My husband and I are planning to start a family very soon so, consequently, I am planning way ahead! :o) As a doula and someone who is very familiar with natural childbirth, I am eager to have a homebirth. Currently, however, we live in a small apartment that doesn't have the greatest "soundproofing." I'm concerned (having not experienced labor yet for myself) that giving birth at home may not be an option for us. If I feel the need to vocalize in labor, for example, will I feel inhibited for fear that I'll disturb the neighbors? There is a birth center somewhat close by that we could deliver at, but I just love the idea of giving birth at home.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
LOL! That is so funny and and so true Becky!
Thanks for the reminder :)
Home is where the heart is, I had my homebirth in an apartment.
I was completly instictual, did my share of moaning and screaming.
A few days later I went to tell the neighbors and apoligize if I had caused any disturbance.
All neighbors said they had not been bothered and that they taught it was pretty cool I had given birth at home. Since I gave birth at 2 am, I think they just thought we were having noisy sex.
I was in your same situation when I was pregnant with my son. We live in a small condo building and we can hear when our neighbors come home, take a shower, watch tv, etc. I was worried that I would make a lot of noise and people who wonder what was going on in our condo. However when the day came, it was a Saturday and I labored and gave birth during the day. NO ONE knew I had the baby. The lady who lives directly below me saw me a couple of days later and noticed my belly was gone. She was shocked when I told her I had the baby upstairs in the condo. She said she did not hear me AT ALL. Believe me I was vocalizing.
All that to say, that if you really want a homebirth, DO NOT worry about disturbing your neighbors. The probably won't even notice.
Good Luck on your journey!
Oh, thank you, ladies! This has been really helpful! I now feel like giving birth at home may actually be feasible. Here's hoping! :o)
Does anyone have any experience with both a homebirth and a birth center birth? Any pros and cons of either? Any benefit of giving birth in a center over giving birth at home?
We talked to all of our neighbors about our plans and apologize in advance about any noise, we offered to give earplugs to anybody that would be worried about not being able to sleep.
When the day came we hung a sign on our front door along the lines of "woman in labor, the noise will stop when the baby is born", we were never bothered and I labored for over 30 hours.
HYPNOBIRTHING, HYPNOBIRTHING, HYPNOBIRTHING!!!
I gave birth in the middle of the night in an upstairs apartment. The only reason my landlord who lives below knew anything about it is because we had to wake him up to boil water on his stove to fill the birth pool!!! Long story - partner in accident days before birth, hot water heater waiting to be fitted....however despite the circumstances it was a perfectly serene and calm birth. You can read my full story on my blog post http://onelovelivity.com/childofnatureblog/?p=874
I totally recommend hypnobirthing wherever you give birth as it will definitely make you feel more relaxed, at ease and at one with your body and baby. All good wishes Mama!
I know I'm late here, but I just wanted to say that: yes you can. I did. My landlords actually live upstairs, and I guess one of them thought she heard me singing the day I was giving birth. Yeah, I hear them arguing over breakfast every day, but they didn't know I was giving birth. I wasn't completely quiet, and I wasn't screaming, but I'm not sure how she got 'singing'. haha
Make sure home birth is not forbidden in the lease (believe it or not, some include such a provision because they just don't want it to happen on their property--their right I suppose). If it's not, the landlord has no say in it. So don't tell him/her. I would recommend not telling your neighbors either so that your landlord doesn't hear about it from a tenant (more likely than you think, someone would complain directly to your landlord) and try to stop you. Many landlords would discourage you homebirthing, even though legally they have no recourse unless it's in the lease---but what an unpleasant situation.
Then, after the birth, smoothing things over later with a Thank You note is appropriate. Because at this point neighbors are more likely to be supportive rather than try to "tsk, tsk" you or discourage you somehow, which is ridiculously annoying--and why would they do that when you've already given birth and everyone's fine?
With home birth, why give someone advance warning to try to stop you? The neighbors will, because 90% of Americans don't understand home birth at all ("She is wanting to give birth at home, in her apartment. Isn't that incredibly crazy and unsafe? Shouldn't someone do something?")
Honestly, if it comes down to it, I'd rather get knocks at the door and have the doula or dh field the neighbors' questions on the birthing day, than an angry landlord knocking at my door 2 weeks before I'm due telling me to birth elsewhere or face eviction (which usually isn't a legal possibility, but the stress of dealing with this is the issue). And there are landlords like this. It's pretty unlikely that your landlord would get wind of what's going on in time to do anything that day. So I would recommend not saying anything. You can go either way.
A little late, but I figured you can never hear it too many times!
All three of our kids were born at home, our first two we were living in a little cabin on 65 acres of land in the woods of western Montana. Our 3rd was just born on 12/8/10. This time we live in the "city" of Missoula in an apartment. We're located on the 2nd floor, sandwiched between 2 apartments above & below & 2 more on either side of us.
My husband was apprehensive at first and wanted to tell the neighbors that we were having a homebirth. I didn't want that just in case there was something against homebirthing in the building and I didn't want them to tell us no (although I would have done it anyways). So Marley was born on December 8th and a few weeks later Ray spoke to our neighbors- they had NO idea we birthed at home, and I was very vocal (thanks to a horrible cervical lip & a slipped disc in the ol' back).
Don't worry about the neighbors, do your thing, birth that baby at home. You'll be just fine & you'll do amazing- I know it!