Our world has changed so much in such a short period of time. This year, we’ve seen a huge surge in home birth plans, questions, and requests for more information, and it makes sense. Expecting families that tell us that they never would have¬†dreamed of planning a home birth in the “before times” are now making plans to give birth home. Making the decision to plan to meet your baby in the comfort of your home can feel overwhelming, scary, and exciting- and hopefully, empowering.

If you’re considering a home birth to avoid any kind of hospital stay during a global pandemic (and we don’t blame you), here’s what you need to know.

1. It’s not like what you see on TV.

You probably figured this, but let’s just clear it up right away because this topic is full of stereotypes. Home births are not just for hippies or parents that reject science or medicine, and does not require the use of any incense or chanting (unless you want it to). You don’t need to be crunchy, eat organic, or use essential oils (unless you’re into them). All types of people and families choose home birth, because it allows you to create a birth setting that fits your unique style (everyone’s into that).

2. It’s totally safe.

Despite what your mom or well-meaning neighbor might say, home births are a safe option for people who have had a low-risk, healthy pregnancy. During your labour, your midwife will keep a close eye on your health, your baby’s health, and the progress of your labour- just as they do when you’re in the hospital. In fact, studies from BC and Ontario have shown that no matter where parents decide to give birth, the same number of babies are born healthy. Many studies have shown that home births actually lower the risk of interventions like a c-section. Because your midwife and care team are so attuned to your labour, you’ll be able to focus on your labour support techniques and on your job: giving birth.

3. There’s a mini-hospital in your midwife’s trunk.

Your midwife isn’t going to arrive with just candles and birth affirmations (that’s more your doula’s gig). When called to your home birth, your midwife will roll up fully stocked with dopplers, blood pressure cuffs, oxygen tanks, neonatal resuscitation equipment, medications for you and your baby, antibiotics, suture kits, and a lot more. You’ll be asked to source a few supplies- like towels, baby blankets, and plastic sheets- but the rest will be provided for you. And we’ve even got birth pool rentals if you want to try some hydrotherapy!

4. Emergencies don’t happen as often as you might think.

The biggest concern we hear when discussing home births is, “but what if something goes wrong?”. While it’s true that birth is unpredictable, we can tell you that most transfers to the hospital don’t come out of left field. A true emergency requiring a transfer in an ambulance happens very, very rarely (only about 5-8% of home births). Because everyone is paying such close attention to you and your baby, a much more likely scenario is one where your midwife spots a developing problem and you are able to calmly and rationally discuss a transfer before a true emergency arises.

5. It’s not that messy (and it’s not your job to clean it up).

Sure, birth involves fluid and some mess, but it’s probably not as bad as you think it’ll be. You’ll be fully stocked with plastic sheets, garbage bags, and disposable pads and your birth team are experts in using these tools to minimize mess. We know how to protect your brand-new mattress, how to get blood out of the couch, and how to use those disposable pads to contain it all. And besides- after you give birth, we want you in bed snuggling your new baby for at least a few days. Your midwives and your doulas will clean up the mess, take out the garbage, and start the laundry before we go. Often, we leave your home even cleaner than it was when we arrived!

Want to talk more about what a home birth during these crazy times might look like for you? We support that! Get in touch with us today so we can answer all your questions and help you feel prepared for whatever comes next.