Preparing your children for a homebirth

 There is a lot of preparation that goes into having a homebirth and one that is often times missed is preparing children for this event. You may not have even thought about your other child/ren being included in your birth prep but this can be an essential part of planning! Even if you do not plan on having them there during the actual birth you still need to prepare them because birth is spontaneous. You can plan all you want but birth has a mind of it's own and you never know if it will happen so fast you won't have time to get them where you had originally planned.

 First off, you need to surrender to the idea that things may not go exactly how you envision it to be while in labor with a child or children around for your birth. You may plan to have them there during the entire birth and have this whole vision of them there by your side or even in the birth pool with you but you may feel the complete opposite when its actually happening. This can even happen the other way around you may be planning not to have any children present so you can be sure you won't be getting distracted by parenting during labor but like I stated earlier sometimes it can happen so fast they end up being there the whole time or you may find you actually are enjoying their presence in that moment. It is absolutely OK to change your mind during labor, but you do want to be sure that you’re prepared and ready for either scenario.


 Second, It would benefit you to have a designated person who is “on-call” as a babysitter during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This person will be someone who can either be there at your home during the birth to watch, care for, and entertain your child/ren while your in labor or they can pick up your child/ren and take them for the day. If you do not have someone who can be this person for you then you can try to search for a sibling doula in your area (yes that is a real thing). 


 Lastly, here is a list of some ways to help them get prepared whether you are planning on them being present for the birth or not. 
  • Talk to them to about the birth process and teach them that birth is safe and natural.
  • Watch positive homebirth videos together which you can easily find on Youtube or even on Instagram (you can even include animal birth videos as well).


 In the end remember that children are much easier to teach about homebirth than most adults because they have (most likely) yet to learn the fears surrounding birth in today's society. If this is their first experience with the topic of birth make the preparation and teaching as positive and fun as possible! 


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