Home birth is beautiful.
One of the most beautiful things about home birth is your ability to restore the sacredness of birth within the confines of your walls. You get to break the birth barriers that may have subconsciously been placed on your children as you shatter systemic beliefs regarding birth. More and more birthing persons are beginning to see that having their babies at home with a midwife and a doula is both safe and economical.
Having your children present during labor and delivery can offer moments of stress though.
Children are curious by nature. They are deeply intuitive and intrinsically know when their parents are feeling stress and/or discomfort. Children may want to provide comfort to their parents as labor progresses. Vice versa, your kids may need to be comforted and distracted during labor/delivery.
Here are 5 tips to keep your kids engaged during your home birth:
- Connection, connection, connection.
Talk to your children, and connect with them, in regard to birth and birthing practices. Walk them through what to expect. Watch birth videos with them that you feel are appropriate and that accurately depict the message you wish to convey about birth.
- Plan for a caregiver outside of you and your spouse/partner.
Seek a trustworthy and capable adult to provide care for your child/children in home with you. This person can participate in activities (like going outside, taking walks, drawing, playing, etc.) while you can focus on exactly where your attention needs to be – your labor.
- Create a safe space to decompress.
Plan for a safe space outside of your birthing space for your child to go to to decompress, feel safe, and find peace. This can be their bedroom, your bedroom, a family room,etc.
- Pull out independently driven activities to complete in your presence.
Find activities that your children can independently complete that are both fun and engaging for them.
- Boundaries and inclusion.
Express your boundaries beforehand with your doula/midwife and spouse/partner. If you are someone that does not enjoy being touched while giving birth, but your children’s primary love language is physical touch – you may not enjoy the way they try to love you by touching you. Create a plan to include your children while honoring boundaries.
Here at IAPBP, we want to empower you to do what is best for you and your family. We’re certainly all about breaking chains related to birth and the world that revolves around it. Find your birth photographer here.
Featured Image: Chiara Doveri