There’s no place like home – why women want to birth at home

with thanks to JODI CLEGHORN

Continuity of Care

  • Women and their midwives/birthworkers are able to spend many months getting to know each other, building an honest, trusting and open relationship. Emotional, psychological, physical, nutritional, spiritual, cultural and medical needs are met.
  • Women feel safe and secure that their decisions regarding birth will be respected and held as highest priority, where safe.
  • Women and their partners have a trusted ‰Œprofessional with whom they can confide any fears about parenthood and discuss any early problems with adapting to the new role of parenting or parenting multiple children.

Women are Empowered

  • Women are able to experience birth as a deeply spiritual life event and a rite of passage. The experience of a natural birth often leaves women feeling as though there is nothing they are not able to accomplish. Women are able to experience birth, to tune into their intuition and follow cues from their body.
  • Women and their partners are encouraged to read, research and take an active part in the provision of their care. Women make informed choices and have full responsibility for the birth of their child. Decisions are made collectively with emphasis on the wishes of the woman and her partner.
  • Women are encouraged to think of birth in a positive and confident manner.

Women Feel Safe at Home

  • Home is a familiar, well-known private environment that encourages feelings of being protected, of comfort, peacefulness and relaxation, all conducive to positive outcomesfor birthing.
  • Women know they can labour at their own pace and take as much time as they need to birth naturally without external constraints, expectations or limits.
  • Emotional, psychological and cultural safety is assured at home.

Family and Bonding

  • Partners are able to have an are able to have an active role in the birth, which can strengthen and deepen the relationship with the woman and lays a solid foundation for a healthy relationship with the newborn.
  • Siblings are are able to be part of the birth experience.
  • Families believe that home is the optimal environment for bonding with their newborn. Mothers, fathers and their newborns are kept together for the first crucial hours of life and are given the peace and privacy required in the first days after the birth to adjust to their new or extended roles as parents. š
  • Newborns have only one environment to habituate to. There is also a focus on birth being a gentle and non-violent experience for babies.
  • Breastfeeding can be established without interruptions, unwanted interventions, or conflicting advice from numerous people.