You’ve got your positive pregnancy test and can’t believe you’re finally going to have a baby! Maybe it’s your first or maybe you’re thrilled that your family is growing.  Whatever the case may be, you’ve got one thing on the brain– home birth!

Whether you’ve always known you wanted a home birth, or recently looked at the pros and cons of home birth and know it’s the right choice for you, there’s only one problem:

You’ve got to figure out how to get your partner on board with a home birth.

This might range from a little extra pushing, to a full on ultimatum Okay, maybe don’t pull an ultimatum on him 😉 But seriously, some partners take a fair amount of convincing.  Especially because our society puts so much emphasis on hospitals being the safest place for birth.

But in low-risk pregnancies assessed by birth professionals, that’s simply not the case.  Research shows that home birth is just as safe as hospital births for many women.

Use these tips to get your partner on board with your dreams of a home birth:

  1. Look at the research on why home birth is safe
  2. Learn more about home birth together
  3. Meet with a home birth midwife together
  4. Make sure his questions and concerns surrounding home birth are heard
  5. Talk with other couples that have had home births
  6. Take a natural childbirth class together
  7. Show him the benefits of home birth for the dad
  8. Help him understand why it’s important to you
  9. Consider hiring a doula to help ease his anxieties
  10. Create a detailed plan B to ease both of your minds

If you’re feeling passionate about birthing at home and are prepared to make a strong case for home birth, this guide will have your partner on board in no time.  So let’s look at the details momma, you’ve got 9 months to make your case!

How to get your partner on board with a home birth?

1. Look at the research on why home birth is safe

The main reason most partners are against home birth is the safety of mom.  In our society it’s ingrained that hospital birth = safer birth. Home birth is a foreign idea to many, especially if you don’t personally know anyone that’s chosen home birth for their family.

Well luckily for you, home birth is on the rise in our country, and there have been a number of studies published in the last few years that show home birth:

  • Is just as safe as hospital birth in low-risk pregnancies
  • Has significantly lower rates of interventions
  • Has significantly lower rates of inductions
  • Has significantly lower rates of C-section
  • Results in less experience of low birth weight, preterm birth, and infection
  • Lower rates of infants admitted into the NICU

Here are some excellent resources to share with your partner:

Determine if home birth is an option for you

Before you put too much effort into convincing your partner that home birth is the best choice for you, let’s make sure you are a good candidate for home birth.  The research shows safety for home birth in low-risk pregnancies.  In fact, most midwives won’t approve you for home birth if you don’t fit the criteria.

Home birth is NOT an option for you if:
  • You are diabetic
  • You have warning signs of preeclampsia
  • You are at risk for pre-term labor, or you’ve experienced pre-term labor in past pregnancies
  • You are pregnant with multiples
  • You have pre-existing chronic conditions
  • You have known irregularities with your cervix, uterus, or placenta
  • Baby is not optimally positioned for birth

If it seems like you are a likely candidate for home birth, proceed on to the next steps to convince your partner!

2. Learn more about home birth together

While looking at research studies on the safety of home birth is important, there are a number of other ways that you and your partner can learn about home birth together.  This will help address his concerns, involve him in the decision, and educate him on what home birth is really all about.

Watching documentaries together is a great way for you both to get more informed. Plan a date night with some popcorn and one of these informative and engaging documentaries about the realities of birth in the United States.

Books are, of course, another excellent resource when it comes to getting more informed.  Below I’ve included some stand-out titles that either directly address the dad when it comes to home birth or the entire family.

Home birth documentaries to watch with your partner:

The Business of Being Born is an excellent documentary that compares various forms of childbirth in the United States.  The documentary critiques the standard viewpoint in the U.S. that pregnancy is a medical event rather than a natural occurrence, looks at statistics related to birth and documents real home births and water births.

Pregnant in America documents a couple’s experience with prenatal care in the U.S. health care system.  You’ll learn about the industry’s interest in profit over a women’s safety, health, and needs.

Born in the USA is an award-winning PBS documentary that looks at birth from the viewpoint of an OB, CNM, and licensed home birth midwife.  This documentary is a bit older, but there is still a lot of great information to gain from it.

Midwife gives a complete look at what it’s like to be a home birth midwife from prenatal care through birth and beyond.

Why Not Home? is a documentary published in 2016 about doctors and nurses who opt for home birth and why.

Recommended readings about home birth for your partner:

The Father’s Home Birth Handbook by Leah Hazard, is written just for dad’s preparing for home birth.  It will be especially helpful with getting your partner on board because it includes personal home birth stories written from the dad’s perspective and research.

Home Birth: Stories to Inspire and Inform by Abigail Cairns is a collection of home birth stories written from the perspective of birthing mommas and their partners.  This will be a great book to read together.

Natural Papa Blog Series: 10 Questions with Home Birth Dads this is a great collection of interviews with real-life dads who’ve experienced home birth.

