Homebirth midwifery care is a consensual womancentric model, enabling the mother to shape her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. Appointments are 2-3x longer than an average hospital visit, is holistic, inclusive of all family members attending the visit (including children) and the same care providers participate throughout the entirety of your care. There is not only consideration of physical health, but also interest in the emotional well being of the family and time devoted for fostering personal relationship between client and care provider. There is no reference of patient in this model of care, because pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum is not treated as an illness, but rather as a healthy physiologic process. This model is based on prevention, using alternative modalities when appropriate, and minimizing interventions, thus supporting the body’s innate process.
Different from most models of care you will know your midwives and know who will be at your birth. There are no strangers attending your birth as you have carefully chosen everyone who will be participating. This continuity of care builds deep individual relationships allowing you to feel safe and listened too tailoring your own unique experience. There are many benefits to being in your own home. You are able to move freely during your birth as fetal monitoring is not done by a machine. Your own environment is host to your individual bacteria so there is no risk of contracting superbugs (drug resistant bacteria). After the baby is born there is no need to get in a vehicle. You are able to bask in the postpartum focusing on bonding, which brings much greater success for breastfeeding (if that is your choice) and healthy long term connections. You are informed every step of the way so that you are empowered to make educated decisions for you and your family. You dictate what is put into your body and your child’s body. Nothing is done without your consent. Homebirth is not for everyone, it is only for those who fall into the category of a healthy term pregnancy and for those who feel comfortable birthing in a home environment.
Below are statistics from a study on homebirth outcomes in comparison to hospital deliveries:
- Higher rate of physiologic (normal) birth of 93%
- Higher success rate for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) at 87%
- Breastfeeding success rate of 97% at six weeks postpartum
- Lower rates of cesarean birth (5.2% vs national average of 31% for term infants)
- Lower rates of episiotomy (surgical vaginal cut) (1.4% vs national average of 25%)
- Less need for pitocin to speed labor (4.5% vs 24% national average)
- Less use of epidurals (pain medication) (4% vs 67% national average)
- Lower risk of prematurity and low birth weight
- Better APGAR (scoring method that assesses health of the baby directly after birth) scores at birth.
*Cheyney M, Bovbjerg M, Everson C, Gordon W, Hannibal D, &Vedam S. (2014). Outcomes of care for 16,984 planned home births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004-2009. J Midwifery Wom Health.
This study shows evidence of better outcomes for homebirth deliveries; lower cesarean rates and less interventions than in other settings.