December 23rd, 2016. I was 42 weeks pregnant. And at 11:06 am we welcomed our 4th child (second daughter) into this world. Dani Reese was 8lbs 3 oz and was birthed on our bed, with only myself, my husband, and my mother present. Her birth is referred to as an unassisted birth, or free birth. This is when the parents consciously choose to birth their child without a medical professional present. Why did we choose this routine? I have a list of answers for you, but I’ll give you the short rundown version. (and bare with me because the short version is still long)
Our first two were born in a hospital with your typical ob/gyn. Our third was born in a hospital with a midwife. Each birth I questioned, researched, pondered, and prayed. But the biggest thing was that I followed my instinct. I said no to my doctors, I declined certain procedures.
The more evidence based research I found, the less I wanted to birth in a hospital setting. I was healthy, my baby was healthy. There was no reason for me to fear for either of our lives.
That’s not what society tells us, though. That’s not what the media tells us. They tell us that birth is scary, that it’s dangerous and deadly.
If this were the case, would we still be alive as the human race?
Yes, birth was one of the biggest reasons for female deaths 200 years ago. But you know what’s changed since then? A LOT! Let’s start with cleanliness for one. We wash our hands, we wash our clothes, our sheets. Infection played a huge factor in deaths.
And our modern medicine is an obvious change. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Becca, if you believe in free birth, then you don’t believe in modern medicine, right?” That’s a huge misconception about the free birth world and it’s wrong! I fully understand the knowledge that health care providers have and am very grateful for what they provide and offer.
I received prenatal care during all my pregnancies. With my free birth baby, the care was very minimal. But there are conditions that can be fatal that can be detected before a mom gives birth. I’m all about preventative measures! I had urine tests, blood work, and one ultrasound done. Everything looked great! After that, I chose to follow my instinct and do my own monitoring. I kept myself healthy, hydrated, active, and rested (as much as one can when you’re uncomfortably pregnant).
Yes, things happen. Yes, mom and baby can be perfectly healthy and in an instant, an emergency can happen. I hear this all the time! And I don’t deny it at all. This is when I tell mom to follow her gut. Follow her instinct. Don’t let the fear of “what if” blur your vision!
Education should play a HUGE factor in if a free birth is right for you or not. If you’re not willing to educate yourself, then I wouldn’t recommend an unassisted birth. There are many things that can occur that, when educated, you can handle easily without complications. However, without proper knowledge of even the basics, major consequences can result.
Now-a-days, the world is at our fingertips! It’s so easy to learn and educate yourself with the internet at our disposal!
While the info linked below is from 2014, I still see it’s relevance significantly. I’m not here to argue with anyone. I’m not looking for a debate. I simply like to encourage everyone to educate themselves and find out what works best for them. And if you like home birth videos, I’ve included mine below!