The Blessings of a Home Birth


In the wake of all this talk about birth and womenʼs rights to choose if, how, when, where and with whom to give birth, I recently discovered that I have been blessed beyond belief – more than any woman I know.

Donʼt worry, I am not going to go on and on about all the things I am blessed with. I simply have to say that I have four children and absolutely no birth trauma.

No c-section stories.
No episiotomies.
No monitors strapped 
to me in labor so I couldn’t move.
No food restrictions during labor.
No patronizing 
comments or looks by medical staff.
No encouragement to give up on the natural thing 
and just go ahead and have the epidural.
No unwanted prophylactic treatments of my 
newborn without my consent.
No separation of my baby from me ever at any time.
loud or sudden noises causing a rush of adrenalin into my bloodstream during labor impeding the effectiveness of the other birth hormones and increasing my chance of needing medical interventions.
No beeping machines.
No feelings of not being safe or 
lack of trust in those who I depended on for the survival of myself and my baby.
dehumanizing invasion of privacy.
No eyes rolling at me.
No pressure to commit fear-
based decision making instead of information-based decision making.
No excessive 
ultrasound requirements.
No lack of attentive support.
No being left naked in a paper 
shirt in a cold room with my feet in stirrups waiting for some stranger to come touch my most vulnerable body parts.
No CYA (cover your ass) policy and protocol based 
confrontations with caretakers during before or after labor causing detrimental or debilitating stress to me and my family.
No lack of supportive and consistent council
during postpartum breastfeeding difficulty.
No being subject to medical negligence
during prenatal care, labor, postpartum or well visits with no legal recourse because I was forced to sign release forms in order to receive care.
No lack of baby care 
resources as a first-time mom.
No uninvited and not prescreened strangers in my sacred 
birth space.
No feelings of powerlessness (except in surrendering completely and 
blissfully to God during labor but I think thatʼs actually powerfulness; at least it was for me)
No postpartum depression due to lack of support and follow up care including 
herbal medicine support for balancing hormones by my highly trained, and experienced home-birth midwives.

Like I said, I have been blessed beyond belief.

photography by David Zimand

Things to remember when surviving colic

My first 2 babies were colicky. It was hell. Pure hell. Here are a few things that may be helpful:

  1. If you are losing your mind, it will come back. Itʼs ok.
  2. The baby may be screaming like crazy but he/she is safe. Do whatever you need to do to keep it that way. The human nervous system can only take so much high frequency and high volume sound. Sometimes the best choice means putting the baby down safely and walking away for a moment. Itʼs ok.
  3. If you and your baby are crying at the same time, itʼs ok.
  4. If you have a partner, they may not be perfect, none of them are. They may not do things exactly the way you would, but they can help. Let them.
  5. Going outside often works better than anything. Put that baby in a carrier and walk. Donʼt worry about waking up the neighbors. 
  6. Change of scenery is good. I became good friends with the grocer, I was the only one in the store wearing a screaming infant while browsing the bulk whole grains section. Itʼs ok.
  7. Try eliminating all dairy for 3 weeks. I know it sounds ridiculous and impossible but I speak both as a nutritionist and as a mother. My irst two babies were colicky. They screamed for up to eight hours straight, daily for months. I tried going off dairy but never absolutely and totally for more than a few days. When I was pregnant with our 3rd, we were dreading it.  I went off all dairy the minute I went into labor. We waited for her to start crying, but she never did. When she was 2 months old, I put a little milk in my tea, like maybe an ounce. She screamed for hours that night. In my experience as a nutritionist, I have found 3 weeks to be the amount of time it takes to get a real assessment but usually by two weeks you can tell its helping. Try going off all dairy for 3 weeks. Trust me I learned this one the hard way. If you are feeding formula, try changing the formula. If none of this works, at least you will know you tried. It still will not last forever. Itʼs ok. 
  8. Look at and talk to your baby. Even when you are feeling overwhelmed and losing your mind, if you can stay calm, you can be supportive and nurturing. Trust me, mothers fake it all the time. Itʼs ok.
  9. Protect your back. Use pillows to support your arm for breastfeeding, even if you think you donʼt need it. Take care of yourself. Itʼs ok.
  10. Drink more water. Drink water every hour. You have time to drink water even while the baby is screaming. Itʼs ok.
  11. Wearing your baby can calm both you and your baby. You can move around and get things done while still being attentive and feeling close. Wearing the baby inward so you are tummy to tummy can be a good way to maintain constant gentle abdominal pressure on the baby, which is also helpful . I prefer a wrap for wearing newborns. It supports my back as well as keeping the baby safe and secure. When positioning the baby in the wrap, pay attention that his/her head isnʼt hyperextended forward, as this can be dangerous. If wearing your baby doesn’t work, itʼs still ok.
  12. We used to rest the baby carrier on top of the yoga ball and bounce, sometimes that worked really well. (Baby fully buckled in and someone still holding the carrier). This way if they fall asleep you can put the baby and carrier down and have a cup of tea. 
  13. Speaking of tea, herbal teas like this postpartum formula can really help keep the stress hormones from taking over. Iʼm a big fan of this one because it worked for me within minutes, and because it is made by beautiful wonderful friends. 

Amazingly enough, mothers, fathers and babies survive colic  all the time. It will not last forever. Your child will not be walking down the wedding aisle screaming bloody murder. 

You are doing great. Itʼs ok.