When you’re deciding how to birth your child, there’s a huge variety of options. And one of the most important considerations is where you might want the birth to take place. If you are considering a home birth, there are two options. You can have an assisted home birth, which involves a midwife attending your home to oversee your labor, or a planned unassisted home birth, which means you birth without professional support. It is important to note at this stage that a planned unassisted home birth is very different to an unplanned unassisted home birth, and it is the former we will focus on in this article. Here is everything you need to know about a planned unassisted home birth, otherwise known as “freebirth.”
An unassisted home birth is exactly how it sounds. The mother chooses to have the child at home without any medical supervision or intervention. It can be a much more natural experience, bringing life into the world uninhibited by medical professionals. The mother is in complete control during a planned unassisted home birth; however, that doesn’t mean she must forgo all medical expertise. Some women choose to have regular visits with their obstetrician and learn various labor techniques they can employ at home. This important planning stage ensures a healthy pregnancy for the lowest risk possible.
It is very important to recognize the difference between unplanned and planned unassisted home birth. Unplanned unassisted home births typically happen because a mother has gone into labor and it’s too late or too inconvenient for the mother to be reached by a medical professional. This might happen if the mother lives in a rural area with no nearby medical facilities or if her labor is extremely quick and earlier than expected. Usually in an unplanned unassisted home birth, the mothers feel out of control and frightened. A planned unassisted home birth is all about giving that control back to the mother.
The benefits of a planned unassisted home birth are numerous. At hospitals, some women feel that they miss out on the initial chance to bond with their child because the infant is immediately taken away to get checked for vitals, given doses of vitamins, and any number of other procedures. Therefore, the rush of joy a new mother craves in immediately holding and nursing her baby is delayed. A planned unassisted home birth maximizes bonding time and minimizes separation. The mothers are free to hold their child immediately after delivery and share that first-touch bond. Additionally, many mothers find that home births are more comfortable.
At home, a mother is free to move around how she wants, eat what she wants, and she controls the delivery without anyone telling her when or how to push. Most hospitals or medical facilities dictate medicine, food or drinks, and even when to speed up labor. In a planned unassisted home birth, the mother is completely in control and she is free to try to listen to her body and understand what it, and her baby, needs at an intimate level.
As with all births, there are some risks associated with planned unassisted births. The safest way to have a planned unassisted birth is to first ensure you and your baby are experiencing a healthy pregnancy with no complications that might require medical intervention. Certain risks can be detected during the pregnancy, such as the presence of group B strep, which sometimes requires antibiotics to be given to the baby after birth. If a mother considering her birth options is told she will need medical interventions, then a planned unassisted home birth may not be the safest option to choose. The other risk, of course, is that complications can arise unexpectedly in labor. For example, if the baby gets stuck and becomes distressed, a midwife would normally be able to turn the baby to assist in a healthy birth. But without a midwife present, this may not be possible. Thankfully, many mothers choose to learn essential positions that can help the baby in difficulty, such as the Gaskin Maneuver.
Many mothers and medical professionals agree that it’s always a good idea to have a plan if something unexpected happens This might involve letting a midwife know the labor is starting so they can be there quickly if they need to or making a plan with a local medical facility for quick transport. Thorough planning can help reduce risks.
Planned unassisted home birth is an increasingly popular option. Some women prefer a comfortable home birthing setting, where they are fully in charge and surrounded by loved ones. Some might also have religious or personal beliefs that make medical assistance unfavorable. If you are looking for a unique, intimate moment with your child, unassisted home birth might be right for you. If you and your child have a healthy pregnancy and a plan with a midwife or obstetrician, there is no reason you shouldn’t consider an unassisted home birth. If you want to discover more about home births, visit our website here.