Dr Rebekah’s Philosophy on Home Birth:
As a naturopath and doula, it is the belief of Dr. Rebekah that the childbearing year of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood is sacred journey. This is a very emotional time for many women and an intimate experience for both the parents as they expand their family. This is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life and it is important that she is in a comfortable place surrounded by people, who make her feel safe and empowered. Following the midwifery model of care Dr. Rebekah combines the highest standards of maternity care by balancing the elements of traditional wise woman’s wisdom and modern medicine. Doulas and Midwives trust that birth is a normal, natural process and attempt to minimize the level of medical interventions, invasive testing and procedures. As a naturopath and doula with training in midwifery as well, Dr Rebekah takes the time to listen to each expectant mother, making sure she feels heard and her individual autonomy is respected. She also believes in the importance of educating the whole family so that they can make clear decisions about any treatments that may be recommended.
Pros and Cons to Out-of-Hospital Birth:
Whether, at a hospital, birth center, or at home, there is always some level of risk associated with giving birth. Statistics have shown that planned out of hospital home births or birth center births attended by a trained midwife are not only proven to be safer but have better outcomes and lower rates of interventions. It has been shown through studies that when a laboring woman is in a familiar, intimate environment she feels safer and is more likely to birth naturally. When a woman feels safe and comfortable she is more likely to feel in control of how she moves through the labor and to trust her body’s natural instincts. When a woman in labor feels safe and in control it is a very empowering experience and she is less likely to be overwhelmed by stressful emotions or fear which can cause complications for the laboring mom. The main risks to home birth primarily exist in regard to the unavailability of immediate high level intervention should serious complications arise. However, there are not many emergencies in a healthy, low risk pregnancy and birth. Midwives are trained to manage most complications of labor including postpartum hemorrhages and neonatal resuscitations. Some women do have a little extra bleeding after the baby is born and this is generally easily managed at home by the midwife with no need to transfer. Likewise sometimes baby is born needing just a couple puffs of air or suction to help clear their breathing after the birth and midwives always carry oxygen and other necessary supplies to births with them should this be necessary. When those rare complications do arise that require transfer, they usually do so with sufficient time to transfer mother and baby safely and without stress. If the emergency develops rapidly the midwife is trained to initiate emergency procedures until the EMT service arrives. The chances of mother or baby dying during birth are very low no matter where the birth occurs. Part of the role of the midwife and a naturopathic doula, throughout the pregnancy, is to make sure the parents are fully informed of these risks and benefits. The parents must be willing to except the risk and responsibility that sometimes unpreventable emergencies do occur in or out of hospital. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks of Home Birth, the Midwives Alliance of North America has a great Fact sheet.