HomeBirth Moms & HomeBirth Planning Moms To-Be: I Need Your Opinions!

Hey Home Birth Mamas, or Mamas to be who are interested in or are currently planning to home birth:

I am in the process of writing a book about home birth, as a guide book to read before your home birth. I want this to be the book that you pick up when you are just so excited about your baby to come into the world, and so into home birth...elated, nervous, eager for the journey to begin. (I was SO into reading books and watching DVDs about birth when I was pregnant, especially near the end when I just couldn't wait for my daughters arrival!)

So I'd like to create something for those who are thrilled and eagerly anticipating their home birth. I would like to know, to hear from you...

What would you like to read about? Would you like to read home birth mother's experiences? Would you like facts? Pictures? Birth art? What about a DVD that came with the book, interviewing home birth moms, home birth midwives and doulas who have attended home births?

Here is a rough content structure that I have set up so far:
Introduction = My home birth why/how/when
Benefits & Risks
Healthy Mom= Healthy Baby
Your Essential Home Birth Kit
Birth Art
Home Birth Stories
*Pictures, birth art and inspirational/empowering quotes placed throughout at random.

I'd LOVE it if you'd share your thoughts and opinions with me! Thanks!

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I liked Ina May's Guide to Childbirth's format: the first half was a variety of positive birth stories, including stories when things didn't go exactly as planned. The second half was more of a discussion of midwifery history and the conclusions Ina May had gathered (the facts.) Maybe you could have a checklist and timeline of getting ready for the homebirth (so people know what to expect.)

I think one of the most important things is to make it short and cheap (~$10 paperback, a couple-few hundred pages), so it's accessible to women who might not have much information and/or resources.

I think pictures and birth art both would be great--birth art isn't well-known (and very helpful for some women), and the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words is still true (and somehow makes it more real.)

As for the DVD, I think what I'd rather see is a website where you could watch it for free, and be able tell your friends to watch it--or a site with clips instead of a whole "movie." Or both. :o)

One of the topics I'd like to see addressed the most in the book is unassisted childbirth (UC) --which in my mind is a bit dangerous, but completely understandable when you take into account what women have been put through for births in-hospital (procedures done against their will, told they've been laboring too long, not allowed to eat/drink, etc.) If you could find stories of what I'm going to call for now AUC--assisted unassisted childbirth--where a woman labors alone or with her partner or whomever, and the midwife or physicians sits on their hands in another room, only intervening when/if needed, so women who want UC can know how an AUC works. I totally respect the woman's desire to birth alone, but I would prefer her to do be able to do it safely. :o)
Thank you so much for your reply, those are some great ideas! I really liked Ina May's book as well, I gobbled that think up in a few days. I really liked going back and forth from birth story to fact in the first and second halves of the book.

I think you're right about several things you mentioned: the low price - I'm thinking of writing somewhere between 80-100 pages, really just offering a home birth guide/get ready/essential birth kit/stories/birth art, and pictures.

I also really liked your idea of having those interviews on a website where you could send your friend to watch them. I am definitely going to be creating a website very soon, which will be under construction and be added to as much and as often as I can.

I would also like to include audio-interviews on the website, for people who are out of state, as well as for my home birth midwife. She's not too into the "limelight" of cameras and websites. :) For the audio-interviews I would include pictures of who I am talking to.

I LOVED creating my birth art and have always planned on featuring it throughout the book. It would be great to get some other women's birth art in there too...I think it would be neat to flip through the book and see several different styles of birth art. The book is meant to be for home birth women who are so into the idea of having their birth at home...a little daydream sort of book. But also informative and real.

The idea of Unassisted Birth is definitely fascinating, and I would like to let women know that it is an option as well. I don't know very much about the subject, and am glad you mentioned it. I will at the very least put something about it in the resources section.

Thanks so much, you've been a huge help!

i'd love ideas on creating the birth setting. maybe stories on how other moms used candles for ambiance (or not), and then also maybe something about labor music, with perhaps specific examples. It would be good to focus less on the mechanics of the birth itself and more on the experience, if that makes sense? every homebirth book I've picked up spends several chapters (or so it seems) on the actual birth process, but that's all pretty much the same old same old. You can get that in any book about pregnancy, kwim?

If you're including a brief section on newborns, I think it's very important to offer accurate information about care of the intact child (there is info on this site.) I've yet to read a book with accurate - if any - information for parents.

It sounds like you've got all the bases covered, and I'm excited to read it when it's published. You will have to let us all know. :)

Not trying to be "attention-seeking" or anything, but if you're interested in talking to anyone about UC, I'd be glad to share my experience with you. This is my 6th pregnancy and wil be my 3rd homebirth, 2nd UC (due in about 10 weeks).

You could also try contacting Lynn Griesemer at unassistedhomebirth.com or Laura Shanley at unassistedchildbirth.com for lots of good information.

Good luck with your book!
Thanks a lot to Wendy and Ninja Mom for your responses! Great information from both of you and I really appreciate it! :)

I will be in touch as things progress. Thanks for your support.

