We know that partners are often the ones most sceptical about opting to birth at home. After all you are the most important person in their life and your child is too, so it can be an incredibly anxious time for them.
We asked for the thoughts of partners who had supported the mothers of their children through homebirths so we could share them with you.
We hope you find them helpful.
“I have to admit that I wasn’t very worried about a homebirth, it sounded better than being in a hospital after reading up on it and being educated by the Mrs and midwives. It also suited my notoriously laid back attitude to things. The benefits are: no other women-in-labour screaming blue murder next to you as you and your partner try creating a relaxed atmosphere (on an open ward); you get two midwives tending to your wife’s every need (not yours, forget that idea, you’re ‘tea boy’ for the next few hours); getting into your own bed afterwards in your own home, and not having to go anywhere for as long as you want the next day. And don’t worry about washing the sheets/towels after the birth – just bin ‘em. Easiest days ‘washing’ you’ll ever have to do, so savour that moment too.”
~ Matt, father of 2 home birthed babies ~
“When I first heard of the idea of home birth, I thought there were some risks to it, so it scared me a little at first. But then I realised that there are risks to everything in life and maybe the positives of it outweighed the negatives (plus my wife is very persuasive!). We went to our local home birth group and hired a doula who was really enthusiastic about home birth. I realised eventually that it was actually the best option for us once I thought about how much better my wife would manage being in a relaxing, comforting, quiet home environment and one were she could be in control of her birth more than she could be in a typical hospital setting.
Since this was our first baby, I had no idea what to expect when the day actually arrived and how I would really feel. During the birth, I actually felt so much more relaxed being in our own home. Everything was really familiar and we had everything we needed right there. If I needed a cup of tea, I could just go make one. Or if I needed something for my wife, we knew we had it and didn’t have to worry about if we’d packed it in our hospital bag. I felt the usual nerves, especially once my wife started to get the urge to push because I realised it was all really happening, but I think those are normal daddy nerves!
~ Dad of a first baby born at home ~
"I always assumed I would meet my child for the first time in a hospital room and when the midwife gave my wife the option of a home birth I was shocked. (Surely this was reverting back to the old days of midwives on bicycles?) but my wife was curious and started to research the safety and risks of home birthing. I was surprised by just how safe it can be to have your baby at home. I read up on lots of experiences of home births and decided if it meant so much to my wife and played no risk to our baby then I would go with the flow.
My wife had a male midwife with our first baby and I must say this relaxed me a lot, I found I didn't feel quite so out of place in a room full of women. Both midwives kept me well informed of developments during early labour and active labour. I wasn't sure what was expected of me but I was assured just being their for my wife was enough, I was in charge of keeping fluids flowing (ice water for my wife as well as tea & coffee for everyone else) I filled the bath for my wife to relax in, held her hand during the pushing stages and made sure midwives had everything to hand that they needed (towels etc)
We have had the joy of two home births now and have booked a third for autumn this year. I think the best part of home birthing for me as a husband and father was knowing my wife was much more comfortable at home, which in turn lead to less drugs (which my wife really wanted) both midwives stayed with my wife the whole time, afterwards I didn't have to leave my wife and baby to go home, fetch car seats to bring baby home, we could eat & drink whatever we fancied (no crap hospital sarnies and awful coffee) and our other children met their new sibling for the first time in the comfort of our normal surroundings. The aftercare team were amazing too, our baby missed none of the routine checks a hospital born baby would, my wife was tended to and cared for fantastically and all done in the comfort of our home without having to go to hospital or doctors surgeries."
~ Simon, father of 2 HomeBirthed babies with one on the way! ~
Useful links for partners
Father’s Guide to Home Birth – Leah Hazard