The idea of a home birth can be quite intimidating to lots of women and their birth partners. But having your baby in a hospital attended by a doctor is actually a relatively modern approach to birth.
In the early 1900’s only 5% of births were in hospitals. The majority of births were at home, or in nursing homes run by midwives.
After the end of the second world war, the health secretary, Aneurin Bevan, brought in the national health service (NHS). No one could predict that this would so drastically affect the way that women birth. But the hospital birth became increasingly popular during the 1950’s and reached its peak in the 1970’s, when a report was released stating that hospital birth was safer. For some women this may be true but for a majority this is not the case, several reports have been released since, for example Birthplace, showing that this is not the case.
Birth was increasingly medicalised, home births began to be frowned upon, and obstetricians, rather than midwives, became more dominant in the care of pregnant and birthing women. Women would labour alone in hospital, the father’s being encouraged to stay out of the way.
It is only recently that we have started to turn full-circle and there is an increasing number of home births. We have also begun to be offered so many more options for childbirth. The hospital birth is still highly popular, but these are starting to become more natural. Movement is encouraged, birthing pools are used, fathers are welcomed into the room. There is a de-medicalisation movement growing.
And there is The Real Birth Company, who’s focus and goal is to educate women on their rights during birth. We discuss options for labour, what else is available to help comfort and calm during birth, no matter where you choose to give birth. We teach their birth partners how to be an advocate for them, we show examples of the beauty of birth is all circumstances and how to plan for changes should they occur. We also teach birth professionals a revolutionary, positive antenatal class, so women all over the country can have access to this great birth workshop.
We are helping to soothe the fear that so many women feel about birth. Empowering women and their birth partners during this incredible, physical transition into parenthood.