Midwifery & Home Births

If you haven’t seen Jim Gaffigan’s 4 Kids/Homebirth stint you absolutely need to. 

I first watched it after we had already had our first home birth and before we had our second. I’ve probably watched it more times than I can count on two hands and after opening it to link it here for you I can confirm, still just as funny. 

Truth be told there is a stigma that comes with homebirth. But, there’s a stigma that comes with everything and just as with everything else stigmas are often largely inaccurate judgements made by those never having had the experience.

I distinctly remember standing in the kitchen of our 900 square foot, 2 bedroom house, in Davenport, Iowa. I was on the phone with my mom getting things unpacked in between snuggles and talks with a 3 month old baby. Kyle was already on campus for the day in his first trimester of chiropractic school. My mom said “You’re going to be one of those chiropractor’s wives that has her babies at home.” I laughed and said something to the effect of absolutely not. 

Isn’t the universe funny?

What changed my perception was the fact that 1. I didn’t want the same experience I had for pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum for any of my future babies and 2. I started to do my own research and advocate for myself.

There are so many options in community based birth (home birth or a freestanding birth center not associated with a specific hospital).

80% of the time birth is a normal physiological process that does not need intervention, 20% of the time intervention is needed, and roughly 5-7% of the time is the intervention needed, a true emergency. 

Choosing home birth does not mean that you don’t have access to intervention. It is choosing to trust the natural process and natural ability of the body to give birth. The majority of the time, a well monitored pregnancy and labor in an out-of-hospital setting have been shown to be safe. There is a time and place for intervention and myself and my team are trained in assessing if the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum remain within the normal physiological realm or if assistance is needed. 

I understand if you had a highly medicalized experience for a previous birth and you are wondering if your body can truly do this. I was there too. What I didn’t realize at the time was how most of the intervention I received was due to the intervention before that and became a cascade of intervention. In fact, the in hospital childbirth ed classes I have observed or attended call it the “waterfall effect”.

Choosing home birth with the Coulee Health Birth Collective isn’t just choosing to have your baby at home. 

In fact, all clients will discuss and create an emergency transfer plan for situations that transfer may become necessary for either you or your baby. 

Your prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care will always be managed and monitored by trained birth attendants. This will include at least one midwife and a birth attendant or second midwife.

Choosing home birth is choosing to have completely personalized prenatal care, laboring in the comfort of your own environment, recovering from birth in your own bed, the first postpartum visits for you and baby in the comfort of your home, and your first 6 weeks of postpartum care centered on both you and your baby. Most visits are 45 minutes in length giving you time to ask any questions, discuss any desires or fears, a physical assessment, nutrition and movement education, thorough care the way that even ACOG is recommending we move towards. What’s interesting is that this article claims that ACOG is redefining postpartum care but this has forever been the midwifery model of care!

So much of the prenatal through postpartum experience is centered around the growth and development of the fetus, birth of the baby, and then again the growth and development of the baby.

Your prenatal experience matters.

Your personal and emotional health matters.

Your labor experience matters.

Your delivery experience matters.

Your desires and wishes matter.

Your fears and concerns matter.

Your breastfeeding journey matters.

Your postpartum recovery matters.

In cases of home birth where transfer is necessary, every bit of your prenatal care is part of your experience. And likewise for postpartum. It isn’t just whether you had your baby at home or in the hospital or at a birth center. It’s how you felt and how you were supported throughout. It’s the full informed consent you received for every single test and option along the way based on benefits and risks, personal beliefs, and what makes the most sense for you and your baby. It is empowerment through education.

Each visit with the Coulee Health Birth Collective will be centered around you and your baby and you deserve to feel empowered in that experience. 

On the other side of this wild beautiful ride is the story you get to hold about the choices you made and the ways you advocated for yourself and your family each step of the way and if you’re new to advocating for yourself in this way, I understand, and I’m here for you.

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