by Anne Ferguson, CD(DONA), HCHI
Amazing, beautiful and empowering birth can happen anywhere, that’s for sure. But there are some special things I’ve witnessed as a doula in out-of-hospital birth that you really don’t see in a hospital setting. Here are just a few of the amazing things I’ve had the honor to be a part of in some of the birth center and home births I’ve attended as a birth doula.
- The doula waking the older children in the middle of the night just moments before their Mom pushed their new sibling out in the world so they could witness the birth, and the children announcing the sex of their new baby sibling.
- The entire birth team and family enjoying chocolate cake and pink champagne at 6 am after a beautiful home birth.
- A strong Mom pushing her baby out into the world just as she envisioned, in the birth tub in her backyard as the sun rose on a beautiful summer morning.
- Enjoying Pizza Luce for lunch while sitting around the dining room table in a comfortable and cozy birth center with a Mom in early labor, waiting for her body to move into the next phase, without any expectations around timing or a need to rush the process along.
- A beautiful, quick birth during a power outage, because it turns out you don’t really need power to have a baby!
In general out of hospital birth offers the following perks:
- Taking a bath or shower in your own bathroom and then climbing into your own warm, comfortable bed not long after giving birth.
- A homemade meal made just for you, right in your own kitchen or in the birth center kitchen, made just to your needs and tastes.
- Midwives who you know and trust because you’ve been meeting with the same people for months, and you know who is going to be there when the times comes for your baby to be born. (This happens sometimes in hospital birth with small groups of care providers.)
- Moms being able to trust their bodies completely, knowing when it’s time to push their babies out without any cervical checks.
- Control over who comes in to your postpartum space, instead of the constant flow of traffic that usually happens in the hospital setting.
Out of hospital birth is a safe and wonderful option for low risk mothers wanting a low-intervention birth. In the Twin Cities we are incredibly lucky to have three free-standing birth centers and many, many wonderful, skilled home birth midwives. If you are planning to have a low-intervention birth, it is well worth your while to consider your out-of-hospital options!
Anne Ferguson, CD(DONA), HCHI is a birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor and placenta encapsulator who has two sons, one born in the hospital and one in the comfort and safety of her own bedroom. You can find her at www.bywaterbirth.com.