Last week I cam across this interesting and thought provoking opinion piece by Tara Moss in the Sydney Morning Herald. This piece was about the demonisation of home birth and the medicalisation of normal pregnancy and labour (which I have blogged about before).
The points that Tara raises in her piece have merit, and have stimulated a lot of thought for me regarding homebirth.
Given my geographical location, my journey to deliver my baby will be more complicated than some. Due to limited medical facilities and therefore a lack of what I personally view to be safe birthing options here in Vanuatu, I have chosen to have our baby in Australia (my home country). This means that I will be flying to Australia prior to 36 weeks, when the airlines will no longer accept a pregnant passenger, and then hanging out for a month or so until our little monster decides to drop. After which, we'll head bck to Vanuatu once Monster and I are fit to fly and Monster's passport is sorted out.
Due to these circumstances, and the fact that I don't really have home to call my own in Australia, I have never considered home birth as an option for me. I have instead chosen to book into a family birthing clinic where I will be able to have as intervention-free a birth as I choose under the care of experienced midwives. The added benefit of this is that the clinic I have chosen is part of one of the foremost maternal and neonatal care facilities in Australia and therefore, should complications arise (touch wood they don't), there is every opportunity for my care to be escalated as necessary all without leaving the building!
The more I think about it though, if I lived in an urban area, close to emergency services and care, and I was comfortable in my own home, I think I would really quite like to have a midwife attended home birth! It think it would be incredibly comforting to be going through the birth process in my own "nest". However, as a nurse with maternal and infant care experience, I also have a healthy respect for needing to be close to emergency assistance "just in case".
Even since I was a nursing student, I have been strongly against the unnecessary medicalisation of normal pregnancy and labour. I believe in making an informed decision, and in there being a safe option for as many ways of thinking as possible. Information is they key to each individual chosing which option is right for them.
While I hope very much for an intervention free birth, I am not naive enough to think "that's it, there's my birth plan and I'm sticking to it!". I know that challenges and complications my arise, however I have faith in my chosen facility to give me as much information as possible to allow The Man and myself the ability to make the best decisions for us and our baby.
I know some of the ladies whose blogs I read are preparing for home births. What do you guys think of this piece? I'd love to hear about it!