Hi all,

I'm 30 weeks this week and have recently changed providers from an OB/GYN to a midwifery group. I am currently planning to give birth at their birth center.

My husband is on board, but my parents are very concerned. They are mostly worried because the hospital that is closest to the birth center is 30 minutes away. I tried to explain to them that I am low-risk and that the CNMs are health care professionals who will be monitoring me and the baby closely and would transfer us to the hospital at any sign of danger (and that they would probably be even more careful given the distance from the hospital).

Part of me thinks I should consider giving birth in the hospital with a midwife, instead of the birth center, but I know that this would greatly increase my chances of being subjected many of the medical interventions I'm trying to avoid. I feel deep down, though, that everything will be safe at the birth center, so why risk interventions at the hospital.

Has anyone had any experiences trying to convince family? What did you do? How did it go?

Thanks!

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I understand your dilemma, but ultimately the only people that will be satisfied with your decision (should you birth in the hospital rather than the birth center) will be your parents. And worse yet, if you are subjected to unecessary interventions while at the hospital, your health and your baby's health may be compromised. The best way, I think, to handle the situation should be to present a evidence-based, sensitive, yet firm rationale behind your decision. Offer them copies of the numerous studies supporting the safety midwife-led births--and have them watch the BOBB documentary!! (That's what sold me, after all!) Even if they continue to object, know that you will always have the support of your dear husband, as well as thousands of women on this blog! :)
Best to you and your growing family. Let us know how it goes!
Do you plan yo have your parents at the birth? If so you will want to make sure they are fully supportive. I only had my husband and the midwives at home with me when I gave birth to my daughter because I did not want any negativity or doubt. My parents and most of my friends were nervous about us having our baby at home so I did not want them to be around. I am so glad they weren't here becuase if someone would have put even the slightest doubt in my mind when I was going through labor I may have felt like I couldn't do it. My husband was my support and was fully confident in the process so I had no worries. You just have to make sure that you surround yourself with only people who will encourage you. We all know ou can do it and you will be happy you did!
Do you plan yo have your parents at the birth? If so you will want to make sure they are fully supportive. I only had my husband and the midwives at home with me when I gave birth to my daughter because I did not want any negativity or doubt. My parents and most of my friends were nervous about us having our baby at home so I did not want them to be around. I am so glad they weren't here becuase if someone would have put even the slightest doubt in my mind when I was going through labor I may have felt like I couldn't do it. My husband was my support and was fully confident in the process so I had no worries. You just have to make sure that you surround yourself with only people who will encourage you. We all know ou can do it and you will be happy you did!
Yes, I would like them at the birth, but ONLY if the come around.

The thing is I invited my mom to be one of my coaches when I was planning on attempting a natural birth at the hospital. I'd feel horrible asking her to stay away, but during our last phone call, I did pretty much make it clear that if they weren't fully supportive and comfortable, I would rather they not be at the birth. I'm close with my parents, so I'm really hoping they come around. I would hate for something as special and the birth of my first child to cause any sort of rift between us.

I'm sure my husband is probably all the support I would need, though, in addition to the midwives. I'm the kind of person that gets introspective, so I know that I'll probably go to a place deep within myself during labor.

