Freebirth isn't very common, but for a variety of reasons it seems to be growing in popularity. I'm talking to more and more women who are considering freebirth and want to learn more about how to prepare for it.
A freebirth is a birth at home with no medical attendant. There may be a doula (who does NOT provide any sort of medical advice), partner, photographer, other support people - but no midwife or Dr.
I had a freebirth for my third birth. After two caesareans. I've been called everything from brave to stupid. Irresponsible. Insane. And even accused of not caring if my baby lives or dies. Considering a freebirth is a BIG decision. But if you have put some thought into these 5 things you can make it a positive and powerful experience.
Get clear on your why
It's really important to be clear on why you are choosing to freebirth. I want to be clear - this is NOT so that you can more easily "justify" your decision to others. But knowing what this birth means to you and what you want from it will help you to make the ongoing decisions around support, medical care, where your older kids are going to be, how you will set up your space, and yes, how (or even IF) you will have conversations with other people about your birth journey.
I chose freebirth because I was traumatised by my past hospital experiences and I couldn't access a midwife to support me at home. It really seemed like a no-brainer for me!
Freebirth is a MASSIVE education in personal responsibility. The first thing that I realised when I made my decision is that I would be blamed if anything went wrong. Never mind the fact that things go wrong in hospitals ALL. THE. TIME. We are all conditioned to believe that if things go wrong in hospital they simply couldn't be prevented...but if they go wrong at home it's all the woman's fault (interestingly I've never heard anyone blame the male partners who are supporting these women...). For this reason it is really important that you have a solid understanding of your why, and ensure that you are making an informed decision.
Two questions to journal on are:
If anything were to go wrong, would I feel like I made an informed decision?
What would I need in order to feel that I had done everything I could to be safe and healthy?
You make the decisions - No cookie cutter journey for you!
You do not have to have ZERO care at all throughout your whole pregnancy in order to have a freebirth. You also don't have to stay home at all costs during labour. And you can absolutely go to hospital to get checked after the birth.
Stepping into your power doesn't mean simply forgoing medical care every step of the way - it means making the decisions yourself around what you need.
You may decide that you do not need to see a care provider for anything. You may choose to have certain tests, but not others. You may choose to have full standard ante-natal care and then simply birth at home. Again - this is why that first step is so freaking important - you need to know what your needs are before you can make decisions that will ensure that they are met.
I saw different medical care providers throughout my pregnancy for different reasons. And I went to hospital after the birth (like 12 hours after LOL) to get bloods done (I'm RH negative) and to check how badly my tearing was. It's not all or nothing.
Your peeps are key
It's so important that you surround yourself with the right people for your journey. And I don't just mean medical people or "official" support people. Every one that you talk with about pregnancy and birth comes into your headspace. Choose carefully who you talk to about your plans but also about birth in general.
You can do it!
But also - it's NOT a reflection on your worth, value, abilities, or mother-y-ness if you don't. While things are usually less likely to go wrong at home, they sometimes do. Making a powerful and informed decision to move your birth to hospital is NEVER a failure on yours or anyone else's part. And if you were pressured by others during your time of vulnerability that's a reflection on them not you.
You are amazing and powerful - Always. x
PS: If you would like to talk through any of these steps / decisions, please get in touch. I would love to find a way to support your journey inwards to the centre of your power.
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