Top Ten Reasons Why Home Birth Rocks

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants
have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment
parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of
links to the other carnival participants.

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Top Ten Reasons Why Home Birth Rocks

I am the proud mama of three home birthed babas. I would not have done it any other way….and this is why!
  1. Home is the natural space for a natural birth. Feeling safe at home, in the birth space you have created during your nesting frenzy in the preceding month, is the most natural of things. No trying to ride the contractions in the back of a car at rush hour, or fill out hospital forms whilst you’re dilating. No beeping machines, bright lights, shiny blades, white coats, trolleys or monitors. In a home environment your hormones of love – oxytocin and prolactin – are most likely to function as they should, and stress levels, which produce cortisol and inhibit labour, are kept low. My first birth was an ecstatic birth for just this reason. My third was a wonderful water birth. All were quick and easy – the longest being 6 hours from start to finish.
  2. Centre stage is your own bed, not a gurney. Now admittedly not one of my babies was actually born in bed! That’s one thing about active birth – you birth where you end up. So my first baby emerged on the sitting room floor (on the carefully covered cream carpet!!), one on the bathmat and one in the birth pool. But for me my bed was like centre stage. The bed your baby was created in (perhaps!) is the one they are also born into (ditto!). It feels like a complete circle of creation. Snuggling up with my whole clan after the birth in our big family bed is one of my most precious memories of each birth time. Cosy breastfeeding in my own little nest with my tiny baby birdlings is another. Having wonderful meals in my pyjamas, in bed. And getting decent sleep rather than listening to all the other babies bawling which so many friends had complained about in hospital.
  3. Birth becomes a family affair in which your other children, and perhaps mother and sisters, are a valued and integral part of your birth, rather than being pushed aside. They can watch if you/ they want, or come in five minutes after the baby has arrived to be their first welcomers. Your kids can snuggle up in bed with you and their new sibling straight after the birth. And you don’t have to be away from them for nights on end, worrying about childcare or their resenting the new baby. Having a home waterbirth also gives the added bonus of having an inflatable birth pool in your bedroom for a couple of weeks before which your children can use as a giant bouncy castle!
  4. You can groan, scream, sing and dance naked, walk in the garden, play whale music or rock music, bake a cake, do naked yoga, kiss your partner… it’s your space, your birth and so you need ask permission of no one. And afterwards you can keep the placenta, eat it or bury it, no questions asked.
  5. You really call the shots as to what medical procedures you want, or not. You are not guilt tripped into accepting Vitamin K or newborn BCG shots. Nor will you be threatened with syntocin if you are proceeding at a leisurely place. You are more likely to be prescribed a walk around the garden or a lovely massage than an IV.
  6. One-to-one care from conception to 3 months post partum, with a woman who is an angel in human form, who cares deeply about you, who knows and values you and your partner and your other children. Home birth midwives who greet your newborn with gentle words and a kiss and pure delight, not a slap, a plastic name tag and a hospital blanket . A woman who will listen to you talk and talk about the birth as you process it. And who is on call to answer your new mum worries and support your breastfeeding. And who is highly trained and experienced in dealing with everything that birth throws up… including throwing up. Our second baby was born blue, umbilical cord knotted AND around her neck, and not breathing. The oxygen was ready, our midwife acted with speed and precision, instantly cutting the cord and resucitating her. Our baby pinked up and all was well.
  7. As many visitors as you want after…or not. No visiting hours. Just lots of love.
  8. Food glorious food! Home cooked food for dinner rather than hospital slops! Wonderful goodies that I had stocked up on, or dear friends had brought for my ravenous post-birth, breastfeeding appetite. And no one to tell you not to eat or drink during labour.
  9. Every time you pass that sacred space in the house where your baby came earthside you get a shiver of “wow! I did it, what a miracle!” You know you are walking on hallowed ground.
  10. For me the crowning glory of a home birth is the sense of pride in yourself for having navigated the birth laborinth naturally and mindfully without the aid of drugs. (And the satisfaction of proving all the negative minded nay-sayers wrong.) Home birth gives your baby the most gentle and loving entry into the world. It supports your diverse physical, emotional and spiritual needs. And it sets the stage for a positive parenting adventure.


Many, many people are very scared of home birth, including the majority of medical professionals. For them birth is safest in hospital. However, home birth is not a fool-hardy enterprise but proven as safe as hospital birth for low risk mamas, with a lower rate of interventions and breastfeeding rates two to three times as high. You will only be allowed a home birth if you are classed as low risk. Midwives carry most of what is on offer in a labour ward, the ambulance is on call and you are in the hands of two highly trained and experienced professionals during delivery. And, before you say it’s a luxury, according to research by the HSE, home births cost on average €1000 less than a vaginal delivery in hospital. In Ireland they can be availed of free of charge under the public health scheme.

Home birth requires you to research, prepare and dig deep into your deepest resources and courage. It requires that you engage fully with your pregnancy. It demands that you navigate the depths of the ocean of birth in full awareness. It is scary to have courage in the face of so much opposition and negativity. But its rewards are priceless and permanent.


If you liked this you might like more on the history and philosophy of a home based life
And if you want to read more on natural pregnancy and birth visit my website for a selection of previously published articles on natural pain coping, home birth, birthing from within and a Ricki Lake interview on birth choices. 

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)

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