#213 | Choosing Home Birth the First Time Around with Colleen Mason @Uncomplicated Family

May 17, 2023

When your hospital birth plan repeatedly includes the word  "No", considering home birth becomes extremely enticing. In this episode, Colleen of @uncomplicatedfamily shares with us how she left her OB and chose home birth not only the first time but six more thereafter! Many mothers fear the idea of home birth because they only imagine what might go wrong. And while there are certain risks to consider before home birthing and it isn't the preference of every woman, we review how it can be a safe and smart choice for many, even the first time around.

In this conversation we discuss the top reason for home-to-hospital transfer, the data from the largest study ever conducted on home birth (and what information was "conveniently" kept out of the study), and why home birth can be a reasonable choice for 99% of women, yet only 1% are pursuing them.

Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529,688 low-risk planned home and hospital birth.

Down to Birth is sponsored by:
DrinkLMNT -- Purchase LMNT today and receive a free sample kit. Stay salty.
Love Majka Products -- Support your milk supply with nourishing protein powder, hydration boosters and lactation bites.
Silverette Nursing Cups -- Soothe and heal sore nipples with 925 silver nursing cups.
Postpartum Soothe -- Organic herbal padsicles to support healing after vaginal birth. 

Love Majka Products
Silverette Nursing Cups
Postpartum Soothe

Connect with us on Patreon for our exclusive content.
Email Contact@DownToBirthShow.com
Instagram @downtobirthshow
Call us at 802-GET-DOWN

Work with Cynthia:

Work with Trisha:

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice. Speak to your licensed medical provider for all your healthcare matters.

View Episode Transcript

The conclusion says this study shows that planning a home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low risk women. But listen to this, Holland offered more than 500,000 home birth data points in the study at the period where they were number one in the world, in birth safety, for no explained reason, the researchers just left it out. I feel like the decision we made was because we didn't want to waste our precious time and energy and our pregnancy. Getting ready to put on our boxing gloves, you are giving this person the privilege to attend your birth and to be with you in your pregnancy. Period. We didn't have to do this, but we mailed a courtesy letter to the obese office, saying your services are no longer needed. Peace out.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Well, my name is Colleen and I have seven children. They were all born at home. And we actually started teaching childbirth classes after our first baby was born. So I can talk a little bit about that too. But I just wanted to talk today about the importance of knowing home birth as an option as a first time parent. And we are just so thankful that someone told us that it was an option. And so I'm happy to share a little bit about my births today and our story. And just how important it is really to consider home birth as an option, especially with your first baby.

So often home birth is the path of someone who had a difficult first birth experience and is looking for something dramatically different. So I would say, you know much of the time I don't know the exact percentage, but much of the time, the mothers who are giving birth at home are having their second or third baby at home or had a birth center birth the first time or have been. The mindset is often that you know, they want to prove that they can give birth vaginally before choosing home birth to make sure that it's safe in quotations.

I feel like this episode is speaking to women like me who my first pregnancy I fired my obstetrician and I chose to have a natural birth. But home birth was not psychologically an option for me at all. I I perceived it as risky, I was uninformed in home birthing, I never understood the benefits and the satisfaction, the peace that can come with home birthing, and I felt like the birth center was the perfect the perfect choice in between. And it was the perfect choice in between for me based on who I was and where I was at that point in my journey at that time. And then the second time I was pregnant, I chose a home birth only because I had a very fast first birth. And I didn't know if I would make it to the birthing center. And I'm so grateful. And you know, I had been teaching HypnoBirthing by then. And I had had I had taught hundreds of couples by then and a few dozen of whom, who had had home births. And I always thought going so well. So I don't know if I hadn't been inundated with positive birth stories with homebirth. If I would have had the gosh, I never know what word to use here. It isn't courage. I don't think homebirth takes courage. But that's what I thought it took trust that I would have had the trust. I think that is the word Yeah, I don't think I would have had the trust. If I hadn't been afraid of the drive to the birthing center the fear of another precipitous birth, and just all the stories around me. So I can't imagine how many women are in exactly that position where they're like, oh, maybe for the second birth. Well, why not put everything you longed for in the first and not everyone longs for a home birth. So if you don't long for it, don't waste your time meeting with homebirth midwives but if you have that little curiosity and longing that you must pursue it for this birth that you're on because there's an inner voice telling you something. Yes, I love that. But I'm glad Trisha also acknowledged that perhaps the majority of home births we see are not only from women who want to prove a and quote, have a vaginal birth the first time but they were so traumatized by their hospital experience now they're, they're running from it and they land at home. And you're just you're just you're not any of those off. Since you're just like, Trisha was just like centered in the middle first birth, I'm having home births. So tell us what, what's it like to be one of those women?

