How did you convince DH to have a homebirth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-13-2003, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my 3rd baby (2 prior hospital births, healthy, uncomplicated deliveries). I want to have a HB but DH is opposed, though he's "open" to meeting with a midwife (mind you, he's already said that he doesn't think he'll be convinced of the safety of it... it's that whole "what if" thing). I'm worried he won't go for it and I'll have yet another hospital birth, and possibly resent him.

Where can I find data on the safety of homebirth? I was hoping there'd be something on the STICKY page but nothing's posted. What other information did you find useful to share with your DH/partner?

Any help is greatly appreciated! And keep your fingers crossed for me!
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:55 PM
 
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A homebirth-friendly childbirth class (like one based on "Birthing From Within) might be useful. I think it really put my husband at ease because it gave him more information about it and treated HB as normal (which of course it is!). But then he wasn't against it to begin with...
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:55 AM
 
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Show him the stats at the back of Spiritual Midwifery. No hospital can beat the Farm Midwives record - it is simply amazing. Once my husband saw them, he was convinced that homebirth is actually safer than hospital birth.
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Old 03-14-2003, 03:57 AM
 
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I read him a lot of information about cesarean statistics in hospitals and how easy it is for one small thing to lead from one intervention to another.
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:31 PM
 
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are you me in an alternate dimension? my dh was very much the same. i just followed him around reading to him about hb and we had very long discussions about it. finally he caved and got comfortable bc he knew i wasn't going to budge and he wasn't the one giving birth anyway.

some of the things that really helped were articles and the videos i ordered from compleat mother. i also found a wealth of info at www.birthlove.com. i think they charge now for the upkeep of their site but it is *worth every penny!!!* there is so much there that it took me weeks to go through it all. some really beautiful birth stories there, worth checking out. and also, duh, mothering was instrumental in it. the month i found out i was preg was the same month they came out with the waterbirth revolution issue. it was like it was meant to be. i also got so much out of mango mama's site. i'm so sad that it's gone. but i guess there will be others to carry on for the cause.

best wishes, hope your dh comes to terms with it soon!
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:56 PM
 
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i haven't had this experience myself- i never thought the choice of birthing venue was anything to do with my husband, frankly. i know that is certainly not everyone's feeling and i don't say that to be contrary; just offering another point of view.

however, some doula clients and friends of mine have only had success convincing their partners by interviewing midwives. Interview more than one, if necessary!! most of them haven't had to, actually, because the husband has usually been impressed, if it's a good midwife, by her hospital transfer protocols, equipment she carries and licensure requirements. realizing she is really a healthcare professional and not a witch with a pair of scissors in her apron pocket goes a long way.

good luck!
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Old 03-15-2003, 02:24 PM
 
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Here are a couple of links to homebirth studies:

http://www.midwifery2000.com/bib.html
http://www.homebirth.org.uk/homebirthindex.htm

I second birthlove.com. It is a fantastic resource. If you do subscribe, there is a whole page of responses about what to do about a "reluctant father" here:

http://www.birthlove.com/pages/stories/let.html
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Old 03-15-2003, 02:52 PM
 
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Luckily my DH is of the opinion that " no uterus, no opinion"

And since I am a hb assistant, and CBE, he had heard me discuss the logical facts enough that it seemed quite natural

IMO, if you have to "convince" anyone, it will not go well for them. The people or person in question has to realize the logic and safety for themselves.
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Old 03-15-2003, 05:29 PM
 
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I gave dh all kinds of info that I got from The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Childbirth by Henci Goer. It has stats (comparing homebirth, birthing center birth and hospital birth) on things like interventions such as episiotomy, epidural, c-section and infection rates, etc.

Once he met the midwife was when dh just told me to do what was right for me (I just kept talking about it). I think he felt the midwife is as knowledgeable as my OB with my first pg was and that I was doing the right thing. After all, he knows I wouldn't do anything to harm my baby or myself! :

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Old 03-16-2003, 04:13 AM
 
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So why is it that when it comes to birth husbands so often have the ultimate say? Shoot, why isn't the burden of proof on *him* to convince *you*?
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Old 03-16-2003, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueviolet
So why is it that when it comes to birth husbands so often have the ultimate say? Shoot, why isn't the burden of proof on *him* to convince *you*?
That's what my mom kept telling me!
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Old 03-17-2003, 04:51 AM
 
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The only thing I shared with my dh was the fact that our second birth was going to be at home. End of discussion. Luckily he'd seen and been just as outraged at some of the treatment we received at the hospital that he didnt kick too much.

