Some moms choose to skip the midwife for their birth at home, and usually have a support partner, such as a husband. Moms who birth on their own have faith that their bodies will tell them what to do and when to do it, instead of relying on machines and potential interference from medical professionals.
The UC movement
Unassisted childbirth is not the most popular option out there, but it has gained some momentum in recent years. “If I hadn't gotten in with the midwifery I am at now, I was going to start researching unassisted home birth, and possibly go that route,” explained Tiffany, who is expecting her second child. “I feel that for a large part, medical professionals have been brainwashed, and though they almost always have your best intentions in mind, they forget that we would not exist as a species if we weren't able to birth on our own."
"I am a believer in women's intuition and that your instincts tell you more than any doctor can."
Christina is the mother of four children, three of which were born at home with no assistant on hand. Her first, though, was born in a hospital. “I signed myself out of the hospital as quick as they would let me, as I was miserable there,” she remembered. “The only saving grace was the doctor who delivered her said 95 percent of the time doctors are just there to supervise but aren't needed a lot. Doctors told me they were afraid of being sued and had to do things by the book. I am a believer in women's intuition and that your instincts tell you more than any doctor can.”
Since women have been going to the hospital to have babies for decades, it can be really hard to get out of that mindset — why would you have your baby at home, with no one there to help you? “I think my biggest factor in choosing this route was I believed in my body and the ability to birth without being told how to do it,” she said. “Your body will push for you and I believe most complications are brought about by interference. I listened to my instincts, monitored what I could and had so much more peace that I never had walking into medical offices.”
Some moms want the solitude of unassisted childbirth but like to have someone on hand, just in case. This is where a midwife can come in — one that is really hands-off, but available if needed.
"They just let me do my own thing. They were more like spotters than anything else!"
“I considered unassisted childbirth, but my midwife is so hands-off it wasn't necessary,” shared Rebecca, mom of four. “And in the end I was glad she was there to help with the aftermath. But unassisted childbirth is definitely attractive to me because I want to be undisturbed [and] to labor and birth as my body wants to, without interventions or even being touched.”
Heather had a similar experience. “I had two midwives at my last birth,” she told us. “They just let me do my own thing. They were more like spotters than anything else!”
Most women who plan an unassisted birth have a backup plan in place, like Mariana did at the birth of her second child. “I wanted an unassisted birth with Viggo, but ended up calling the midwife after 12 hours due to my contractions never getting regular and my previous experience with Velma of getting stuck at 2 centimeters for what seemed like forever.”
Erika also planned an unassisted home birth that she was successful with, but had another idea in place if needed. “I waited a very long time during a snowstorm with my midwife almost two hours away,” she explained. “It was my intentional unassisted birth with emergency back up.”
Home birth isn’t for everyone — and unassisted childbirth takes even more planning and preparation — but these moms have faith in their bodies and loved their experiences. As Christina explained it, “The peace I had getting into my own bed after she was born I couldn't have paid enough money for.”
More on home birth
Home birth, without a midwife: Unassisted childbirth
Home birth: Is it right for you?
Home birth after cesarean: This mom's success story