Giving birth is one of the most powerful things you will ever do as a woman. Giving birth is a precious gift and should be treated as such. Historically women have been giving birth in the comfort of their own home and their own surroundings for centuries, typically with aide of the local midwife or other women in their families. Unfortunately there were often complications due to lack of medical training or understanding or availability of local medicines.
With the rise of the medical profession women have been birthing children in hospitals under the supervision and care of doctors. This has prevented a lot of complications, and relieved pain. Along with these benefits there has been a loss of control for the mother and that control has been diverted to the medical professionals.
In a hospital, you are in unfamiliar surroundings and with people you don’t know (your doctor may not be available that day).Women are often not permitted to get up and walk around freely (which aids in the birthing process). Women are instead strapped to the bed with monitors across their bellies, an IV in their arm, and a catheder in their urethra. Women are not allowed to drink and eat at will to stay hydrated or for energy in case of complications where they might need a C-Section. Women are instructed to push only when the cervix has dialated to 10 cm, instead of when their body tells them. They are giving birth in the most unnatural of positions- on their backs with their legs up. After your baby is born they will show him/her to you quickly before whisking him/her away to scrub off all the precious vernex (babies natural first lotion). They will inject your baby with the vitamin K shot. You can ask for them to deliver the vitamin K orally instead. They will later take your baby from you to put into the nursery: away from you and human touch.
In a homebirth women are permitted to do whatever works for them. You can walk around, sit in a tub of warm water, eat and drink at will, and be comfortable in your own home. It is important to have a trained medical professional such as a Midwife. The midwife must be certified by the state to deliver babies, and must be available with emergency medical equipment such as oxygen. You will not be able to take any pain relief during labor or birth, but your pain will subside after the child is born. You will not be drugged up on narcotics and not be aware of your baby. Because you are not taking drugs, you will be able to nurse your baby within minutes of birth.
During labor your midwife will follow your body. You will be able to labor in any position you choose. Squatting, leaning, sitting on a balance ball, in water, on your hands and knees, or lying on your side. These positions provide greater comfort for you and utilize gravity for the birthing process.
Being able to give birth in the comfort of your own home with the few special people you allow to participate is a beautiful experience. You will be able to hold your new baby immediately. There is no hospital bill, and no separation from you and your baby. Your midwife will assess the baby based on the same Apgar scale used in the hospital, weigh, and measure the child as usual.
I gave birth at home with a trained midwife and it was the most wonderful experience ever. I recommend homebirth, however I suggest that you do your research. Find a local midwife and ask how many births she has done, her credentials, and emergency procedures.