Plus he trusted my judgement on midwife choice- I made sure to find one who chose to err on the side of caution, committed to staying with us in the event of transport and had taken care to build up a working relationship with many of the ob-gyn's in the area. Making sure the worst-possible scenario was already discussed ahead of time (during the interview process) seemed to take a lot of the pressure off with him.
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Old 03-17-2003, 05:55 PM
 
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After 2 hospital births I got my husband to consider a birth center birth. Once he met the midwife I had chosen and found out that she brings everything to the house that she has at the birth center and it is actually closer from our house to the hospital than from her center to the hospital, he was sold. #3 was born at home and #4 will be born at home too, now he is spoilded and wouldn't consider another hospital birth.
Good Luck,
Keri

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:30 PM
 
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Great ideas, mamas.

For both me and DH, it was important to ask the entire "what if" question, and then answer it.

"What if something goes wrong?" Well, what 'things' are there? What is done to fix those things? Do most 'somethings' need a hopsital? What about the qualifications of the birth attendant, no matter WHAT building he or she is in?

Another important angle is NORMALIZING home birth. Most folks freak out 'cause it's not normal--McDonald's is normal, in the 1950's smoking was TOTALLY normal, being an overweight American is normal....does it mean these things are 100% cool, awesome, and not to be questioned?

After reading Peggy Vincent's The Baby Catcher, written by a certified nurse midwife in Berkley, CA, in which this woman attends countless homebirths, the whole 'homebirthing concept' becomes NORMAL.

Saying 'don't be stupid, here are some stats' is one potentially beneficial way to get the point across to DH, or anybody for that matter...but in the USA, hospitals for birth is a HUGE cultural hurdle to overcome, and I think reading Peggy Vincent's book was extremely beneficial to my DH.
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:48 PM
 
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Anything by Suzanne Arms or Sheila Kitzinger is great. They also present a large study in "Birth As An American Rite Of Passage" about how homebirths are much safer for low-risk moms than hospital births...
Ultimately, it is up to you. If you would feel more comfortable at home, it is your body, not his. At least that's what I told my DH, and now he is a staunch homebirth advocate!
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Old 03-20-2003, 02:26 PM
 
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He wasn't the one who was going to have one. I was. I said, "I'm going to have a home birth." And he said "Okay."

Here are some more articles:

http://www.healthychild.com/database..._like_home.htm

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...irthchoice.asp

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/gracious.asp


Some good books are:

_Immaculate Deception_ by Suzanne Arms
_Special Delivery_ by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
_Birth at Home_ by Sheila Kitzinger
_The Cultural Warping of Childbirth_ by Doris Haire
_The Home Birth Book_ by Charlotte and Fred Ward
_Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way_ by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg
_Active Birth_ by Janet Balaskas
_Birth Without Violence_ by Frederick Leboyer
_Birth Reborn_ by Michael Odent

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 03-20-2003, 10:13 PM
 
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I have the uterus, therefore I will decide. It was as simple as that! :LOL (it actually works for lots of things, although the I HAVE THE ................ changes :LOL)

Chelly
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:46 PM
 
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WARNING: maybe too much info??

This may be crude, but I read about hospital birth being compared to pooping in a hospital room full of strangers and complicated equipment, with everyone watching your bottom, gauging and monitoring your progress, and suggesting drugs or surgery. I told this to my DH sort of jokingly, because I have a 5th grade sense of potty humor, but I think it really hit home for him. He's the type can only "go" at home, so he knows the importance of being on your own turf, relaxed and in control.

Another thing that seemed to encourage him was hearing that some college friends had had a homebirth. Made it seem like something "normal" people do. That won't help if you don't know anyone who's had one.

Now I feel like he may be more sure about it than I am. I figured we'd still interview hospital midwives and obs - he says we should just go ahead with the homebirth doctor until something changes our minds. We'll meet her on Monday for the first time.

Good luck with your planning!
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Old 03-29-2003, 12:46 PM
 
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I think one thing that really helped my husband to see home birth as "normal" was watching the examples of home births and birth center births on the TLC show "A Baby Story." I'm almost embarrased to admit this, but the year before we got married my husband and I got addicted to watching "A Wedding Story," and afterwards we started watching "A Baby Story."

Of course, the majority of episodes are about hospital births, but that can be helpful too because the constrast is so striking.

Anyway, we had watched a lot of these episodes before we even decided to get pregnant, so the seed that "home birth is normal" was planted in his head.