Well, as soon as I got pregnant, you know, I know that you probably will agree something sort of happens to you where you're just like, I'm reading the books. And I'm learning the stuff. And I don't know, that's a little bit of my personality too. But I just, I also am like, I would consider myself a really crunchy kind of person in all other areas. And I wasn't like that before I got pregnant. And it just something came over me that was like, Okay, I'm not going to put this into my body. I'm not going to have this in my environment. And so why wouldn't I do the same? throughout my pregnancy and my birth? We signed up for a class in the Bradley method. We took a Bradley class and we went around in a circle, the first class and she said, Why are you here? And I said, I don't want to give drugs to my baby. And I honestly have no background in that my mother gave birth naturally. But, you know, lots of people did then Right?

Well, that's pretty compelling. I don't know if a lot did then I think natural birth was really at quite a low for many decades. And I do think it's something you can appreciate, because most of us are really negative birth stories about how birth used to be and I think your mother's positive birth story probably had a deeper impact on you than you can appreciate it.

It definitely did. And she kind of said, you know, the people at her environment, at least people I knew, she said, we weren't getting up at turtles. We were just having a baby was this and maybe it was I was born in 1981. Now, her first birth was a little different. She was induced, but she still did not have an epidural. I don't know. She just acted like it was a really normal. She never questioned it either. She just was like, Yeah,

that was the same for my mother. No, no, everything was just a birth was expected to be unmedicated vaginal in the hospitals and her mother gave birth to twins vaginally in the 40s. One was breech one was not. And it seems like you know, it wasn't really a big deal. So, no, that has impacted me, definitely. So in my mind, I'm pregnant, I'm thinking women have been having babies, for 1000s of years. I don't need to be delivered from that. I don't need to be rescued. So we started taking our Bradley class, our teacher was wonderful. We kind of just, we didn't know we already wanted a natural birth with, you know, as little intervention as possible. We had watched the business of being born. We were just like, ready, and my husband is super supportive. But he didn't know anything. He just went because he loves me. And he was supportive of me, but but by the second or third class, he was just like, I can't believe what we're learning. This is amazing. This is blowing my mind that people don't know this. And people don't pursue this the way that we're pursuing it. And that's how I felt too. I felt like just the physiology. Just the way that we believe God has made our bodies is just mind blowing. And not only the way we're made, but the way that that society just goes against that it's just so even now, and this was 2008. Even now, I'm still it's still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it takes so long to put evidence into practice.

17 years, what is it?

I said, Yeah, I think they said 17 or 18 years to put in to put evidence into practice. But I don't think this is ever going to get there in our country, as long as it's, as long as hospitals are unlike for profit corporations. What incentive Will there ever be to get there?

homebirth is not profitable. That's right. So we were learning all of this in the class. And we, you know, our birth plan was just kind of like, the word no, you know, was just like, well, do I print out a piece of paper that just says, No? Big fat? No, all of it. None of it. We didn't want any of it. Our teacher said, you know, you guys, have you ever considered a homebirth? And I was just like, I don't know what that is.

What does that mean? Who does that? Does that exist? We live in an apartment, like, can we have a home bro?

We don't have a home.

And she's like, I'm looking at your birth plan. Because you know, you write it out, you bring it in, she looks at it and helps you with that. And, and she's like, I don't think the hospitals going to be the place where you want to give birth. I mean, you guys are soaking all of this information up. You are ready, and I'm afraid you're going to spend most of your time fighting and advocating for yourself, which we all know should not be a thing. And she was absolutely correct. But we were just like, wow, okay, I guess we'll just go home and think about that. And I think it was the next week. We had our 20 week anatomy scan, we wanted to find out the gender. So here we are first time parents, my husband takes off the day of work, we drive almost an hour to this hospital, the only one available in our insurance. I'd have been driving to my prenatals, 45 minutes by myself to all my appointments to see the OB for five minutes. So we go to the ultrasound, and the tech puts her hand up and says, I'm sorry, sir, you're not allowed in here due to policy privacy policy.

