Advantages for Mother
Longer prenatal visits provide the necessary time for building an open and satisfying relationship built on mutual trust and respect. There is ample time for all questions, concerns, desires and needs to be explored. Women can feel seen and supported physically and emotionally.
Women have the freedom to choose which prenatal tests and procedures they would like to do and are not coerced into routine test and procedures
No looming inductions. Women are able to approach their due date without the threat of induction. Homebirth midwives recognize that first pregnancies average 41 weeks. Some babies take longer to cook than others!
Women can labor in the privacy, comfort, and security of their own home. The only people present at the birth are people chosen by the mother. No strangers, unknown doctors, or “observers” — no one coming in uninvited
There are no strict protocols. Women’s “progress” in labor is evaluated independently from statistical averages and protocols
Mothers are not automatically subject to routine procedures. No electronic monitors strapped to their bellies, no automatic IVs, antibiotics, or being forced to push on the bed, or lying back
No “purple pushing.” No team of cheerleaders yelling at her to hold her breath and push.
Significantly less chance of cesarean birth, forceps, vacuum, and episiotomy
Option to birth in water
Women will have the same birth attendants with them throughout their labor and birth There are no shift changes at home
Midwives trust the process and dynamics of birth. Longer labors are not forced along with pitocin and other interventions
Midwives are dedicated to helping mothers give birth without tearing
The time right after the baby is born is honored as sacred and fleeting. This is a time for mothers and babies to greet each other and fall in love. Midwives strive to facilitate these instinctive, private moments by refraining from unnecessarily disturbing the mother or the baby
Mothers can birth their placentas normally without unnecessary force or trauma
After the birth, mothers and babies are never separated. The newborn exam (and vitamin K if desired) is performed right next to the mother
Extensive breastfeeding support
Mothers and babies do not have to leave the house in the first week–the midwife comes to them for postpartum checks. A midwife remains on-call 24 hours a day for any urgent postpartum concern
Woman-centered care. Family-centered care
The mother and family are treated with dignity and respect. Mothers and partners are encouraged to catch their own babies.
Babies are born when they are ready! Labor is not artificially started through routine induction practices
Babies are more likely to be born vaginally, without the use of instruments like forceps and vacuum
Babies are significantly less likely to suffer fetal distress in labor because they are not under the influence of medications and the mother is not forced to lay on her back or do “purple pushing,” both of which restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to baby
Because mother’s movement is not restricted, babies have the opportunity to find their way out of the pelvis in the position that suits them the best. There is less chance of them getting “stuck” in a poor position
Baby are less likely to be born with breathing difficulties
Less risk of infection
Babies are born gently, without force and unnecessary maneuvers
Babies are welcomed first by the hands of the mother, father, midwife, or some combination! Often the mother’s voice is often the first one baby hears
Babies are welcomed into a warm, loving environment without bright lighting or loud noise and chatter
No early cord cutting. Baby receives her full blood volume from the placenta because her umbilical cord is not cut prematurely. Less risk of anemia and other problems related to immediate cord cutting
Babies are encouraged to breastfeed as soon as s/he and mom are ready
The baby’s experience of birth is recognized and honored
Babies are welcomed into the world gently, and with love