Home Birth Therapy
People come to home birth for so many reasons. Some have always imagined giving birth in the peace of their own home, while others find it only after an unsatisfying hospital experience. Birthing in the environment you feel most at ease in is vital.
I provide a space where your autonomous choices in childbirth are honored.
Preparing for a Home Birth
I find that home birthing parents take on a lot more responsibility when making childbirth decisions. You at least know enough to know that there is an option other than the hospital. Sometimes, taking on this responsibility and doing a deep dive into the world of birth can feel overwhelming or even anxiety provoking. It’s perfectly normal to feel both excitement and nervousness. If you need help holding space for these two somewhat contradictory experiences, I am here to support you.
Partnership Alignment in Home Birth Decision Making
Are you struggling to see eye-to-eye with your partner when it comes to your birth decisions? This is common and can be difficult to traverse. Often, love and fear mix together to make even small differences feel vast. The large decisions, like where to birth, can feel nearly impossible. Although both of you want the same outcome--a happy, healthy family--your beliefs of how to achieve that could be at odds.
I work with couples to help each partner feel heard which is the cornerstone of creating a birth plan that both partners believe in and support. Having a supportive partner on your labor day is important. If you are concerned about whether your partner will be there for you, I invite you both into my office (or virtual space) so that we can all start doing the work necessary to allow you to enter your birthing time with increased confidence.
Adjusting to a Hospital Birth in a High Risk Pregnancy
When your heart is set on a home birth but your baby or body has other plans, it can be so hard to adjust while also grieving the birth experience you wanted. Do you find yourself surrounded by people who don’t quite understand? Who come to you with an “anything for a healthy baby” attitude, ignoring that your feelings are valid and need to be honored? Pregnancy and birth are so much more than the outcome. I see you for who you are--a good, loving, caring parent who is disappointed and perhaps even mourning the vision of how they saw their baby entering the world.
Healing from a Traumatic Hospital Birth
If you had a traumatic birth, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that 25-34% of births are traumatic. Many people turn towards home birth to avoid the triggers, unnecessary interventions, and other pressures that they experienced during their previous hospital experiences. Yet, as the next birth approaches, you may be noticing that the trauma of your previous birth is beginning to bubble to the surface. Signs of trauma include feeling numb or suddenly indifferent, hyperarousal (unable to stop feeling “on edge”), intrusive thoughts, and/or short term memory loss. Instead of hoping your home birth will “undo” the trauma of your hospital birth, I encourage you to start to address your trauma now. Allow your home birth to center around the new baby instead of adding the pressure of redemption to your birthing experience.
Healing from a Traumatic Home Birth
When something goes differently than planned while birthing at home, it can be hard and even scary to reach out for support from friends and family. How will they react? Will they just tell you that you should have gone to the hospital? We know adverse birth experiences happen in hospitals every day, but somehow that seems to slip people’s minds when you need them the most.
We go into a home birth envisioning a particular birthing experience. Maybe you prepped your birth space with mantras and twinkling lights. Or you set up the pool and saw yourself peacefully bringing your baby into the world under the warm ripples of the water. I hear so often that people are discouraged from even packing a hospital bag as they “didn’t want to bring that energy into the space.” Intense at-home interventions, prolonged and painful labors, and hospital transfers often do not get factored into the emotional preparation when birthing at home.
When births start to require more intervention than we anticipated, people often have to deal with both the here-and-now needs of the birth and the simultaneous mourning of what they had envisioned throughout the course of the pregnancy. When things start to veer from their expected course at a birth, it is common for things to feel chaotic and urgent. Regardless of the status of your baby, healthy or not, your nervous system may have been overloaded. If you are noticing that you are experiencing signs of trauma such as playing your birth over and over in your head, feeling hypervigilant or avoiding things that remind you of your experience, trouble sleeping, or depressed mood, please reach out for support.