Wait, what why?

Privacy Policy, she said, I said, this is our first baby. My husband took the day off to be here so that we can find out the gender together. What do you mean, he can't come in? She said, Well, we can do all of the measurements and everything. And at the very end, he can come in and see the gender real quick. What that I'm thinking why, like this is before the insanity of COVID Keeping. Yeah, this is what was their rationale makes no sense. Privacy. Is this a joke? This is the person who who became pregnant with you. What privacy is there between those privacy? You shouldn't be in here in that case, right? You should leave the room and then we can find out the gender.


So of course, we're just stunned and he says okay, and I go in. And I want to note to you know, they tell you to fill your bladder and drink a ton of water. Well, I did that. And I was like, I have to go to the bathroom before I lay down to get this ultrasound. And she's like, okay, but don't empty it completely. Like, okay. Yeah. So I, I know, she does all the measurements, all the things and she says, Okay, I'm gonna grab your husband. And she had already told me, it's a girl. And I'm like, Yay, you know, by myself. She brings him, I don't really she did that. She wasn't there. It was alone.

And then she said, My God, now that you know, he can come in, and you can tell him and show him and whatever.

Oh, that's, that's such a power move gets better. It gets better.

Just wait. He comes in. And I'm like, It's a girl. And I already had felt that I was not surprised at all. And he's like, Oh, that's so wonderful. And then we're kind of just looking at each other like, so anti-climactic, right. And this was our we had planned for this to be our only ultrasound, you know. So she says, Now you can go out to the waiting room and a doctor is going to come and speak with you. And I've never done this before. I'm thinking oh, that's just normal. You just speak to the doctor, okay? We go and sit out into the waiting room. And this girl who isn't probably younger than me, with a white coat on comes and sits me down and says, Well, I've seen your ultrasound and you actually have an incompetent cervix, and you're never going to carry a baby to filter. And I'm like, why? I'm sorry. What?

Wait, how far along? Are you right now?

It was 20 weeks. She said you're not going to carry this baby to full term. Or any other baby for any other baby. But you there you were with this baby five months old inside of you? What? What?

She just spit it out there. There was no bedside manner. There was no.

What was it based on?

Incompetent cervical measurement? What does that even mean? Can anyone explain? your cervix was open?

So she didn't actually explain anything to me. But I didn't. I was just so shocked. So our hospital was it's like connected to where I owe these offices. So I just walked through this like tunnel, she said, I want you to walk over to your OB she's expecting you. And she's gonna do a quick exam. And we'll go from there.

So you had a short cervix, probably with a little bit of dilation at the time of the ultrasound. Why go there, my OB was actually wonderful. The one that I saw, but it's a group. I mean, there's like six of them. That means nothing. I had Yeah, I had never even met any of them. But in this instance, she was kind and drying my tears and telling me, she sent me a check, did a check. She's like, Honey, you are perfect. And I am so sorry. But this happens all the time with those Tech's over there. You just had a full bladder, I know that's what it was. Just your measurements were long because of your bladder, or whatever, right long or long. I don't even remember Short. Short. I said they told me to fill my bladder. And then they told me I could never carry this baby to full term. And she's like, well, that's simply isn't the case. Alright, so let me ask you this before you continue, I just have to know. So what I've seen is when this happens to women in pregnancy, even though right after you were given this terrible information, you had someone come in and say, Oh, no, you are doing just fine. Was there a little voice that remained the whole pregnancy that said, but what if? What if? What if? What if that first tech was right? Did you ever get over that fear?

There? Yeah, no, I just knew that I was educated. And that birth was birth and that these people, sadly don't know anything.

You were able to let go. You were not afraid not afraid.

