As many of you know, we are expecting baby number 7 in August. You also may know, we have our babies at home. Yes, you read correctly, they are born at home.
There are so very many questions I receive from people who cannot imagine ever having a baby at home as well as from those who are actually interested in having their babies at home.
Homebirth is not for everyone! I highly recommend it if you qualify and are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to have a homebirth. However, you need to counsel with a knowledgeable midwife before you decide to have your baby at home. You should also have a back-up plan in case of emergency or in case the midwife does not make it to the birth in time.
Each week until my due date, I am going to answer at least one question I commonly receive about homebirths. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to answer your questions the best I can and keep your question anonymous! Please remember these answers are just from my experience and I am NOT a doctor or midwife. I am only a mom who has had six homebirths!
Here is the first question:
How did you find a midwife you can trust?
A great question! I had my first child in a birth center which is just like having a baby at home only you are not at home! I still had no pain medicine and no intervention other than a doppler checking the baby’s heart beat from time to time. I was free to move around and eat and drink and bathe. I could go for walks or do whatever I was comfortable doing. I later asked a friend who her midwife was. The friend is a Christian and so is my midwife. I fell in love with my midwife immediately. She has a great compassion for women and loves what she does!
There are midwives of all different faiths including midwives who do not believe in God at all. For Tennessee, there is a Directory for Midwives in the Sate. Go here to access the directory.
Things to remember when searching for a midwife:
- Schedule an interview for you and your husband to meet her. This interview does not necessarily have to be a check-up. Take along a list of questions you may have for her such as how she would deal with a breech baby and maybe even some of the things she expects out of you. Take your birth plan with you (You should have one of these regardless of where you are having a baby! I hope to have a separate post just on birth plans.). Have her read over your birth plan and see if there is anything she cannot handle.
- Pray about her before you make your decision. You do not have to feel obligated just because you had an interview. Remember this is YOUR body and YOUR baby! You want someone who is devoted to making sure both you and the baby are safe! You want the woman to be completely devoted to you and your family!
- Ask other friends if they know of anyone who has homebirths and find out which midwife they may use.
- Ask birthing centers if they can recommend a midwife who delivers at home. I must warn you, most of them will not recommend home births!
- Contact hospitals in your area and find out if there is an emergency if they will allow your midwife with you and also find out how much if any your midwife can work in the hospital if you do have to go.
- Remember NO ONE Is perfect! NO ONE! Any midwife is going to make mistakes! You must be willing to forgive.
- Make sure you AND your husband get along with the midwife as well as anyone else who you may want at your birth. You may also want to ask your midwife if she has an assistant and try to meet her as well. There was one assistant my midwife had who I just did not “click” with. She was very nice and kind and I believe she cared about me. However, she had a difficult time knowing when to be quiet as well as a difficult time being corrected on anything. I just could not bear her at my birth. I told my midwife, and we got someone else! IT IS YOUR BIRTH AND YOUR DECISION AS TO WHO SHOULD BE THERE!
- You may also want to ask if she takes insurance and how much she charges. Midwives are much more affordable than doctors, but many are NOT covered under insurance plans. For our first three, our insurance covered everything. We have since changed policies, but we are always able to work something out with our midwife. Some midwives give a steep discount if you can pay in full in cash upfront.
- Pray! Sleep on it! Choosing a midwife is an important decision! You want to make sure she has your best interest at heart!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure she is honest and straight forward! At the birth center, the midwives were not always straight forward with me. Fortunately, the nurse who did the child birth classes was VERY honest! She was just who we needed. She did the after birth care at home. She encouraged my husband and I to have our babies at home. She had confidence we could do it! If you have any doubts about her answers to your questions or any of her behaviors, either get a second opinion or get another midwife!
Stay tuned for more answers about homebirths! Please send in any questions you may have!