Thanks for the support, ladies! I really appreciate it!!
have you thought about asking your parents or just your mom to go with you to one of your midwife appt, if they go see what the birth center is like, actually meet the midwifes, and poosibly ask any questions that they want the answers to maybe they will feel better about the situation, i had my daughter at a birth center i did the water birth i knew long before i was pregnant what birth i wanted when it came to the time to decide i told my husband he of course never heard of a water birth or that there was an option for a birth center but when we found out i was pregnant he said for me to do whatever i felt more comfortable with i have never liked needles nor did i like the fact that when my nephews were born they were immediately cleaned taken to the nursery to be examined and eventually brought back to the parents were at the birth center when we had our daughter the nurse stayed by my side the entire time never left and documented everything listened for the fetal heart rate and monitored me as well i was not hooked up to any iv's monitors or anything i had the freedom to do whatever i wanted my water broke at 215am at home and stayed home until 515am when contractions worsened i got to the birth center at 530am and was dialated to a 3cm stayed in the room until 6am when they checked me again and was at 7cm at that time i got into the tub and at 7am when checked again i was fully dialated and at 735am my daughter crowned and 741am she was delivered she stayed on my chest until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating at that time they cut the cord and gave her to my husband the midwife stayed with me to deliver the placenta while the nurse and my husband evaluated my daughter when i was done delivering the placenta the nurse and midwife helped me out of the tub and walked me over to the bed where i was reunited with my daughter the nurse and midwife left us alone to be a family until it was time to finish the last minute paper work we had to stay in the birth center for 4 hours but not more than 12 but i personally wanted to leave as soon as possible so i could go home relax shower and be with my new daughter and husand my family wasnt sure about the birth center because it wasnt a hospital and was worried about problems but once i showed them the birth center online and they were able to see the experience the midwifes had and the success of the birth center they were fine with it because ultimitaly it was only my and my husbands choice i would not change anything and actually my husband and i are talking about trying for another and will definitely go back to the same birth center hope all works out for you
Thanks, I was going to ask my mom if she wanted to do a tour of the birth center the next time she visits (she lives about an hour away). I think seeing the center and meeting the midwives (as well as having the opportunity to ask any questions she has) would help convince her.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful birth story, and for the advice.
I recently had a midwife attended homebirth and I actually only shared the information about our intention to birth at home with a limited audience. I had 2 prior c-sections and knew that delivering at home is difficult enough to explain to various family members/friends, let alone a first time delivery (in your case). We only told my parents because the other "energies" would be too distracting to me as I prepared our home and my mind for this process.
It is MOST important for you to spend your energy on focusing on you and your husband and this baby. I often turned the energy of those who expressed concern with a simple "we are well prepared for this event, our midwives are professional, prepared, experienced women. Our bodies are built do this. We will be monitored closely, our prenatal care is so personalized, the experience with a midwife is personal, it is important to me and my family."
Please have them see the film BOBB, it will do a LOT of explaining for you;)
oops, forgot to add, I did also have my parents come to one of my midwife home visits. My mom had homebirths with my brothers, they were both concerned for me expressly because of the VBAC status. My mom is a former physician, so you can imagine the explaining I had to do;)
Once they met our midwives, they were confident with our care and excited for US that we had found the support team I needed!
I'm writing this before I read any replies because I feel I need to just say this, regardless of whether or not I'm repeating anyone else.

It's really thoughtful of you to be concerned for your parent's comfort, but the only person giving birth here is you. I think you need to focus on where YOU want to be. Where can you best achieve the birth you want? If it's at the birth center,then that's where you should be. If your parents concern is going to affect you in a negative way, and in turn, make you nervous and apprehensive, then you probably should reconsider the hospital.

It took my husband a couple of months to become accustomed to the idea of a home birth, but I just kept reassuring him that it was not only safe, but ideal for me, and that the door was open for him to ask any question he wanted. Maybe have them come to your next prenatal with you. If they are open to receiving information, then there's lots out there for them.

Good luck, and please remember, when your baby comes, only YOU are going to be bringing he/she in to the world. This is your birth experience and it's quite possibly one of the most self shaping things you'll do. Make sure that you do what is important to you and follow your instincts.
It is so incredibly important that the people you surround yourself with be fully on board with what you're wanting for a natural birth. Any negative "vibes", comments, feelings.. they can all impact YOU. When women are giving birth we are so open to everything and even the little things can stall a labor and emotionally set back the mom.

Stop trying to convince your family and focus on your needs as a pregnant mother. Because that really is the most important part. You could give all the statistics in the world and still never convince some people.
My father-n-law was one of those people. My dad actually ended up writing him because of his negativity towards me and told him "man to man" to back off. That he was positive that if needed, I could give birth in a field by myself and be able to handle it. LOL Not that I actually would, but my fathers confidence is what fed my own confidence in having a home birth.
Thanks everyone!

You are totally right. I'm going to give my parents some time to come around, but if they don't I'll have to ask that they not be present for the birth. I know that I'd be fine with just my husband. I actually only asked my mom when I was planning a hospital birth because I felt I might need a 2nd person to fight for my birth plan in the hospital setting (this won't be necessary at the birth center).

I really do hope that they come around though. I think watching BBOB will make a huge difference, so we'll see what they have to say after. I'll keep you posted!

Thanks again for the support and good advice.
I know a woman who told her family that if they wanted to be at her home birth they would have to do their own research about it and write an essay for her. Her mother and sister did it and she let them come to the birth. I thought it was a great idea, because it ensured that her support people were well informed and ready to support her.

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