5 things I learned from my homebirth

Homebirth with a licensed midwife is a safe alternative to hospital births for many women. I worked with homebirth midwives during both of my pregnancies and had incredible experiences both times. My first delivery took place in the hospital. We planned a homebirth, but 24 hours into labor, the midwife made the call to transfer to the hospital. I am grateful that I got to labor in my home and that my son Birch was born vaginally with the assistance of my midwife and a very caring hospital staff. My second delivery, 4 ½ years later was at home. It was amazing. Bliss was born peacefully into the world and shortly after his birth, we moved from the bathtub down the hall to the bedroom, where we snuggled in bed together as a family.

Bliss and me, snuggled up in bed shortly after his birth

Bliss and me, snuggled up in bed shortly after his birth

Homebirth is not for everyone, but I firmly believe that it ought to be covered by insurance, just like any other medical expense. In states like Vermont (where Birch was born) and New York (where Bliss was born), health insurance companies are required by law to cover homebirths.

One of the reasons I enjoyed my experiences with homebirth midwives so much, is because I had the opportunity to grow and learn about my body, nutrition, and mental health. Each of my prenatal appointments were a full hour long and the midwifery model of care is a holistic practice that nurtures mind, body, and soul of the whole family.

Here are 5 things I learned through my homebirth experiences:

1)   A healthy body requires good nutrition. During my first pregnancy, the first question my midwife would ask at every appointment was, “Tell me everything you have eaten for the last two days.” Every good midwife knows that a healthy pregnancy starts with a healthy diet, but it this isn’t just true for pregnancy. Human bodies thrive on a diet of whole, fresh, organic foods.

2)   Emotional health and physical health are interdependent. Both homebirth midwives I worked with took time during every appointment to delve into my emotional state, helping me to uncover fears, discuss stressors, and work through all the complexity that comes with bringing a new life into the world. The reason for this is that fear and stress are powerful emotions that have real physical consequences including compromising the immune system, the heart, blood pressure, fertility, and childbirth.

3)   No woman is an island. We are only as strong as our community bonds. The family and friends we surround ourselves with will be our strength when times get rough. It’s worth every ounce of energy it takes to nurture those relationships and maintain healthy boundaries.

4)   Birth is not a medical emergency. As a culture, we have forgotten how to trust the process of birth. It can be scary, but it is not something to fear. Most women are fully capable of giving birth to healthy babies without intervention in the vast majority of circumstances.  We need to trust birth.

5)   Women are strong and beautiful creatures. Every single human being on this planet was grown inside of and birthed by a woman. Women have been giving birth to babies since the beginning of the human race.  How amazing is that?!

Want some more inspiration, here are some great quotes from the queen of all midwives, Ina May Gaskin.

Local Food and an Awesome Giveaway

Hello Hello!  I am so excited to share this giveaway with all of you.  I have teamed up with an group of incredible bloggers to offer this prize to help you on your path to eating more local food.  I am very passionate about local food.  So passionate that I wrote an entire Ph.D. dissertation on the topic.  I will be blogging more about local food in the coming months, including doing some guest posts on other blogs.

Local food is shorthand for a lot of values.  It means different things to different people, and that is one of the things I love about it.  For me, local food is about community, sustainability, and environmental integrity.  It is also great for your personal health, supporting small businesses, and it’s fun!

Many thanks to Melissa of Ever Growing Farm for spearheading this giveaway as part of the Local Bite Challenge!

Check out all the details on the giveaway below.  Good luck!

Learn more about each of the items and enter to win this phenomenal giveaway by following these four easy steps!

1) Click the links below to take a closer look at the amazing items included in this giveaway package! After reading about them all come back here to complete steps 2-4.

  1. One $200 Gift Certificate to Local Harvest, purchased by all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway (see the full list below)
  2. One “Locally Grown” t-shirt, graciously donated by Fed by Threads
  3. One Preserving by the Pint, graciously donated by Marisa McClellan
  4. One set of autographed Homemade Living Series books, graciously donated by Ashley English
  5. One The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil eBook, graciously donated by Susan of Learning and Yearning

local bite pinnable image

2)  Subscribe to the Mama Philosopher newsletter.  The Mama Philosopher newsletter is a weekly email that keeps you up to date on what has been happening at the Mama Philosopher blog (If you are already a subscriber, Thank you! Now, just continue to Step 3).

3) Complete the mandatory skill question in the Rafflecopter.

4) Leave a comment below letting me know which prize you’re most excited about and/or why eating local is important to you!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm the above entries and unlock even more! Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget.

For even more ways to win, be sure to visit and subscribe to all of the amazing blogs who have come together to help me offer you this exciting giveaway!

Attainable Sustainable

Blue Yurt Farms

Ever Growing Farm

Faulk Farmstead

Five Little Homesteaders

Green Eggs & Goats

Homestead Honey

My Healthy Green Family

The Jahner Farmstead

A winner will be randomly chosen via rafflecopter.com. We will announce the lucky winner on Monday, July 21, 2014. The winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canadian Residents, ages 18 and older. Please see the full Terms & Conditions in the Rafflecopter widget

a Rafflecopter giveaway