Welcome to another episode! Today, let’s talk about preparing children for homebirth. It’s a topic that sparks different opinions, but ultimately it’s your call as a family.
Some might choose to have their little ones present during the birth, while others opt for a child-free environment. Wherever you stand, let’s explore some of the most common questions and share tips to make the experience positive for everyone involved.
When I was expecting my free birth baby, I had two children – one almost six and the other almost four.
The pregnancy journey was an exciting time to involve them and get them ready for the possibility of a home birth.
You can listen to this podcast episode below
Home Birth: An Opportunity for Family Bonding and Natural Learning
The thing is, birth is unpredictable, and we didn’t know if they would be present or not. But what mattered was that we bonded as a family, especially during the pandemic when we were all together most of the time. We grew even closer, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had.
As a homeschooling mother, I find joy in teaching naturally. I love exploring conversations and topics with my children and learning alongside them. When they come to me with questions, we dive into the answers together. This same approach can be applied to preparing children for a home birth.
It’s an opportunity to put on your teacher’s hat and bring your children into this sacred experience. You never know what will happen during birth, but involving your children in the process can be a beautiful and transformative experience for the whole family.
I’ve had clients who spent a lot of time preparing their children and guests for the birth, only to have it happen in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep. On the other hand, some women are in labour for days, so of course their children will be present at some point. Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to be open and flexible.
Preparing your children for a home birth is an important topic that needs to be addressed. Some people may have concerns about whether it’s appropriate for children to be present during the birth, as they may view birth as a traumatic experience.
While it’s true that birth can be traumatic for some, especially in hospital settings, it’s important to remember that home birth is a natural and normal experience that can be beautiful and empowering.
A Valuable and Informative Experience for the Whole Family
It’s interesting to note that our ancestors may have had different views on childbirth and children’s roles during the process. Researching and learning more about this topic can be fascinating and informative. In any case, preparing your children for a home birth can be a valuable experience for the whole family.
Because in hospital settings, most of the time it’s not exactly encouraged for children to come, It’s not exactly set up for children to come. And also it can be quite traumatic in hospital. However, in a home birth environment, children can play a positive and important role in the birthing process. It’s important to have conversations with your children about what to expect and to involve them in the preparation process.
Some people may believe that birth is a traumatic experience, but in a home birth setting, it’s a normal and natural process. Unlike hospital births that can be dramatic and stressful, home births are generally more relaxed and comfortable for the mother and her family.
Preparing Children for Home Birth: Introducing Birth Videos as a Gentle and Safe Learning Tool
To prepare your children, you can introduce them to the idea of home birth by showing them videos. I started with some of the more glamorous home birth videos on YouTube that showcase the beauty and serenity of the process. These videos are professionally edited and don’t include graphic details, making them a great starting point for children who may be apprehensive about birth.
While some of the more raw footage videos may have blood and other graphic details, they can still be a valuable tool for children who want to understand the process more fully. You can watch these videos with your children and answer any questions they may have. You can also talk to your children about what to expect during the birth, so they feel more prepared and less anxious.
It’s important to prepare your children for a home birth experience, whether they are present during the birth or simply learning about the process throughout the pregnancy. One way to do this is by showing them birth videos, and there are plenty of beautiful home birth videos available on YouTube.
While some of these videos may seem like they have been edited to appear perfect, they can still provide a safe and gentle introduction to the birthing process for children. Many of these videos even include children, who are often portrayed as magical helpers and do not display any tantrums or difficult moments.
Depending on your children’s ages, you can gradually introduce them to more natural and realistic birth videos. For example, if you are planning a free birth or if you expect your children to witness the birth, it may be helpful to show them real birth videos that include the possibility of blood and other natural aspects of the birthing process.
Including your children in the birth process: Ways to make it a positive experience
In my experience, my children were able to handle watching real birth videos and even asked questions about the process.
At first, talking to your children about childbirth might seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that it’s a natural process that can be discussed in an age-appropriate way. YouTube is an excellent resource for finding birth videos that feature children helping with the process, making it seem magical and amazing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are often professionally produced videos, so don’t be fooled. There may be tantrums and difficulties that aren’t shown.
If you have younger children, you can start by showing them birth photos to help normalize the process. Another great resource is home birth books that feature beautiful illustrations and stories about the birth process. You can even have conversations with your children about the roles of the midwife, doula, or attendant who will be present during the birth.
It’s important to make sure your children feel included and informed as the birth approaches. As they get older, they may want to be more involved in the process. You can have conversations about the pain that is involved in childbirth and how mommy may make some noises. Birth videos can be a great way to help your children understand what’s happening during the birth and to point out important details.
Remember, even if you have younger children, it’s still possible to involve them in the birth process and help them feel included and informed. As we move on to the next stage, we’ll discuss how to set up the birth environment to make it a positive experience for everyone involved.
Sometimes labour can be quick and unexpected, so it’s important to be flexible and prepared for different scenarios. You may want your children to be present during the birth or prefer to have them elsewhere, and it’s important to make the decision that is best for you and your family.
So you might see them in a support role where sometimes they’re even catching the baby coming out or they get to be one of the first ones to hold the baby, oh, I love those beautiful videos where the children are in the birth pool and they’re catching the baby.
Including Your Children in Your Home Birth: Back up plan
Having a backup plan is also crucial in case your original plan falls through. For example, if your preferred midwife is unavailable, having other options in place can give you peace of mind. Remember that your comfort and safety during childbirth should always come first. By staying open to different possibilities and having a solid plan in place, you can approach childbirth with confidence and ease.
As a deeply empathic person who can sense the energies of others, I was thrilled when my children showed such enthusiasm for my homebirth. Watching videos of my oldest daughter rubbing my shoulders and telling me I was doing a good job still warms my heart.
But as the pain intensified, I realised I needed to ground myself and settle my nerves, and the children’s energy was hindering that. While I sometimes wish I could have had them present, I recognise that being fluid and adaptable is key to the birthing process.
If you’re considering involving your children in a homebirth, I encourage you to get them excited and engaged beforehand. Depending on their ages and interests, they can be hands-on, offering comfort and support through simple gestures like rubbing your back or giving encouraging words. Even toddlers can be included in a fun way, like splashing in the birthing pool or baking a special cake for the occasion. Providing activity stations, like arts and crafts or technology, can keep them entertained and happy while you focus on bringing your baby into the world.
The idea of having your children present during a home birth can be truly beautiful, but it’s important to plan ahead and make sure everyone is comfortable and prepared.
One helpful tip is to give your children a role in the birth process. Some children love having a job and being a part of the action. Another important consideration is having someone designated to watch over the children and take them out of the room if necessary.
If you’re planning to have your children present, it’s helpful to hear from others who have had similar experiences. Share your thoughts and questions on social media or in online communities. We hope this episode has been helpful and we look forward to connecting with you again in the next one. Stay beautiful!
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