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Back to Basics: Home Births Using Midwives
UNDATED -- Many expectant mothers here in the Miami Valley are going back to the basics by having labor in their living room. However, in Ohio that is not such an easy as task due to state laws.
In recent years, celebrities have become more vocal about giving birth at home. Ricki Lake even made a documentary about home birth.
According to the Ohio Midwives Alliance, 80% of babies born in the world today are delivered by midwives. In the US, only 8% of births are attended by midwives, but more women are deciding to have their bundle of joy in their home environment. In Ohio the practice is unregulated because the state doesn't license Direct Entry Midwives.
Tansy Holm is a very active wife and a mom of two with another little girl on the way. In the next two months she plans to give birth at home. "One of the reasons why I want to be here, this is where our lives are. This is where I feel safe," said Holm while folding a stack of laundry. Holm gets regular checkups at Women's Health Specialists & Midwives of Dayton. The midwives at the facility are certified and help with deliveries at Miami Valley Hospital. Holm goes there just in case there is a complication during delivery and is forced to go to the hospital.
Holm tells ABC22/FOX45's Amber Watson that a negative experience at the hospital with her two previous births is what led she and her husband to decide on having a home birth.
"I started having these really horrible contractions. My labor kind of got stuck and they started threatening me with a C-section and said I needed to have an epidural, because one way or the other they are going to have to get him out."
Holm says she didn't want to take any medications during labor, and felt like she lost control of making the decisions. She says she also felt rushed. During Holm's second labor she decided to have a water birth at the hospital. She says she felt powerless again when doctors gave her pain medication. This time around Holm says she is taking control.
Preparing to deliver at home has been empowering for her, although there have been some against it.
"I've gotten mixed reactions. Some people look at me and say your absolutely crazy. Birth is about me. It's about what my body is doing and I think I'm going to be much more comfortable in my own environment."
Midwives are there to support the natural process of birth. CNM Catherine Mauser, with the Women's Health Specialists & Midwives of Dayton, says there are benefits to giving birth at home. "Some women do really worry about their other children and they don't like to be separated from their children," Mauser
"I want to be in my comfort zone, because you look at so many case studies where woman who are in labor are taken out of a place where they don't feel safe the labor stops," said Holm.
According to the Ohio Midwives Alliance, the total cost of a midwife-attended home birth in Ohio is approximately $3,000 and the chance of a midwife's client needing a cesarean is less than 6 percent. A hospital birth can cost $10,000 and more.
"Birth in general has risks, regardless of where you give birth. There are things you are not able to predict," said Mauser. She says when preparing for a home birth it's best to pick a midwife with years of experience.
It's also important to have references and learn about the supplies the midwife will be using, and have a physician who knows your history just in case you have to be transported to the hospital. Mom-to-be should also be in good health.
"It would be someone who is low risk. Who has a normal pregnancy. Whose baby is growing normally, doesn't have any high blood pressure or risks of that."
Holm says she's ready for this next adventure surrounded by those she loves. .
If you would like more information about giving birth at home, click here. To find a licensed nurse midwife, click here.
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