Why having a home birth doesn’t mean I’m brave

“You’re so brave! I could never do that.”

I hear this a lot. It’s not because I scaled Mount Everest (I didn’t). It’s not because my husband and I took a newborn and a toddler on a cross-country road trip and forgot the iPad (we did). It’s the reaction I often get when I say I gave birth at home.

Here’s the thing: You could do it—assuming the pregnancy is low-risk and the birth is attended by an experienced, professional midwife. Whether you want to have a baby at home is another matter entirely, and I’m not saying you should. I’m just saying that after I researched my options and weighed the risks of a home birth against the risks of a hospital birth, I felt more comfortable with the former. And that does not make me brave.

Bravery, to quote the late Susan Jeffers, is to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I was afraid I might murder my husband for ordering Indian take-out while I was laboring with our first child (curry just doesn’t smell the same when you’re pushing out a baby). But I was not afraid of giving birth at home. Here is what I was afraid of… [Click here to read the rest on Parent.co]

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