55 min

Choosing to Birth at Home with Natalie Meddings Speak From the Body

    • Alternative Health

Natalie Meddings is a doula, active birth yoga teacher and mother of three. She has written two books on birth, How to Have a Baby and Why Home Birth Matters and founded and runs the pregnancy support site, Tell Me A Good Birth Story. She lives in South London with her husband Danny and three children, Constance, Pearl and Walter. 
Natalie suggests that each woman should start with biology when thinking about birth and then consider the environment that would best suit the biology “Birth isn’t a process or experience, birth is an urge” Go back to basics and strip out cultural opinions, prejudice etc and people start to consider the option Many people have preconceived ideas about birthing at home without ever having experienced it! Many midwives and doctors haven’t attended to a homebirth For uncomplicated pregnancies, Natalie describes home birth as the ‘best of all worlds’ as a birthing environment There are times where a medical environment is necessary for a safe birth Natalie helps to highlight the gulf between reality and perceived reality in relation to homebirth The taboo of birth sometimes means it’s not explored fully “People get birth and breastfeeding the wrong way round. They think they need to go to classes to learn about birth and they assume that breastfeeding will come naturally. It’s the other way round. Breastfeeding is a learned thing” The need to look at clinical evidence and physiological facts rather than bias Birth is an elimination The home environment allows the woman to attune to the signals from her body such as swaying her hips, perhaps no longer wanting to go outside. She’ll feel a ‘gear shift’ which will lead her to a space, often the smallest and darkest room in the house We can’t control birth, instead we have to provide for the urge Oxytocin soars in the home environment, as the woman has privacy and freedom of movement there Herd mentality of most people having their babies in a hospital mean that home birth numbers are so low At the first midwife appointment, most women don’t receive information about homebirth as a safe choice that is recommended In the UK, a home birth could be better phrased as a woman having a midwife at home. She may still transfer in to hospital for an epidural or assistance if needed but she would have started in the optimal environment with a trained, skilled midwife The outdated term of an ‘untrained pelvis’ that suggests that if a woman hasn’t given birth, it’s unknown whether her body will be able to birth “Homebirth is not an either/or” Some people become too invested in homebirth and stay at home at all costs, rather than transferring to hospital if needed Michel Odent (the well-known obstetrician) describes how oxytocin has been unchanged in its chemical form over time  What does the body need in labour? Safety, privacy and quiet  Oxytocin as the hormone of desire. The analogy of birthing in a hospital environment being like a blind date, where you have to work to get the oxytocin going Many women switching to homebirth during lockdown due to Covid-19 Anxiety can sometimes force you into a primal place For many women in the UK, home birth is no longer available to them due to Covid-19. This could be mis-communication regarding transport into hospital if needed Statistics for outcomes following home birth, in terms of fewer complications, are better than any other environment (labour ward, free-standing birth centre etc) Hutton et al 2017, meta-analysis confirms that birth at home is safe for mother and baby. There is no significant rise in risk, regardless if first time mother, second baby etc.  
Resources:
www.comfortandlove.co.uk 
www.tellmegoodbirthstory.com
Lastly, the Facebook Tell Me A Good Birth Story page is the main social media 
 
Natalie’s books: 
How to Have a Baby: Mother-Gathered Guidance on Birth and New Babies
Why Home Birth Matters 

Natalie Meddings is a doula, active birth yoga teacher and mother of three. She has written two books on birth, How to Have a Baby and Why Home Birth Matters and founded and runs the pregnancy support site, Tell Me A Good Birth Story. She lives in South London with her husband Danny and three children, Constance, Pearl and Walter. 
Natalie suggests that each woman should start with biology when thinking about birth and then consider the environment that would best suit the biology “Birth isn’t a process or experience, birth is an urge” Go back to basics and strip out cultural opinions, prejudice etc and people start to consider the option Many people have preconceived ideas about birthing at home without ever having experienced it! Many midwives and doctors haven’t attended to a homebirth For uncomplicated pregnancies, Natalie describes home birth as the ‘best of all worlds’ as a birthing environment There are times where a medical environment is necessary for a safe birth Natalie helps to highlight the gulf between reality and perceived reality in relation to homebirth The taboo of birth sometimes means it’s not explored fully “People get birth and breastfeeding the wrong way round. They think they need to go to classes to learn about birth and they assume that breastfeeding will come naturally. It’s the other way round. Breastfeeding is a learned thing” The need to look at clinical evidence and physiological facts rather than bias Birth is an elimination The home environment allows the woman to attune to the signals from her body such as swaying her hips, perhaps no longer wanting to go outside. She’ll feel a ‘gear shift’ which will lead her to a space, often the smallest and darkest room in the house We can’t control birth, instead we have to provide for the urge Oxytocin soars in the home environment, as the woman has privacy and freedom of movement there Herd mentality of most people having their babies in a hospital mean that home birth numbers are so low At the first midwife appointment, most women don’t receive information about homebirth as a safe choice that is recommended In the UK, a home birth could be better phrased as a woman having a midwife at home. She may still transfer in to hospital for an epidural or assistance if needed but she would have started in the optimal environment with a trained, skilled midwife The outdated term of an ‘untrained pelvis’ that suggests that if a woman hasn’t given birth, it’s unknown whether her body will be able to birth “Homebirth is not an either/or” Some people become too invested in homebirth and stay at home at all costs, rather than transferring to hospital if needed Michel Odent (the well-known obstetrician) describes how oxytocin has been unchanged in its chemical form over time  What does the body need in labour? Safety, privacy and quiet  Oxytocin as the hormone of desire. The analogy of birthing in a hospital environment being like a blind date, where you have to work to get the oxytocin going Many women switching to homebirth during lockdown due to Covid-19 Anxiety can sometimes force you into a primal place For many women in the UK, home birth is no longer available to them due to Covid-19. This could be mis-communication regarding transport into hospital if needed Statistics for outcomes following home birth, in terms of fewer complications, are better than any other environment (labour ward, free-standing birth centre etc) Hutton et al 2017, meta-analysis confirms that birth at home is safe for mother and baby. There is no significant rise in risk, regardless if first time mother, second baby etc.  
Resources:
www.comfortandlove.co.uk 
www.tellmegoodbirthstory.com
Lastly, the Facebook Tell Me A Good Birth Story page is the main social media 
 
Natalie’s books: 
How to Have a Baby: Mother-Gathered Guidance on Birth and New Babies
Why Home Birth Matters 

55 min