Between 1930-1945, my grandmother gave birth at home to more than seven children. We used to joke whenever we stayed at my grandmother’s that the bed in the guestroom was known as "the birthing bed."
During the 80s and 90s all of my girlfriends and family had their children at the hospital and they were always looking for the hospital with the latest and greatest technology. Today, though, some of my girlfriends are helping their friends have their babies at home.
Over the last 85 years, the pendulum on where to give birth has swung wide, and is now reopening the door to a natural birth at home surrounded by family and friends, re-establishing once again the intimacy between baby and mother.
Meryl Streep, Demi Moore and Thandie Newton are just a few of the many celebrities who have given birth at home.
As actress and producer Ricki Lake stated in her documentary "The Business of Being Born," she felt that during the birth of her first son there was "unnecessary intervention" at the hospital. She wanted to have a more natural experience the next time.
Not everyone should give birth at home. Women who have certain medical issues need to give birth in the hospital under the care and supervision of medical experts.
Women with the following conditions should not give birth at home:
• Women with high blood pressure
• Women with diabetes
• Women who have had a previous C-section
• Women who have had any type of uterine surgery
• Women expecting twins
• Women with preeclampsia
• Women with a baby in breech position at 37 weeks
• Women in premature labor
• Women whose partners are not 100 percent supportive of a home birth
Women like my grandmother who are having a healthy low risk pregnancy are excellent candidates for giving birth at home. With the help of a midwife and/or doula, giving birth to your child at home can be a wonderful and loving experience among your immediate family and friends.
When giving birth at home you can move around, take a shower, and change positions frequently. You are in the comfort of your own home and surrounded by unconditional love and support.