The FAQ’s I Get About Having an Unassisted Birth

unassisted birth“Whenever I bring up the topic of having an unassisted birth (a home birth without the presence of a midwife, or medical professional, sometimes called ‘freebirth’), people look at me like I’m crazy. It’s not so bad this time around, because that’show Willow was born, but when I was pregnant with him, I’m sure that my family members were convinced I was going to die if I didn’t go to a hospital to have him. It never fails though… there’s always a slew of the same questions over and over again.

What if something goes wrong?

Personally, education is my relief when it comes to this. I’ve read countless birth stories, researched every possible complication, and how to handle it, and also educated Arick on all of the issues as well. I know what warrants an emergency enough to head to the hospital, or even more to call an ambulance. But the thing is, a lot of the complications that are common in hospital childbirth are due to the interventions that are used. Complications in a drug and intervention free birth are very rare.”

Why don’t you just get a midwife?

When you think of a midwife, you think of some long-haired hippy chick who’s been delivering babies forever, with no formal education on the subject. That’s called a direct-entry midwife. There’s another kind of midwife, a CNM, often referred to in the home birth community as a ‘med-wife’ because they usually work as a team with a group of OBGYNs. In Iowa, direct-entry midwifery is illegal, and most of the CNMs won’t do home births. Having a home birth, though, is not illegal. This makes it very hard to find a midwife to do a home birth, and when you do, the cost is outrageous. Had I decided to have a home birth for say, my first child, there’s no way I’d feel educated enough to have an unassisted birth, and I’d go for a midwife. But now that I’ve done this a few times, and have spent forever and ever learning the ropes, I feel confident enough to go at it alone.

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