If you have been dreaming about giving birth at home and finding your partner unsupportive, know you’re not alone. With so many misconceptions and horror stories floating around, many people are under the false impression that homebirth is unsafe. So how do you convince your partner to get on board with your plan to give birth at home? We have some helpful ideas:
Talk About the Benefits
Homebirth has many wonderful benefits for you and your baby. Talk openly with your partner about the benefits of home birth and which benefits you most desire. Some of the benefits my homebirth clients have enjoyed are:
- private and familiar surroundings that you can control including lighting, music, comfort items, etc.
- lower risk of infection
- no disruption of labor due to travel and lack of privacy
- family-oriented birth, without strangers
- more control over your labor and birth experience including the freedom to move around, use different rooms, and eat/drink
- less unnecessary interventions
- improved breastfeeding rates
- reduced interruptions to immediate bonding
- increased satisfaction with the birth experience
Present the Science
The reality is, partners who have concerns about the safety of homebirth are not trying to be unsupportive, they have concerns. They want both you and your baby to be well, and they may be misinformed. Fortunately, there has been a lot of research done to show that homebirth is safe.
In 2014, the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health published Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States, a study showing that planned home birth attended by a midwife can result in positive outcomes and benefits for mothers and newborns. Of the almost 17,000 home births highlights include:
- Only 5.2% of the home births analyzed resulted in cesarean birth. Compare that to the national average of 31%.
- There were significantly lower incidences of medical intervention including epidural, medication for pain and augmentation, and episiotomy.
- Home birthers had extremely high breastfeeding rates at 6 weeks post-birth.
Overall, studies show that planned home birth with midwife support reduces the risk of medical intervention and surgical birth, without increasing the risk of adverse outcomes or death.
Your midwife and home birth doula will both be able to help you access resources and studies if you want more evidence-based information.
Sign Up for a Natural Childbirth Education Class
Taking a natural childbirth class together can help your partner better understand your desire for a home birth and that it is safe. Choose a course that is designed for families choosing to give birth at home, or planning a low-intervention birth.
You have limitless options when it comes to childbirth education including formal classes both online and in person, YouTube, podcasts, reading books, blog posts, and more!
Meet With a Midwife
There is often no better way to set a person’s mind at ease than to allow them to speak with an expert. We have amazing midwives in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, who would be happy to answer your questions and walk both of you through the process of planning a home birth. Most people who meet with a midwife choose midwifery care for their pregnancy.
Hire a Doula
Doulas are unique members of the birth team no matter where you give birth. Your care can begin as early in your pregnancy as you desire. During our prenatal meeting, we can work through your preferences and create a birth plan that both you and your partner feel comfortable with. It’s an opportunity for both of you to talk about your hopes and fears, with a guide to validate feelings and encourage you to remain curious and open to resolving fears with facts!
Check out my Homebirth Support Package! It includes multiple prenatal meetings to help you feel educated, confident and prepared for your labor and birth.
Listen to Their Concerns
It’s normal to feel emotional when discussing your homebirth preferences with anyone who isn’t supportive, especially your partner. Do your best to put on your listening ears and hear your partner’s fears and concerns. Helping someone to understand that something they previously thought was risky is indeed safe, is a process.