in the middle of winter). For now, though, we rent a house with a decent yard, but neighbors who would without a doubt interfere and/or call the cops. So I'll be birthing this one indoors.

It is my dream to give birth in the forest, though.
post #15 of 63
I'd love to. I've fantasized about it. :
post #16 of 63
i think that is the most awesome idea ever. but i would only do it if the woods in question were on my property, else you have to deal with the practical concerns--hikers, hunters, rangers, etc, and i wouldn't want to have to think about that.

if we have a house by the time we're ready to have a baby and the season allows it i would definitely give birth outside though. i think that would be awesome.

oh, on a beach would be freaking awesome too. i wish.
post #17 of 63
Well Mama I don't see any reason why you shouldn't. I have uc'ed twice, first a tent, a 2 person old thing, so I was outside with a small cover, not in woods but a remote location on shore, 2nd time in back of a van we lived in in a remote location. We were living on the road not on a site, moving about so very limited comforts, weather was good for the day but rained heavily the next so we were forced to move again which was stressful, I did all the driving all the time duh! As I say my situation wasn't ideal but birthing was fine, some hot water for washing isn't hard to arrange and a weather check, the hiker/other folk coming along could be a problem, some 'home' comforts, distance to hozzy( you got covered) need to be considered. If you are the sorta woman who feels grounded and very connected when close to nature this is a great environment to birth and I can tell you I had a lot of problems when I did this that were not connected to my choice of venue for birthing or the births themselves and it was most good. Majikfaerie! sounding great with your outdoor fire and all.
post #18 of 63
I wanted to when I was pregnant with dd. I did not have a good safe set of woods available to me

If you have a place in mind I say do it
post #19 of 63
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
I searched and found one photo of me in labour - I'm hanging onto dp during a ctx, and you can see our tipi in the background. http://flickr.com/photos/majikfaerie...7601043548390/
man, i always regret not having more birth pics
I wish I could see this photo, but it says it's private.

And I hear you about the birth photos... my dd2 was a very fast whirlwind birth, and I did not get even one photo. Had planned on video, photos, etc. It was really devastating to me, I'm sad even 2 years later!
post #20 of 63
I wish!

I live where there used to be tropical rain forests, and the gardens here certainly look like it. When I was in labor with DS, I went out in the dark about 1am and it was lightly raining and walked through the tropical gardens. It was amazing to be out in nature and breathing in the fresh air. Hit transition shortly after. It was the middle of rainy season and our area was completely flooded so good thing that was a planned homebirth... we'd have needed a canoe to get to the hospital.
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