I wish you the best, and I just want to voice my respect for your concern about your husband's comfort level about this very important decision. Although my husband is totally on board with having a home birth, we are struggling with disagreements on other parenting decisions, and it is very painful for me to hear people say "oh, I just told dh that was what we were doing and he said O.K." For me, and I would think for many others, it's not so easy.

Robin
baby #1 due 7-28-03
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Old 03-29-2003, 07:13 PM
 
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I just read this thread to my husband (highlights, of course). He recommended to take Bradley classes together. It is 12 classes. How far along are you? I will find the Bradley link & post it.

Okay, here is the link:

www.bradleybirth.com

...and the phone # 1-800-4ABIRTH
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Old 03-29-2003, 08:02 PM
 
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I definitely recommend Bradley classes. Not Lamaze!

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 03-31-2003, 02:39 AM
 
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Panda, absolutely! The sex analogy is even better because the same hormones are involved in sex and birth. Whatever it takes for your body to function normally during sex is what it'll take for your body to function normally during birth, and the opposite is true also: whatever is a hindrance to your body functioning normally during sex will be a hindrance to it functioning normally in labor. The very best way to invite complications and a difficult and traumatic birth is to leave your comfort zone and go to a place where you have little privacy, where the process is not allowed to unfold spontaneously, where there are bright lights, relative strangers touching your genitals, where there are pressures to not make too much noise and to not get into a position that is inconvenient for the attendant, where there are fears of episiotomy and amniohooks and cord traction.

Here are some articles that should help:

http://www.mothering.com/11-0-0/html...ic-birth.shtml
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...ogyinbirth.asp
http://www.birthpsychology.com/violence/odent1.html
http://www.acegraphics.com.au/articles/wagner01.html
http://www.birthpsychology.com/birthscene/otoday4.html
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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For me it wasn't so much an issue of dh deciding things as it was a desire of having his unreserved support in my choices and wanting him involved in the birth. But I was lucky I suppose that he found his own path to homebirth after initially thinking it was an insane idea when I first got pregnant. He was softened up by an initial plan of using a birthing center - then he was subjected to 12 weeks of Bradley classes (I say subjected since he didn't care for them) and 4 weeks of hypnobirthing (since he didn't like the Bradley class). But the real push over the edge for him after being warmed up to the idea was my own doctors pissing him off and seriously upsetting me when they began jerking us around and withdrawing their consent to use the birthing center (family history issues)when my husband knew from day to day living and attending all my appointments that I was perfectly healthy with an uncomplicated pregnancy. He also wasn't entirely happy with the birth center midwives either and just as ready as I was to ditch the whole lot of them. So when I announced I was just going to stay home at that point - he was on board.
I definately recommend the Bradley classes tho - dh doesn't research these things or even talk to other people or pay much attention at all when they are happening to other people - so this was his biggest source of information. Without conflicting information he took in much of it, and lots of other things I do and tell him, as mainstream.. lol
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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luckily, my dh is another one of those wonderful men that believe that it's the mama who needs to feel the most comfortable witht eh birth venue. plus, he realized that HE would have far more involvement in a homebirth, and he liked that idea.

again, i agree with everyone who says it needs to be up to the mama to decide. especially if you;ve had 2 prior uneventful births, there's no reason why you can't have your next babe at home.

here's a good link to info, though...
http://www.changesurfer.com/Hlth/homebirth.html
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Old 04-01-2003, 03:06 AM
 
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he convinced me...
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Old 04-12-2003, 05:14 PM
 
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What an intersting discussion!

It was my mother in law who actually introduced me to natural birth and the whole homebirth movement. She was a midwife in the 70's doing home births while it was illegal here in South Africa! All she did was give me a book called Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper.

That book is amazing! It explains EVEYTHING! I decided to have a water birth because of that book!

So... I guess I am one of the lucky ones. Hospital birth wasnt even an option in dh's mind!
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Old 04-14-2003, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What a bunch of absolutely wonderful responses! As someone pointed out, I'm not comfortable with the "it's my uterus, my decision" angle. Though a part of me believes it, I want DH to be comfortable with the idea of homebirthing. Especially since it's his baby and it's her safety he's worried about. (Just as I wouldn't let him decide whether a son of ours gets circumcised simply becaues he has the penis and I don't... but that's a whole other subject).

It's been some time since my original post and the good news is that we're lined up for a homebirth!! DH met a couple of MWs and is much more comfortable with the 2nd one we interviewed than the first. With every video I force him to watch of a homebirth, it becomes easier for him to see the value of us birthing our little one at home. And the fact that he'll be more involved... he's just thrilled with the idea!!

