HELP--First time mom having a home birth & freaked OUT!

Hello everybody,


I watched The Business of Being Born and decided a home birth is for me.  With that said, I need to know what I need to do to prepare myself for the birthing process, pain, etc?  Will I just know what to do?  What if there is complications as the baby is coming out?  Any and all info is much appreciated.


Thank you,


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Have you read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth? Also, I would suggest some sort of childbirth education---either a class or home study course. I loved my Bradley classes. They helped me really understand the process of birth and accept what was happening with my body while in labor. Good luck!
I just purchased BOTH books & need to just start reading :))  Can you tell me a bit about your home birth experience?

I can't, I'm sorry. I had a hospital birth. :) The Bradley classes and a doula probably saved me from a c-section---no lie. But I have almost signed the papers for a home birth for baby #2. Reading Ina May has really encouraged me to trust birth even more.

I had some bad bleeding with baby #1 after the delivery (which actually may have been caused by some standard hospital procedures). This is the one fear that I need to get over before I can start paying my deposit on the home birth midwife. I posted a questions about PPH and home birth on this forum, but so far no one has responded. Some girls did respond on a different forum, though, and they are helping me get over this fear.

Does your MW attend water births? When I was in labor at the hospital, I just thought about how wonderful it would be to take a bath (they didn't have ANY tubs). The MW I'm planning on using this time has her own birthing tubs. I think water (either in a tub or even standing in the shower) might really help you deal with the contractions at home.

But perhaps the biggest thing to influence pain is the position of the baby and your level of anxiety. If you are tense, pain will feel so much worse (just grab your arm tightly, now flex it---see how much more it hurts). Also, you will no doubt learn ways to help your baby be in an optimal position by reading your books and doing more research. For example, later on in your pregnancy, avoid reclining in a chair. Try to sit upright as much as possible, with legs "pretzel-style." I also did a lot of leaning over a birth ball just while watching TV in the evenings. Keeping baby in the best position will make sure that he/she isn't pressing on something he/she shouldn't be (which would make labor a lot longer and more painful).

I think there are some good home birth stories on here. Also, you could check out the home birth groups on And there's a great Facebook page that I find encouraging (as far as resisting the urge to be induced and whatnot):

Thank you very much for your reply.  Im set on a home birth, I just wish there was some instructions out there on, now what?  HAHA!!  I think Ill start by reading those books and continue doing research on here.  Thanks again :)

I am planning a home birth and luckily have a very supportive husband, family & midwife.

My midwife has a doula training program which recommends some great books... her site is and you can find her reading list there.  

I just started reading "birthing from within" Amazing read! 

Cheryl here are my thoughts: A home birth is a a great thing to strive for but where a woman births best is where she feels safest. For many women that is at home with no interventions and that is great but for some women that is in a birth center or hospital. You can have a natural, no intervention birth in a hospital, I did it. Please make sure that you are extremely comfortable about where you are choosing to give birth, this is your choice and you shouldn't concern yourself with what someone else thinks. If you try for a home birth and are feeling unsure or unsafe your labor won't progress.

I agree completely with Teresa. This is why I haven't signed anything with my HB midwife just yet. Some days I still struggle with whether I would actually be hindered by being at home (past birth complications and family history issues weighing me down). I do think it's important to really examine where you would feel most comfortable--wherever that is. For myself, several of my close friends have had home births and are planning them for their next babies. In a way, I'd be the odd one out if I go to the hospital. But I know this isn't about other people---it's about ME. We all need to do what we think is best for ourselves. It's about YOUR best birth and no one else's.

Good luck!

With my two home births, I really thought of all the things I found to be relaxing when I was feeling stressed. How do you destress at home? For me, I had pictures around me, my favorite music, and my bathtub. I changed positions any time I felt I needed to and that helped TREMENDOUSLY with the pain. I felt I could handle it as long as anyone wasn't telling me what position I should be in. Once transition hit, that was when I would start thinking, I can't do this! I can't do this! But the other half of my brain would remind me that thought means it's almost over. And each birth, I only had about 30 min of I can't do this, then I had a BABY! And all the pain is over! What a reward! For me, I had two births in the hospital. My first birth I went into labor on my own, had an epidural at 5cm. My second birth was pitocin induced. Had an epidural. After those births, I felt like the best place I wanted to be was home. The hospital just didn't feel like an option anymore, unless of course there was an emergency. But birth, very rarely is an emergency. So I chose to stay home and birth with a midwife. I did it twice. So I guess that says something. For the record, my pain tolerance is like most people.... ZERO. And I would never have dental work without pain meds or anesthesia. And I would never have surgery with out being knocked out either. But birth is different. It's not dental work or surgery. It's pain with a purpose. And it has an end. And that end is BREATHTAKING! When labor isn't messed with, there is a whole lot of hormones coursing through your body and your mind is a VERY POWERFUL thing. As is the supportive people around you. Imagine your best birth... where do you see it happening, who is there? That's the direction I would go.... whether that was home or hospital. In that decision, your pain will be greatly reduced. Because where we feel most comfortable, is where we have the power to overcome. Praying for a happy and healthy birth!
Thanks to everyone for your replies.  Tragically, I lost the baby at 10 weeks pregnant.  :-(  It was the most terrifying thing I have ever gone through and Im left so sad and helpless.  I hope to be pregnant one day soon.  But in all honestly, after the pain I experienced passing the fetus which felt as full blown labor & contractions, I cant even imagine giving birth now without an epidural.  So, now Im struggling with the loss of the pregnancy, not knowing if i will get pregnant again and when, and if I do, will I go full term without complications?  And lastly, is it possible for me to do this at my home without an epidural.  this experience has left me very sad and confused.

Oh, Cheryl! I am so sorry!

I haven't gone through the pain you've experienced, but I can tell you that the women I know who have had natural labors and have also miscarried babies ALWAYS say the miscarriage was much, much more difficult. I am not sure if it's the emotional pain of it that causes the physical pain to be harder, but all I know is that they have all said it hurt so much more than their labors.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss. :( And someday, when you do get pregnant again, just know that you can still accomplish a natural birth, if that's what you still want. But if you'd feel more comfortable being in a setting where pain medications are available, should you want them, then be confident in that decision, too. Do whatever feels right to you and makes you feel safe and secure.

I think there may be a pregnancy loss group on here. Maybe some of those ladies can offer you more support than I can. I sincerely wish you the best.

Cheryl! That's awful!! I'm so sorry and praying for you during this difficult time. 


My miscarriage was way more painful than my natural births and I do believe the emotions and dramatic drop in hormones contributed to my pain. 

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's so awful. Did you have a completely natural miscarriage? Or did you have to get a d&c? My midwife says it will all come out natural & no need for any testing or pelvic exam. What was your experience like with your miscarriage if you don't mind me asking?



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