Home-births are becoming more popular; in 2021 the CDC reported the largest number of home-births in 30 years. 30 years! We will explore this fascinating trend in a future article. First, we would like to share Ariel Johnson’s beautiful home-birth story.
Ariel is the mother of three kids and has had two home-births. She chose to have a home birth for her second and third child because delivering her first baby in a hospital was not an optimal experience for her.
“I decided to have a home-birth with my second kiddo because my hospital birth with my first ended up leaving me feeling disappointed. I was scared, I felt unheard, unsupported, and overall like I missed out on a great birthing experience. I wanted to have a more personalized birth and bring my baby into a calm and safe environment.”
Her peaceful home environment was a stark contrast to the hospital atmosphere.
“Both of my home-births were pretty similar. Of course, with my first one I was a little nervous, but overall it was the most calm and truly beautiful experience I’ve ever had. I followed my instincts, but was given suggestions to help progress labor. I wasn’t poked and just left to lie on my back. I had a birthing tub set up in an area where I felt relaxed and had birth affirmations to help me through the hard contractions. It was such a night and day difference compared to my hospital birth.”
Many moms who deliver at home opt for a water birth. Because babies are in amniotic fluid for nine months, many believe that a water birth eases their transition into their new world. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this gentle approach can be less stressful for some mothers and babies. (Many hospitals now offer water birth as a birthing option; work with your doctor or medical provider if you think this could be a good fit for you. Due to various medical reasons, a water birth is not right for everyone.)
“With my second home-birth, I was hoping for another water birth because I loved it so much the first time, but of course all births are different and that plan wasn’t working out for me, so I ended up switching it up. While I was laboring in the tub, I realized I wasn’t going to be as comfortable and also the water kept stalling my labor this time. I stayed in the water for close to two hours and finally decided to get out and get some deep lunges in, which quickly jump started labor.”
Ariel hired a midwife to support her for both of her home deliveries.
“With my first home delivery my midwife had her own practice, so she came to me for every appointment and it was very laid back and personalized. I absolutely loved it, especially with having another little one already and it being right at the start of COVID. I didn’t have to go anywhere or worry about having someone to watch my son during appointments. With the second one, I was seen at a midwifery practice that had their own birth center. I would go to the birth center for appointments, but I wanted to still do a home-birth, so when I first went into their care we made a plan for a home-birth. They only take a couple home-births each month to ensure that they have the help they need at the birth center, so I made sure we had that plan in place from the beginning. I was also fine with the possibility of needing to go into the birth center in case, but continued to plan for the home-birth as well.”
Birth affirmations helped Ariel to overcome any physical or mental challenges during labor.
“One of my favorite birth affirmations was ‘my body was made for this’. It helped remind me during exhaustion and hard contractions that I could and would get through it.”
While a home birth may not be the right choice for many mothers due to personal preferences or medical conditions, Ariel is confident in her decision and thrilled with the outcome.
“I love that all three of my birth experiences are completely different, and that my two home-births gave me everything I could hope for when bringing a baby into the world. They showed me that birth doesn’t have to be seen as this big, scary thing."
"Every mom should feel confident, supported and strong during labor and delivery.”
Follow along with Ariel’s motherhood journey on her instagram account @the_ariel_view_
Home Births in the U.S. Increase to Highest Level in 30 Years. (2022, November 17) CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2022/20221117.htm
Water Births. The American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/labor-and-birth/water-births/