How to explain why. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My aunt came over today and asked me what exactly a midwife does. So, I told her and she asked where I was going to deliver my baby. I told her that I was going to have my baby at home and she replied with a, "Oh. That's strange." I know she didn't say that because she thought it was a bad idea but because she doesn't know about home birth.

So, my question to you is this: How did you or how do you explain your decision to your curious family and friends?
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#2 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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If people are curious and ask questions then I try to answer honestly.

If people are fearful, or judgmental, I respond with "for healthy moms and babies it is as safe as the hospital and less stressful for me".

If people don't ask, I don't offer.

Mama to DD-9, DSS-11, happily married and living with 1dog, 1 cat, 7 chickens, and 2 ducks....expecting 03/11
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#3 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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I haven't had a HB yet but I do plan on having one for our next child. My MIL has already started in on how unsafe it is. This lead to discussions with other family members. Whenever they make the standard, "Oh but the hospital is so much safer" spiel. I simply tell them, "The hospital took such good care of me that they let a doctor lie to me and rape me at the birth of my daughter. When I think of the birth of my daughter the first memory that pops into my head is that of me being raped. I won't put myself in that situation again nor would anyone who loves me and my family want to put me in that situation again."
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#4 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLace View Post
If people are curious and ask questions then I try to answer honestly.

If people are fearful, or judgmental, I respond with "for healthy moms and babies it is as safe as the hospital and less stressful for me".

If people don't ask, I don't offer.
This. We are having a HBAC and honestly I'm trying to keep quiet about it. At this point in time I can't handle the negativity that I seem to keep getting concerning my birthing plans. I made my decision based on facts, however it is also highly emotional.

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#5 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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If someone is thoughtful and not negative in their question, I'll usually tell them that I appreciate the one-on-one care a mw provides, and how because she spends so much time with me during prenatals and at the delivery, she is in tune with what I and the baby need. I also make sure the person knows that a mw is trained, experienced and carries basic equipment to monitor heartrate, perform sutures, resuscitate, etc (you'd be amazed at how many people do not realize this! I think they imagine some lady in Birkenstocks just shows up and catches your baby bare-handed or something ).

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#6 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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I just say something like, "I believe in evidence-based medicine, and the available evidence clearly shows that homebirth is at least as safe as birthing in a hospital. So we stay home." If they seem interested, I refer them to The Business of Being Born and various books like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Pushed by Jennifer Block. Normally though, even people who are hostile to homebirth get a little unnerved by the idea that there's actual scientific evidence showing that a homebirth with a competent midwife is safe for low-risk mothers and their babies. I think they expect me to tell them that I think all doctors are evil and I prefer to pray to the birth spirits while my midwife burns incense and chants over my belly by candlelight...

Really, though, you don't owe anyone an explanation and there's no need to defend yourself. Talk about it if you want to but don't be afraid to change the subject if you don't feel like educating the world right at that moment. Your body, your birth, your choice. End of discussion.

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#7 of 17 Old 10-11-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't even try to explain. If someone wants to approach me with positive intentions I'll be happy to talk with them but otherwise, forget it.

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#8 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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I like to say that I prefer to have a MW who is totally focused on me the entire time rather than a team of people popping in and out relying on machines to watch me. I say I feel safer with one person, and like knowing I won't be told to pant because they have to find an OB to catch the baby and they are all busy with someone else. Obviously, there are many other reasons, but this one strikes a cord with many people who have hospital birthed, so works well.

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#9 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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I also tend to mention the fact that, because my labors aren't "textbook," I'd have ended up with repeat cesareans due to doctor's impatience, where at home with my experienced and patient midwife, I've gone on to have two perfectly healthy births. Avoiding unnecessary surgery is very important to me!

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#10 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homemademom View Post
I also make sure the person knows that a mw is trained, experienced and carries basic equipment to monitor heartrate, perform sutures, resuscitate, etc (you'd be amazed at how many people do not realize this! I think they imagine some lady in Birkenstocks just shows up and catches your baby bare-handed or something ).
Yup... I think that is what my hubby kinda expected. And I have totally had dads get really excited when I explain my training and how I am willing to transport any time they say so or if I think there is a reason to (not homebirth at all costs).

eta: I didn't have negative comments although I could sense that some people didn't approve of my decision to HB. I've never really allowed people to criticize my decisions (looking at them blank faced and raising one's eyebrows while absentmindedly going "Hmm?" seems to help).
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#11 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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I had a hospital birth last time, and while the nurses were great to me, I've not stopped complaining about checking in in labour/checking out at 8 hours pp since, so I dont think anyone is surprised.

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#12 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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IF someone is truly interested, in addition to the above, I might mention how much HEALTHIER it is to birth at home. I've already been exposed to all the germs in my house... no MRSA here!!

Hospitals are for emergencies or for sick people. Healthy people don't benefit from being exposed to all of the hospital germs & contaminants; certainly not my newborn!

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
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#13 of 17 Old 10-13-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/...r.html#Friends

is an awesome site by a midwife Ronnie Falcao, she has all kinds of info.
You could make a printout and give it to them. If they are concerned enough to read it, fine. If not, they don't need to start another conversation about it. You baby, your body, your choice. That's it. Good for you for choosing wonderful, safe homebirth!

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#14 of 17 Old 10-13-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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One of the things I say about homebirth that connects with some women is that a HB MW is kind of like an L&D nurse with more specific childbirth education, or like an OB who doesn't do surgery and stays with you the whole time (pretty much). A lot of women "get" that because they feel like the L&D nurses were the "real" med professionals they dealt with, that the OB pretty much just came in and caught the baby.
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#15 of 17 Old 10-13-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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I answer any questions that they ask, and make sure to let them know that, for low risk women, it is safer than the hospital, and that we can not only transfer if it becomes necessary but that midwives out of hospitals (be it at home or a FSBC) often know sooner when something is wrong because they know the woman personally and can detect changes with her easier and also because they are around for the entire birth process rather than popping in every once in a while to check on things. Then I add in the time it takes to prep an OR for a section and that she can call ahead and we would get there before the OR is even prepped. And I love to mention her transfer and section rates in comparison to hospital rates. Some people are receptive to more, and for others I simply leave it at, "Studies show that for low risk women it is safer to birth at home/in a FSBC than in a hospital." If they inquire further, I respond further.

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#16 of 17 Old 10-14-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I tried not to get too preachy about it, but when I was asked why, I fell back to my 2nd child's birth - we were in and out of the hospital in 10 hours, there was no point in being there, and I didn't feel like fighting with hospital policy. If that prompted more conversation, I got into the politics and safety but otherwise, I left it at that.

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#17 of 17 Old 10-14-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your words! I think I have a better understanding of what I might say if I am asked!
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