The Essential Home Birth Guide by Jane E. Drichta and Jodilyn Owens is a great resource written for families that are both planning and considering home birth as an option.  They call it the “home birth version” of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

3. Meet with a home birth midwife together

Now that you’ve laid the ground work with getting your partner more educated about home birth as an option, it’s time to meet with a home birth midwife.  At this point, let your partner know that you aren’t committing, yet 😉

This is a chance for you and your partner to envision what home birth would be like for your family.  You can ask all of your questions to the birthing professional.  It’s also a chance to talk about your unique pregnancy and needs to see if you are a good candidate.

Check out this guide to finding a home birth midwife to help you get the ball rolling on setting up a meet and greet.

4. Make sure his questions and concerns surrounding home birth are heard

One of the most effective strategies when it comes to getting dad on board with a home birth is letting him know that he is being heard and directly addressing his questions. Nine times of out ten, his biggest reservations surrounding home birth is your safety.

All of the steps so far offer excellent opportunities for open discussion and dialogue with your partner on the topic of home birth. The meet and greet with a home birth midwife even brings a professional into the discussion.

Suggest that the two of you create a written list of questions to ask the midwife so he knows that every concern is heard and directly addressed.  This list of must-ask questions for your midwife is a great starting point.

5. Talk with other couples that have had home births

If you personally know other families that have had positive home birth experiences get together with them and talk about it!  There is no advice or reassurance quite like hearing it from someone you know and trust.

If you don’t know any couples personally, consider asking a home birth midwife to put you in touch with couples or reaching out on social media.  Look on Facebook for regional groups that are interested in natural pregnancy, parenting and birth.  You’ll be surprised how willing people are to share their story and answer questions.

Lastly, reading the home birth stories of others can serve a similar purpose.  See the book recommendations above for collections of home birth stories written from the perspective of both mom and dad.

6. Take a natural childbirth class together

If you’re at the point where you’ve got your partner on board, but he’s feeling nervous about his ability to support you, take a natural childbirth class together.  I am a firm believer in childbirth education and its ability to empower you to have the birth you desire, increase your confidence, and erase the unknown.  Dad will 100% benefit in the same way as you.

It’s important to find a childbirth class specific to natural birth.  I also recommend making sure the class includes couple practice sessions, teaches pain-management techniques and is geared for couples.  If you cannot find this locally, there are a wealth of wonderful natural childbirth classes available online that fit the bill.

7. Show him the benefits of home birth just for dad

Home birth gives your partner the opportunity to experience birth in a totally different way than in the hospital.  He will be a key player in supporting you and will not be limited in his access to supporting you and providing you with what you need.

Some examples of things he can do to support you in labor that he might not be able to do in the hospital are: provide you with food and drink, or join you in the shower/tub to provide additional support.

During a home birth you and your partner will be treated as an equal birthing team.  In some hospital settings partners can be disregarded, ignored and feel “invisible” to the medical professionals.

And don’t forget– at your home birth dad will have the opportunity to catch the baby!

8. Help him understand why home birth is important to you

At the end of the day, you are the one giving birth, not him.  With the right research and facts and his questions answered, he’s hopefully feeling more open-minded.  At this point, it’s time to drive home the point about why home birth is important to you.

Share how you envision birth and why this is so important to you. Explain exactly why home birth feels so right to you.  Invite him into your headspace.  Why will a home birth make you feel more comfortable, confident and empowered as your due date approaches.

9. Consider hiring a doula to help ease his anxieties

A doula is a professional birth coach that you can hire to support you during your labor and delivery.  Doulas do not take the place of the midwife, but are a supplemental member to your birthing team.  They are highly experienced and trained labor coaches that can provide emotional and physical support to the birthing momma and her partner.

Doulas also do not take the place of partners during birth, but can empower partners to be the best support possible.  Having a doula present may take the pressure off of your partner and help him feel more confident in his ability to support you.

Read our article, Should I Hire a Doula?to learn more about these amazing birthing professionals and whether one might be helpful to you and your partner in your home birth.

10. Create a detailed plan B to ease both of your minds

One important aspect of any well-planned home birth is preparing for the worst case scenario. Together, you can understand what a hospital transfer would look like, what would cause a hospital transfer, and what emergency situations your home birth midwife is able to handle.

Envisioning the entire picture, and preparing for the worst in a concrete way, will help your partner feel more at ease in the final decision.  He will know that should you or baby’s safety be compromised there is a plan in place to get you medical attention as quickly as possible.

Get him on board, momma!     

With these 10 tips, you’ll have your partner on board with home birth in no time!

  • He’ll understand why it’s a safe option
  • Be more informed
  • Know his concerns were heard
  • Hear the experiences of others
  • Have support if needed

Once you’ve got him convinced, continue to keep him involved in the birth preparations by reading How Can your Husband Support you During your Home Birth?

How’d you convince your partner that home birth was right for your family? If there’s anything I forgot be sure to share your experience below!

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