He ultimately wants me to have a comfortable experience and knows that that's only possible with me at home. After having me recount my experiences at the hospitals with each of the midwives we interviewed, he realizes more and more that it wasn't all wonderful. Though our births were uneventful, he knows now that it could have been better.

So we're off on an incredible adventure... homebirth! Wish us luck! And for the poster who mentioned "Baby Catcher", loved it!

Thank you everyone for your great responses and support.

Anne
34 weeks w/ #3
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Old 04-15-2003, 12:20 AM
 
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Wonderful! So glad to hear it. 34 weeks... you're getting close!
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Old 04-15-2003, 05:43 AM
 
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Anne,
I am also 34 weeks (well, in two days...) with #3 and planning my first homebirth!

When we got pregnant the first time, I suggested a midwife (this is IN hospital mind you) and dh was absolutely against it. Now I usually get my way (stubborn first born) but he was going to put his foot down on this one - wasn't safe, blah, blah, blah. I signed us up for Bradley classes, we went to the first one (he was even against this as "everyone takes Lamaze - why can't we take Lamaze?" - he was so mainstream then.... ha ha!) We walk out after the first class and I am skipping with joy - just knowing this is the ticket to the birth I want. Dh couldn't argue then - he was sold too.

First dd was born in a hospital with nurse-midwife - perfectly fine - they were very respectful and I had only my blood pressure checked every so often - no IV, no episiotomy, private, quiet, choice of positions, etc. (Have to say the nurses were very impressed with us - don't think they see too many natural births).

Second pregnancy, I suggest using a freestanding birth center. Dh again is totally against this step away from "how everyone does it". I talk him into meeting them (the pair of certified midwives) and after interviewing a couple of places, we find the right fit and he is sold on the idea. We had the MOST INCREDIBLE birth in the world! Same basics as labor #1 but oh what a difference! Dh agrees at that point that we will not go back to the hospital again - assuming all normal with me and baby of course - for future births.

But even given that, I was a little worried to suggest homebirth this time - for as far as he has come, he is still super mainstream and I don't think any of his friends, family or coworkers will be supportive of homebirth. The midwife asked us at one appt if (for the birth) we were coming to her or she was coming to us. I say I was thinking of doing it at home this time and look to dh. He is like "ok". I was so relieved!

I understand the "no uterus, no opinion" thing but I also understand that it is his baby and I am his wife and he is just worried for our safety. I think you can address that (I know for you Anne it is already done - yeah! ) better with a good visit to the midwife than threats of whose uterus it is. I don't think I would have had a homebirth if dh was totally freaked out by the idea - I need him to be the great coach he has been the first two times and I don't think he can be if he is scared to death and resentful that I am forcing his hand.

For me, getting him to read books on birth was like pulling teeth. Our Bradley classes and our great midwives (second time around) made all the difference in how he views birth. And also having seen me birth naturally twice already, he is much calmer about our ability to do this at home.
Kirsten
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Old 04-17-2003, 05:19 AM
 
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I can't convince my husband. I have a lot of homebirthers in my playgroup who all said their husband's were resistant, but they think it is wonderful, and they've decided to come and talk to my dh, but he is so resistant to people trying to change his mind. I've about decided that this is the only way--

I've given serious thought to telling him just to stay home with our daughter. Then I'll drive to someone else's house and have a homebirth there. Gosh, I hope he doesn't come here and read this!

Part of it is that he thinks I am not brainwashed, exactly, but too far into the other side. I think he thinks I have a bunch of alternative online people that I'm getting the homebirth desire from, and he isn't convinced of the true benefits. To him it is scary and unsafe, and he even told me that he doesn't care if there are studies that show it is safer because he just doesn't believe it. OK, now is really the time for that hammer emoticon.

To be fair, I had a very medicalized birth with my first, even though I had planned not too. Because I had the epidural, there were a lot more interventions. If I had not had the epidural, I'm sure I'd have gone a lot farther in convincing him that homebirth is something I could handle. But he thinks of me as a wimp for pain and that ultimately I will want the pain meds and ask for them. I worry that that part is true and that is part of the reason I want a homebirth. I'm afraid that if I'm in the hospital again, all the same stuff will happen and I'll end up with a c-section.

I'm really convinced of the benefits of not having an epidural and I want to do it this time, but the people I know are not very supportive. I told my sister that I didn't want one, and she thought I was crazy, but then she said, "Did you have one with Molly?" I said yes and she said, "Oh, you'll be having an epidural this time too!" It really angered me!
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