My wife and I just gave birth to our first child in the comfort of our home and participated in one of the great miracles of life. The benefits of doing this at home was there were no alarming strangers in hospital garb telling us what to do, no blazing color codes coming over the PA system, no push or rush to have nature's process sped up, my wife was not confined to one bed in one position, no hospital food and no one pushed the drugs to increase contractions or epidurals to manage the pain. It was an amazing drug-free and stress-free experience that allowed my wife and me to be actively involved in the birthing process, not just patients along for the ride.
When we first confirmed that we were pregnant our doctor, Paul Crane, asked, "What hospital have you chosen to have your baby delivered?" I responded by saying, "Why would I bring my wife to a hospital? She is not sick, she's pregnant. We are going to have this baby at our home where we are comfortable and I am going to convince you to come there to assist in the delivery." It was my belief that our home would be a better place to deliver the baby because my home is a place where we create our lives everyday and are the most comfortable. Anyone that is comfortable in a hospital is spending far too much time in them and probably should not be having a baby.
Without doing any research I knew that for centuries people had delivered babies outside of hospitals, even without doctors (surgeons) but had no clue of the real statistics. I found out that in the early 1900's, 95% of all babies were delivered naturally and at home, some in the fields. In the US today, only 1% of all deliveries are done at home. The AMA obviously did a great sales job of convincing the US population away from natural childbirth an into the hospital. Research today shows that the US has the highest percentage of babies delivered in hospitals and the highest mortality rate among all industrialized nations!
With a home birth the focus is to deliver naturally, on nature's schedule. Hospitals and doctors (surgeons) have schedules and shifts, are confined to insurance codes and regulations, are worried about litigation and spend 24 hours a day handling trauma, emergencies and using drugs and surgeries as the tools of their trade. We wanted to bring a child into the world and believed that we could do so without drugs and without a scalpel. Did you know that almost 24% of all births in American hospitals end up in a cesarean where the mother's belly is cut open, organs pulled aside, rested on the mother's belly while the baby's first major task in life (birth) is intervened on and interrupted.
I know there are risk and complications with pregnancies that are better served by being at the hospital but my wife was not a high-risk situation. But why bring a healthy pregnant woman and a healthy baby into a place that handles sick people and then be pushed or prodded to deliver on someone's else schedule if it is not necessary. My wife and I were also not interested in introducing the baby to drugs while she got introduced to the world.
Drugs are introduced to most of us before we can walk, talk or have even taken our first breath (while we are still in our mother's womb). Interesting how many people then later in life use drugs and medications to solve there every difficulty and discomfort. My mother told me she doesn't remember any pain associated with delivering my twin brother and me, (15.6 lbs combined). She didn't have any pain because all three of us were drugged at the moment or birth. No wonder they were slapping our butts years ago, they had to bring us out of our coma!
My wife's labor was 22 hours and she delivered without even an Advil. Admittedly, the fact that we didn't have drugs available is the only reason she didn't use them to handle her pain. It was painful as the husband watching my wife in pain and had we been at the hospital I would have encouraged her to take the drugs to speed up the process and reduce her pain.
Because we didn't have the "candy" it forced me to get more involved to make my wife comfortable. Between contractions I moved her from room to room, gave her a shower, took her to the Jacuzzi, swam with her in the pool, brought her to the babies room to remind her of the goal, fed her pop sickles, kept ice cold rags on her forehead and basically did anything and everything to make my brave wife more comfortable. Not only did we bring a child into the world without drugs but by doing this at home allowed us the experience and opportunity to work together as a team in one of our baby's first great challenges -- birth. We were actively involved in the birth rather than patients and it allowed us to grow together as a couple at an even deeper level.
Certainly home birth would not be right for any high risk pregnancy but if you aren't a high risk situation and want to have control over the process, be involved with the birth, not a facility where sick people congregate, don't want to hear color coded warnings between and during contractions, don't believe you need to rush nature's process and hate the idea of being cut open or drugged, consider natural home birth it was an incredible experience for us.
Grant Cardone is an author and international sales expert.