Melbourne Doula

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Antonia Kidman's article on Homebirth in New Idea

Great article on homebirth by our own Antonia Kidman (and kudos to big sister Nicole, having a normal birth at aged 40, isn't that great? Yes, it can be done!)

Antonia Kidman - Special delivery - New Idea

"When Anne Harris fell pregnant with her first child, she assumed she'd give birth in a hospital. 'I came from a corporate environment where most people would have c-sections and go back to work,' she says.

But as her pregnancy progressed, she found the regular visits to her obstetrician made her doubt and fear the birth process.

'I then opted for a midwife and decided to birth in the hospital birth centre,' Anne explains. 'I found the midwife's explanation of my options and what all the tests were for more comforting. She empowered me.'

Comforts of home
One month before her baby was due, Anne had a strong feeling against birthing in hospital. 'I wanted complete freedom of choice and an unmedicated normal birth,' she says.

Anne and her husband Jason had done a very extensive antenatal course that focused on active birth. She didn't think birthing in a hospital or a birth centre would support this to the extent she desired.

'I felt that the hospital system wasn't encouraging me to trust my body,' Anne says. 'I had a fear that if I birthed in a hospital my labour would stop. One evening I told my husband I didn't think I'd be able to have our baby in a hospital. He was very supportive.'

So it was decided Anne would have her baby in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of her home.

Preparing for labour
Now pregnant with her second child, Anne is planning another home birth. An independent midwife is on call for any concerns Anne may have. The midwife will be present for the birth and visit for the next six to 10 days.

'I've always used a lot of alternative therapies and I practice yoga,' Anne says. 'I prepare my mind and body for labour. I'm well informed about the stages of it. You find many people who choose to home birth are very health-conscious, as they take ownership for birthing their child.'

Birth without fear
Organising a home birth isn't difficult, but Anne says she couldn't do it without the support of an experienced midwife who she trusts completely. Her husband also plays an important part.

'He's very proactive,' she says. ‘During Isaac's birth his role was very clear.'
Anne's first labour was a new experience, but she wasn't scared because she was comfortable in her own environment.

'I go into it with a very open mind,' she says.

'I purely believe in my body and the way it can birth.'

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