Partners share why they chose to welcome their new baby in the comfort of home.
There's no one right place to give birth. Many mothers-to-be feel most comfortable birthing in a hospital environment, and for those with certain pregnancy risk factors—like preeclampsia and placenta previa—it's an absolute necessity. Others prefer a birth center, where the laboring mother can be closely monitored, but also gets to enjoy a more home-like feel. And for other women, a home birth, with specialized care that comes to them, simply can't be beat.
While some women may have certain concerns about birthing at home (safety, pain, and clean-up come to mind) many women who've done it say being home from start to finish is actually the 5-star treatment. Generally, home births often mean a lower risk of surgical birth, and allow them to give birth in the environment that makes moms-to-be feel most at ease.
But how do their partners feel about going this route? Here's why these moms- and dads-to-be thought home was the right place to be.
Home birth meets the emotional needs of the whole family
"There is a big difference from a partner's perspective between hospital birth care and home birth care. I used to always say that when we went to visit the hospital midwife we would wait for an hour to be seen for 15 minutes, but when we went to see the home birth midwife we waited 15 minutes to spend an hour in the appointment. I don't doubt that with each approach there is sufficient time to garner the medical knowledge necessary to determine if things are on track. But having that extra time I really saw that Katie's emotional needs were attended to. There is definitely a bond that forms with a home birth midwife that is absent with those who perform short clinical visits."
-Sharon Dongorra, mother of Lucy, 6, (transfer to hospital) and Archer, 2, (born at home)
It respects the laboring mother's needs
"Professional midwives are specialists in guiding mother and baby through pregnancy, labor and birth, treating it as a natural process to facilitate in partnership with the parents. Having this occur safely and gently at home, in my and my wife's experience, is a great gift. My overriding purpose [once we found out we were expecting] immediately became to protect my wife and unborn child. Her needs and his became my needs, and she knew very specifically what she needed, what she was comfortable with, and what she very much wanted to avoid. Avoiding excessive and unnecessary medical intervention—pretty much a guarantee at our age (in our mid 40s) and carrying with it its own risks—would prove difficult to impossible if we did not find the right midwife."
-Charles Sanderson, father to George, 14 months (born at home)
It treats pregnancy as a normal occurrence, rather than an illness
"Home birth was the right choice for our family because it was all about healthy births. Hospitals do wonderful things for people and can be absolutely necessary when you're sick or ailing. But my partner wasn't either—she was pregnant with a child. As a healthy and active momma in pregnancy, we felt that the best place to facilitate a natural, healthy birth on our terms was at home. It gave us the freedom to work through labor together using techniques proven to work over and over again in healthy, low-risk births. We consulted and hired professionals and heeded the necessary precautions, preparations, and planning. It felt less a risk to us than any other option after our research and preparations. It felt like the natural thing to do for our births."
-Chad Kinney, father to Annabelle, 4 (born at home) and Caroline, 1.5 (born at home)