[Holding my son after our amazing homebirth just four months ago!]
Today is International Homebirth Day.
Why is that important? Well, birth is kind of a big deal. There are an estimated 134 million births per year around the world, and 4.3 births every second, human births anyway. Can you imagine what the number would be if we knew the number for all of the births? How many animals gave birth on the day that we did? How many are birthing this very second? And it is mind blowing to think that nearly all of the around the world animals are giving birth in nature or the place of their choosing, right at this very moment. It is their right, what is instinctual for them, where they will have the best birth outcome. Human mothers can do that too. We can welcome our babies at the place of our choosing into our own arms with love. Physiological birth is increasingly rare in our culture.
I personally cherish my two homebirths and I am certain most people who have had one or two or ten do as well. There is something so irreplaceable about birthing your child in your own space, by yourself or with your family, or even with a care provider that you selected. It was a journey for me to come to realize homebirth was a real, valid option for me though. I brushed it off the first time because it wasn’t covered by my insurance and I thought hospitals were the place to have babies. But the difference in care between my homebirth midwife and my hospital OB was light and day. And the room full of surgeons who knows who else in the operating room for my unplanned cesarean. I remember the bright lights, people telling my husband he couldn’t come in, gloves tugging and pushing, and the beeping and other mechanical noises assaulting my senses while I was at my most sensitive. After that, I knew without a doubt that I would feel safe surrounded by my family. No one else would be allowed near me while birthing without my permission. I went on to have my first homebirth three years ago in August and second just four short months ago. One with a midwife and her assist and the other with just myself and then about a minute with my husband. Each special in their own way.
But not everyone finds homebirth like I did. Some beautiful, strong women just have babies at home from the get go. That’s normal for them and I envy them. And others never feel like it’s an option for them, either they don’t feel safe at home or they’re told they cannot. I find it sad when capable women are told they cannot birth how and where they want to. There are over a thousand hospitals in the US that put a ban on vaginal birth for some women. Really. (Read Vaginal Birth Bans in America – The Insanity of Mandatory Surgery) Birthing naturally and at home if the mother wants it should be an option for more women and their babies. Midwives should be covered by all insurance plans, period. We should all know that homebirth is actually something prevalent in most of the world. It’s unfortunate that it’s portrayed as something out of the ordinary here in the United States, something risky or selfish, when it isn’t either of those things. Can women and babies get a little support, please?
So, because of the importance of birth and how wonderful birthing at home can be, I invite you to celebrate the day with me. Think about why birth is important to you. Remember your births and talk about them with your children and the women in your life.
[Here are my two homebirthed babies this morning.]
Did you have a homebirth or two? How will you celebrate the day?
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- 11 Homebirth Facts No One’s Telling You - Redeeming the Day
- My Third Birth: My Freebirth Story – Paa.la
- Amelie’s Birth Story – My lovely HBAC - Paa.la
- My First Birth: Cesarean for Breech – Paa.la
- The end of my 4th Trimester – Happy 3 Months to Quint - Paa.la