As soon as you learn you are pregnant, people will begin asking questions about your delivery. They will want to know the health care provider you are using and where the baby will be born. Most of the time, people are just making conversation. In some cases, such as your mother or mother in law, they are really just being nosy and will probably have an opinion.
Many women who choose home birth worry about telling their families. The modern, medicalized birth culture has most people believing that birth in the home is dangerous. Women think they need a hospital birth attended by an obstetrician or they will die. The fear of birth has infiltrated the culture so completely that you may find people react to news of your homebirth plans with horror.
How you handle telling people the news is entirely up to you. The personalities of the people in your life will determine how you break the news. Some family members may be very open and supportive of the idea. You know who these people are. Tell them first. They are more likely to be enthusiastic about the idea.
For the people you suspect will give you a hard time, there are a few ways to handle it. Some people may be genuinely concerned for your well being and the health of your baby. They may try to talk you out of homebirth out of concern. You may want to print out some statistics about the safety of homebirth to share with them. I’ll be blogging about homebirth safety next week.
Talking about your midwife and all her experience may help ease their fears as well. Some of your family members probably hold medical professionals in high esteem. If you were seeing the best OB GYN in town, they would be thrilled. Once they understand that you are seeing a highly qualified and experienced midwife, their fears may be put to rest.
There are some people you will never convince. No matter what you do, they will think you are crazy. A few may try to talk you out of it throughout your pregnancy. Basically, you have two choices: tell them and ignore their advice or don’t tell them at all. Be vague about your birthing plans or lie. You may decide to tell them toward the end of the pregnancy, or wait until the baby is born.
On an interesting note, I just read that Morgan Spurlock, the creator of the 30 Days television series, became a father recently. His wife gave birth to their newborn son at home earlier this month. As strange as it may seem, some people are influenced by what celebrities do.
If you have celebrity loving family members, you may want to mention it. Many celebrities have given birth at home. A lot of information on this can be found on the internet. I’ll be doing a blog next week on celebrity home birthers too.