What is a home birth like?

Most of your prenatal appointments will take place in one of our offices.  A
round the 36th week of your pregnancy we will have a prenatal visit in your home. Of course, Linda comes to you, once you are in labor and stays until the birth is over and everyone is stable.  This allows you to stay in the comfort of your own home, minimizes your exposure to outside pathogens, and eliminates the need for travel in the post-partum period. We return to your home for a postpartum follow up visit 24 to 48 hours after your birth.  We see you again at 6-8 weeks for your regular postpartum checkup.
One of the wonderful things about home birth is the level of control you have over your surroundings. You choose the friends and family you want present, choose where to birth, as well as the position that feels best to you.  Many women find that water helps them to relax during their labor, and go on to birth their baby in the water.  This is safe for the baby, who will not take that first breath until they are brought up into the air.  In a home birth, you are never separated from you baby.  We place the newborn directly on the mother's chest while we continue to assess both baby and Mom.  We assist you with breastfeeding, tidy up (you might be surprised by how clean home birth actually is), and confirm that both mother and newborn are healthy and stable before we leave.  We return to your home within 48 hours, but are available by phone in the meantime.




Safety

There are many strong studies that show planned home birth with qualified attendants is as safe as or safer than hospital birth for low-risk women.  Home birth is readily available in many European countries, and was here in the US as well, until just a few generations ago.  All of my grandparents were born at home.  While home birth is no longer the norm in the US, it is rising in popularity, with more women choosing home birth every year.  

Many people wonder how emergencies are handled in the home birth situation.  We carry oxygen and medications so that we can resuscitate a newborn or stop a postpartum hemorrhage, the two most common childbirth complications.  When working with healthy women true emergencies are rare, and we are prepared to treat or transport as needed. Occasionally women need hospital-based care to progress well in their labor.  In this situation, we would accompany you to our hospital, where Linda would continue your care. Of course, in the rare case of a true emergency, we would transport to the closest hospital with maternity care.

Georgia Law

There is a common misconception that home birth is illegal in Georgia.  In fact, families are free to choose the location of their birth.  While most Certified Nurse-Midwives choose to work in the hospital setting, it is also within our scope of practice to attend birthing women in their homes.  Linda maintains current licensure with the American Nurse-Midwifery Certification Board and the State of Georgia.  As part of the education process for Nurse-Midwives both were registered nurses first, and have earned Master’s Degrees in Nurse-Midwifery.  

Here are the rules and regulations governing Nurse-Midwives in Georgia: Ga Secretary of State