I was not afraid. I was emotional because I was concerned. fused. And the way that they treated me was not, you know, sensitive or caring or anything like that, that made me very emotional. But no, I was like that that isn't right. You are your own. Your own? That's right. Because I do know, even as a new mother, I think you have intuition. And you do, I would have known. I think if something really was wrong, I knew my baby was a girl. How did I know that? Because I just knew. And I think we are, you know, I'm gonna say this later, too. But we have everything we need, we just need to find it.

One of the affirmations I give every couple in my class, I mail them all in a pack of affirmations that I make, and one is that everyone gets is I have everything I need.

That's right. And I'm a minimalist in all things, even birth. I'm breastfeeding. And I truly believe that. And so you know, we left. And in the car, my husband's like, if this is the ultrasound experience, what is the birth going to be like? And I said, I'm not going back there. And so we, the next day, I believe, hired a homebirth midwife. And we didn't have to do this, but we mailed a courtesy letter to the OBS office, saying your services are no longer needed. Peace out. Goodbye. Because I didn't want them calling me and trying to remind me of my appointments. I just wanted to cut it off. So yeah, and you know, what's funny is we, where we lived at the time, there aren't very many homebirth midwives, Illinois, it's not super friendly. But I was already in like, sort of a crunchy group of women. I had been attending later league meetings throughout my pregnancy. And so I just said to these women, I gotta find a midwife. And they're like, here's the number. And I called her and told her about it and interviewed her. And that was that. And so we moved forward with her. And it was just the best choice. And, you know, I feel like, the decision we made was because we didn't want to waste our precious time and energy and our pregnancy, getting ready to put on our boxing gloves. At a place where we had hired someone to care for us, you get to choose your, the hiring manager, they work for you, you get to hire them, you get to fire them, you get to interview them, their job is to serve you not the other way around, their job is to please and satisfy you, not the other way around.

That's right. And we have gotten so far from that mindset, it's, it's, people are gonna have trouble going back, some people never will. But my goal is to always say to people, you don't have to do anything. You are giving this person the privilege to attend your birth and to be with you in your pregnancy, period. And that is hard for people who maybe have a personality that isn't naturally leaning that way. It's going to take them a lot more to get there. And they're going to need more training in that than other women. And that's okay. But our childbirth teacher was really the one that presented it as an option. And oh my goodness, we are just so thankful because I feel like that first birth, avoiding that first unnecessary section. Avoiding that first cascade of interventions can truly change the outcomes of your childbearing years and your future children because then what you're doing is you're avoiding that uphill battle that so many women find with wanting to have a VBAC, and to change their story. And we kind of feel like that with our children too, like teaching them to do something early is so much easier than having to go back to sort of retrain something that we missed, right?

In one of our episodes with Attorney Herman Hays Klein, she stated loud and clear that the greatest malpractice is the failure of Obstetricians to prevent the first cesarean.

Oh man. Yes, and I always say the first intervention is leaving your house. Really, it is but you know, we don't consider how much more risk we put women in when we don't support vaginal birth. And obviously the risk of cesarean is much greater when we go to the hospital and we have winter vengeance.

Yeah. Colleen, do you believe homebirth is for everyone. I believe it is not for

Yeah, I think it's for about 99% of women. I do healthy, low risk. Women who are just just had doing a normal thing and having a baby.

Yet 1% of women have them.

That is wild. I can't even wrap my head around that sometimes

I so I still do. Have within me that woman who was worried who had all the what ifs, and that does exist, there is risk at hospital versus risk of home birth. And what do you do about? What What are your feelings around that? I mean, you certainly know that everything worked out beautifully for you as it did for me and Trisha with our own homebirths. But what it what about the fact that we can't rule out that, quote, something can go wrong? What do you do with that? And what did you think about that possibility? And what do you tell women who are aware of that possibility?

Yeah, I mean, you said it to you nailed it, like, our life is full of risk. And this is helpful for motherhood. In general, our goal is not to live a risk free life. But we are always weighing the risks versus the benefits. And so I think when you do that, if you desire, a natural birth, a physiological normal birth and a positive birth experience, you need to realize that the risks of going to the hospital, the risks of not having that kind of birth are far greater than the very small risk of an actual emergency in home birth. And that's funny because people just think we got Lucky seven times, you know, we just, we just feel, you know, Lucky. Yeah, seven times.

