Women who give birth at home have fewer interventions and higher satisfaction with the experience. This in turn influences the breastfeeding relationship and their bonding and attachment to their babies. Women who give birth naturally at home also suffer less with postnatal depression.
I imagined how through the centuries, African people had been giving birth in their thatch roofed dwellings, now replaced by glistening tin roofs that do not insulate the home from the heat of the strong African sun. Almost akin to the hospitals and clinics where African women now give birth and that do not insulate them from the emotional and physical trauma of medicalized childbirth.
Ane’ wanted to be allowed to walk around, and to eat and drink during labour, She did not want her baby to be separated from her after birth and wanted to experience the the labour and the birth without pain relief.
The second birth is generally easier: the hip joints are more flexible, the body is familiar with the process, the body is now experienced in the release of just the right amount of hormones and chemicals to release and everything usually happens more smoothly and helps to heal any residual trauma felt from the first birth experience
When a woman understands the mechanics, process and phases of labour she is able come to the labour with less fear and realise that labour has a beginning and an end. Information about the different stages of labour, and how the body may feel as the labour becomes more intense helps the mother stay calm. A loving relationship with the father of the baby and tender exchanges of love and touch during the labour facilitate trust and the optimal release of ‘oxytocin’, the “love” hormone.
Women choose homebirth because they are private and offer minimal intervention in the physiological birth process. This best serves the psychological and emotional health of the mother and baby when she is healthy.
Mandy and I attended Quinn’s birth recently, only I arrived just after the baby was born. Earlier that day, Karen had spent the afternoon attending the Aware Parenting Workshop and had mentioned that she was having mild period pains by late afternoon. Robert had been quite nervous about the homebirth experience, but entered into it …