I think you should also add in a section for women who already went through the hospital "experience" with their 1st baby and now want to try it at home
Absolutely, Katie. There are moms that will be sharing their birth experiences in the book who were in that position. Thanks for the feedback!

Katie Lance said:
I think you should also add in a section for women who already went through the hospital "experience" with their 1st baby and now want to try it at home
I think there should be a section on how to deal with questions from family and friends as well as how to have a good relationship with your backup OB.

My midwife had all kinds of advice on how to respond to the "Aren't you scared something will happen?" questions and the "But my baby would have died!" conversations. What I didn't have was a good guide to forming a relationship with a backup OB. As a result I ended up with a real pill of a doctor and I had to fire him at 37 weeks. Luckily I was able to find a caring and supportive OB to be there just in case.
Ive attended many homebirths as a doula and student midwife. This has influenced my decision to have a homebirth with my first baby in January. There seems to be an underlying assumption that with homebirth, as with hospital birth, you would follow a particular guide or "way" of doing it. For instance our clients follow the same prenatal schedule as if receiving obstetric care and I have chosen my own schedule which includes the majority of my check-ups being done by me. I would love to see a prenatal caring section. What women are doing or have done to intuitively care for themselves during pregnancy.

I wanted to share my latest blog entry with you....

Newly pregnant and feeling all of the interesting symptoms of early pregnancy have been quite a journey. Perhaps the most unusual symptom is people's opinions about my choices. You would think that people were somehow standing in opposition of me planning a mass murder or something. My choice is simple, uncomplicated, and practical. I'm pregnant by a natural, planned occurrence and I will naturally experience pregnancy and birth being led simply by the wisdom that I innately posses. I have been attending births both as a doula and student midwife for 7 years. I've seen enough normal & natural births to know the endless possibilities of how wonderful birth can be. Relying upon anything outside of me is only an option if needed. For example, everyone freaked when I admitted to knowing that I was pregnant without buying a home pregnancy test. Why was that such a big deal. I was committing a huge sin by not investing a few bucks in some test to tell me that I was pregnant. I've lived in a continuous non-pregnant state my whole life & I'm pretty clear on the difference, not to mention the absence of aunt flow, nausea, fatigue, and sore breasts. My next sin was deciding to see the nurse midwife around 9 or 10 weeks. Ooooh that's so late. Well what on earth do I really need to see her for anyway? I can't draw my own blood and my homebirth midwife will want to know my hg/hct & blood type. I told my friend that my appointment is next week and she was excited and cood about how I get an ultrasound. I said absolutely not! I'm not putting an ultrasound probe in my vagina to look at my bean. I'm not even sure how safe it is to put ultrasound so close to my developing baby. She said, "don't you want a date"? How in the hell would I not already have a date? I know when I conceived, my LMP, and how long pregnancy usually is. I am quite experienced with calculating due dates so why would I need to rely on a machine to tell me otherwise? That was sad and disheartening to me. Why do we, the people who know us best and spend the most time with us, feel the need to look outside of self for simple common sense information. I was embarrassed that these statements were coming from a woman who has had 3 children. Can I please just be pregnant peacefully & intuitively?
Thanks for sharing Toya.

It is truly amazing how much "advice" and opinion other women, (moms and not) give. Pregnant women surely have to guard themselves. Filter out the unwanted and/or what doesn't apply.

One thing that helped me move forward during those moments when receiving suggestions or tips was to take it all with a grain of salt, and to stay steadfast to my own personal truth. You cannot be offended or hurt, (take things personally) if you don't believe what someone is saying to you. It's a Four Agreements thing.

Therefore, what doesn't apply, doesn't matter. And what does can then be considered.

My advice is this: don't focus on the negative energy that comes to you. Allow it to move past and through. Focusing on those things only gives them more power, and power over you. Shield yourself, and nurture your soul with positives. Trust your instincts and believe in your own constitution.

Kudos on the book!! Do you have any info. and how to get the homebirth process started??
Hey Krystal,

Thanks for your interest! I am currently working on getting a bunch of content put together to be placed on my website, which I will be creating very soon, including videos, audio interviews, personal stories and a lot of information about home birth. So, bear with me! It's coming soon :)

For now I can tell you how I went about finding a home birth midwife and other research I did to prepare myself for my home birth. (and remember, home birth can be as safe, if not safer for LOW RISK women as giving birth in a hospital)

1. I attended a talk by a woman named Suzanne Arms, who spoke about natural childbirth and the various environments and styles that a child could be born into. She mentioned home birth and a lightbulb went off in my head. There were a lot of women there; mamas, mamas to be, doulas and midwives, including two home birth midwives who live in this area. (Kalamazoo, MI)
2. I attended a Natural Childbirth class in my town. The teacher of the class was a doula, who I inevitably ended up hiring. Watched TONS of movies about birth, which included home birth footage, including The Business of Being Born.
3. Our doula had her second child at home, and gave me the number of the midwife she used.
4. I called that midwife and scheduled an appointment to meet and discuss home birth as an option for me.
5. I (we decided that is what I (we) wanted to do, so we hired her and I read, which I recommend reading, "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth," by Ina May Gaskin.

Research. Education. Connections.

Hope that helps!



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