When you break down the statistics of the things that can go wrong in home birth, you look at the incidence of those things happening like a cord prolapse, or placental abruption, talking about like true birth emergencies, and you will compare those with their rate of Cesarean birth, birth trauma, vacuum, forceps, fourth degree, tears, risks of Pitocin Bration of mother and baby. I mean, you look at the numbers, and the decision suddenly becomes a lot easier. But most people don't look at it from that perspective. They just think about the catastrophic possibility of giving birth at home, something going terribly wrong. And how could I ever forgive myself? That's right, or something like that? Yeah. And it informs how we enter motherhood influences how we think about ourselves as a mother.

Absolutely. And I think it's important for people to learn the differences between variations of normal and actual, true emergencies. That, you know, people just think that these midwives come in, and they just give you like a rope to bite on and they boil the water or whatever, play the drums. I mean, this is what people really think about home birth. But in fact, these are highly skilled and trained individuals. But guess what, they're trained in normal birth, they're not a surgeon. And that I think that's helpful for people to realize that obstetricians are necessary, but they are trained in complications, they are trained in surgery, their scope of normal birth is extremely narrow. Yes. And what you what you get with an experienced home birth midwife is a woman who has a very, very wide circle of safety. Yes. And that's what you want, because she has seen all the different variations and how they play out. And she doesn't intervene too soon and say, Oh, no, no. Now we got to do this, this is not looking good. We got to change this, we got to start this. She says, I trust the process, because she's seen so much variation of normal birth. And that's exactly the midwife you want, yes, and your home birth.

I think it's also important for any listener to just know some of the stats and information out there, because one thing we really enjoy doing on this podcast, is calling out the manipulations and conflicts of interest involved in research and studies because so many people just take that headline or that conclusion. And when you read a study, there is so much more information, often in contrast with what the conclusion is because you never know how they're funded or what the intentions are of these researchers. And I want to tell everyone that there was at long last, a big global study that said is homebirth more dangerous than a hospital birth? Because that is the big question people, you know, we get caught up into thinking it's a statistics game. And we want to just err on the side of the odds, rather than really looking at ourselves as an individual, which is how we are supposed to be treating women in pregnancy and birth. But listen to this. So this first of all, I'll tell you the conclusion and then I'm going to tell you a lesser known fact about this study that's pretty telling. That conclusion says this study shows that planning a home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitates facilitates this choice through the availability of well trained midwives and through a good transportation and refer Rural system. So the latter part of what I just read is where we don't do a very good job in the US. And our last episode with Herman Hays client, because we've done three with her did get into that, like we need a better support of midwives in this country. But listen to this, in this study, they were looking for all them really good data samples around the world, they were doing a meta analysis. Now, while the US has experienced increasing maternal mortality, since the 80s, every single other industrialized nation in the entire world has seen significantly lower maternal mortality. So we've gone in exactly the opposite direction of every other industrialized nation, when you look it up online, maternal mortality by country it is it's kind of infuriating that you look at the US and UCSC is going toward the sky, when all the other ones are going down together. That again, my firm belief is that's because of our system being a for profit system. And anyway, that I'm putting that aside right now, in the past decade, Holland has been number one in maternal safety in the world. And I don't know how it is today, I'm not up on that. But I know in recent years, every woman there by default gives birth at home. And in fact, the the national health care system doesn't want women. Again, this might have changed now, I don't know but didn't support women birthing in a hospital unless they were high risk. With that being said, Holland offered more than 500,000 home birth data points in the study, at the period where they were number one in the world, in birth safety. And for no explained reason. The researchers just left it out. They made the largest contribution by many, many fold, the largest contribution to the study, and they just said we're leaving out Holland, because they knew that it would come in with a very compelling global story of how homebirth is safer. So that data has never been released, it's never been concluded it's never been published. Because Holland, which has the best data on it, was just left out of the study. Like we're not including that. So they took 10,000 points from this country, and 14,000 from that country, and they turned down 529,000 data points from Holland. Wow.

