If you’re planning a home birth, ideally, you’ll have your initial prenatal visit by the 28th week of pregnancy, if you have had prior care, or by 20 weeks if not previously enrolled in care. It takes some time to create the atmosphere of mutual trust that surrounds the ideal home birth experience. For this reason, later registrants can still benefit from our services, but in the hospital setting.
Couples often benefit from taking a series of childbirth classes, whether a full course or a brief refresher. Just taking the time with a class to focus on your wishes and thoughts about the birth of your baby can help prepare you for the reality of labor and the early days of parenting.
We ask that all couples arrange for their baby’s care by a pediatrician, pediatric nurse practitioner, or family practice physician.
Home-born babies are to be seen by the chosen care provider within a few days of the birth. We”ll give you an order form for home birth supplies and a list of items to have on hand for the birth. By the time of your home visit at about 35 or 36 weeks, preparations should be almost complete.
It’s very important to recognize that even with the best planning and risk screening, not all births can take place at home. Should a situation arise that precludes a home birth, it is helpful to have a plan for dealing with practical issues. These include arranging care for older children and pets, having a small overnight bag packed, installing the infant car seat in the car, and knowing the shortest route to the hospital.
With careful forethought, a home birth can be a very life-affirming, comfortable, and simple choice, giving parents the maximum autonomy and privacy they’ll find nowhere else.