It's discouraging, isn't it? Sometimes, it's just not fair. Because all we want, it's not that we're, you know, I it's not that we're pro homebirth. And we're Pro, I don't view myself as Pro anything but informed choice. I know, homebirth didn't, wasn't my choice the first time around. And I respect the decision I made. Because I made the decision that felt right to me. And as long as women aren't getting full information and doing what absolutely feels right to them. I mean, I felt excited about my birth center birth, it was the right choice for my first birth. Yeah, so I'm not pro anything except informed choice and to rob women as though we're not first of all very intelligent human beings. And second, completely responsible for our health and our baby and our choices. Like what are you trying to? What are you doing? Why is someone withholding information from us? Why can't we get that full information and make the decision for ourselves? That's something I find outrageous. We're not children, we're adults making our own decisions is right.

The birth culture is very opposed to home birth, the modern maternity system is rejects home birth, so you don't get the information and any information that is available is buried.

Yes. And I think that, you know, we actually taught classes for over 10 years in our home, and the majority of those people were headed to the hospital. And so it's not that I'm anti hospital birth, but that isn't my story. And so when someone comes to me, and they want to have a natural birth, I think the best place for most of them is to be at home because of my story. Right? And, and so we actually, there's a lot of reasons we stopped teaching this particular class in our homes, but one of them was I just, I just couldn't do it anymore. Because what I wanted to do was be like, just, just just let me pull you aside and just tell you just forget the whole thing, you know. And so I just, I think I got really burnout, from spending most of my class time teaching them, how to talk to their nurses and how to how to fight and how to advocate and make sure you get a doula because if you don't, you know, it's just it felt like a lot of excess energy from of course from them. I didn't want them wasting their time. I wanted them to be able to spend their pregnancy, preparing for the important things right, like a baby and postpartum and an actual relaxation and labor techniques and nutrition and all of that, but it seemed like that had to be put sight because of all the time we needed to arm them. And I got so burned out from that.

A lot of women like doulas go into this work because they're inspired. And then they there's a high turnover rate, there's a high burnout rate because they, they get discouraged or disheartened. My advice to couples because I've worked with so many. And I feel like I've found the message that that helps or that works. And really, it's it's very sincere. It's just I have no idea where you're meant to give birth. But I can tell you, that you shouldn't stiffen at the idea of where you're giving birth. If you imagine a home birth and you stiffen and think I would feel terrified giving birth in this house, then absolutely don't give birth where you feel like you're stiffening and tensing. And by the same token, if you walk into a hospital, and you stiffen and whisper into your breath, I hate hospitals. Why are you giving birth in a place that you hate? We're not supposed to hate our environment when we're giving birth? That's right. So the the challenge women have is just not not to trust us not to trust the person they've hired to support them. You really have to listen to yourself. And the way I phrase it, I alluded to it earlier is if you have that curiosity, that little spark, that that little longing like oh, she had a home birth, well, she's amazing. That's not for me. She's amazing. Well, what if you feel like that's amazing, then you have a pull toward it, and you owe it to yourself, at a minimum, to have a consultation with at least one homebirth midwife. That's it. If you go back to a hospital or birth center after that you can be at peace, because you can say I follow that spark turned out it wasn't for me, but to ignore it is what we don't want because it's telling you something. And women who don't even have that interest. Don't waste your time it isn't for you. That's okay.

I always say I'm only here for the people that want the education. I'm not here to to bark, you know that you're doing the wrong thing. And you're doing you know, I impose your intentions on them. Right? Correct. I'm here and

available for the women that want to know, because the best education is really true self education.

The tricky thing is for women to learn how to discern between what their body is telling them and what their mind is saying. Yeah, so it's that you know, the head versus heart situation. So that's why we say you need to figure out where you literally feel within your body, the safest. Get out of the head and into the body. And there lies your answer. Yes. And even if in your body, even if every cell in your body says yes to your home. But your mind says no, no, no, no, no. Now we know where the work is that has to be done. So how do we get in to that space? What do we need to teach ourselves educate ourselves on so that the mind can kind of get in sync with the body? But if your body says no, it doesn't really matter what your mind says you don't need to override that you go with you go with that feel. like that stiffening I was talking about exemption?

Yes. So find the environment where your body relaxes and feels at peace. And then get your mind to align with that. Yes, because in the end, you know, we were talking about actual complications and that 1% forgiving yourself, in the end, you will know that you went into your birth prepared, informed and confident. And so whatever the outcome is, you know, that you did the best that you could, because you knew your options. And if you don't know your options, you don't have any. And so when we're taking responsibility for our care, we aren't, you know, we live in the SU sa right? You're going to sue somebody else for what they did. But in reality, you actually are responsible for educating yourself. There is malpractice, but when it comes to just the risks that we you know, we live in a world where there are risks when it comes to those things that are out of our control. We have to I think, accept when something does go wrong. We we did the best that we could and we're still happy with our birth, we're still pleased with the outcome. I think that is so important to it's hard to like you said do that mind work. We've been so brainwashed we have Hollywood birth, at the forefront of our minds. We have horror stories, because when you're pregnant people want to tell you all those horror stories. But but people don't go back to figure out, you know, point one of the first part of that cascade of intervention, you know, thank God we saved your baby while we we actually didn't have to save your baby. We wouldn't have done all those other things right.

And we we have to remember to that birth in the hospital has been very It's very short lived. It's homebirth is the increasing growth and homebirth right now is not a trend the trend is really hospital birth compared to the relative length of time that women have been giving birth in their own private spaces.

Yes. You know, I did an interview for a newspaper a while back when I was teaching in in my home and the title of the article was like, local woman teaches alternative birthing methods.

Because right now this is not alternative. An alternative advice. This is the norm by default, it is certainly the default. Yes, it's from nature's perspective, it's every cell in your body is anticipating a physiologic birth. So that's why we do have to recognize interventions that are not so obvious like putting on clothing that isn't yours or leaving your space. It's also worth mentioning that the number one reason for home birth transfer in the US is that the birth is not progressing. We picture this terrifying emergency and yes, anything can happen, right? Placental abruption. I mean, we had an episode of that with a happened to a woman in the middle of the night and she got herself to a hospital and had a necessary C section. But what the by and large, the reason for transfers are happening. After hours of that couple and that midwife just pondering Should we go should we stay? We're on day three here, what do you want to do? But there's one thing we didn't do in this episode, and I want you to just make, I want you to answer this because it isn't said enough. We talk a lot about home birth in terms of avoiding hospitals. Can you just talk a little bit and explain for us? What homebirth gave you? Not in the context of it wasn't the hospital? What did it do for you? Why was it right for you? What is home birthing like in your words? Well,

I would say one of the things I learned the most was that I didn't have a clock no one started to clock for me while we're still doing say the our mind always we're so conditioned to think of it's not a hospital. So what was if you had had your home births 500 years ago, I mean, just if you can tap into what you saved yourself from in your cases, what what for me after having my home birth, what's after having kind of wonderful birthing center birth, it was a very big difference. And for me, I just couldn't get the word agile out of my mind how uneventful It was nothing marked the beginning. So for me, it was just like, it was a normal day of my life. And suddenly there was a baby in the room. How do you what for anyone listening why other than avoiding a hospital why? Long for a home birth? Why have a home birth what to home birthing women experience?

Man, I love that right after my baby is born, I'm gonna get emotional. My team of people that I have lovingly chosen to be around me, they kind of scurry around taking care of me. That's it. That's their job, including my husband. And now my other children who have all been present at my births or sleeping in the other room. I love that. It is an intimate family event, a community event. My community is my family, people that have chosen to be there. And so my favorite part is quiet. It's quiet, but it's a busyness that happens right after the birth. And then I get to climb into my own bed and just stay there for nine or 10 days. And I feel like the best part is just that. It is a normal day but it is miraculous. It is unforgettable because my family is there. I am being cared for I am able to recover I'm able to do the most important thing I don't need to get dressed and go to Walmart the next day. I don't need to do that because what I'm doing is the most important thing and that is resting and nursing and soaking it all in and to me that's my favorite moment when everything the dust kind of settles that I'm able to just take a deep breath and and celebrate what just happened to me that that is a gift for me that I have been able to do seven times.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Share this episode: 

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

Want to be on the show?

We'd love to hear your story. 
Please fill out the form if you are interested in being on the show.

screen linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram