8 reasons a home birth might be the perfect fit for you

2. You get to hand-select who will attend your birth.


If you find yourself considering a home birth, you are not alone! Although home is still the least common place to give birth (compared to hospitals and birth centers), home birth is on the rise—they've nearly doubled in the last 15 years.

Many studies show that giving birth at home or in a birth center with a skilled midwife is equally safe to giving birth in the hospital in terms of the outcomes of mothers and babies. Other studies have contradicted this, however. This is why it is so important to discuss your desires and questions with your provider—and to get second and third opinions—when determining what that best option for you is.

Should you have a home birth? Here are eight perks to consider:

1. All of your pregnancy visits are at home and they are often close to an hour.

When you are pregnant, there is nothing more delightful than having your midwife come to you for a long visit, as most do. With the average OB pregnancy appointment topping out at six minutes in the U.S., this is a huge point.

2. You get to hand-select who will attend your birth.

Do you want 10 of your closest friends and family there to support you? Great. Do you want just your partner and your midwife and doula? Fine. There are no unknown care providers, students, nurses or visitors.

3. In labor, you don't have to go anywhere.

Or get dressed, walk out your door, hail a cab, talk to lots of medical staff, spend time in a waiting room, or listen to other women who are in labor.

4. You'll have your own stuff.

You will have your bed, your shower, your stuff, your blankets, your…you get the idea. You are in your home where you feel safe and comfortable, and this non-clinical environment encourages you to birth your way.

5. It may be easier to have freedom of movement.

While this is increasing possible in hospitals—and definitely possible in birth centers—it is often easier to achieve at home. Women allowed freedom of movement during labor have a greater sense of control, decrease requests for pain medication and may have shortened labor.

6. The midwife will use a handheld doppler to monitor your baby's heart-rate.

(A doppler is the device your provider is likely using to listen to your baby's heart rate at prenatal appointments.) This means no wires and machines to hook up to, which means more freedom of movement.

7. There is a lower rates of interventions.

Working with a home birth midwife may lower your chances of needing an IV, a Cesarean, episiotomy, forceps, or vacuum suction. Interventions are non unattainable—they still can occur during planned home childbirth. A woman needing any of this medical support will be transferred to the hospital during labor.

8. You'll have immediate, intimate time as a family.

All postpartum care for you and newborn care happens in your home—maybe even in your bed! Your baby will be with you the whole time, and you will be able to focus on what matters to you.

Can you have a home birth? It might be right for you if:

  • You remain low-risk during pregnancy and throughout the delivery.
  • You desire to give birth with as little medical intervention as possible, including epidurals and other pharmacological pain medications.
  • You believe that home is the safest and best place of birth for you, and be prepared that some friends and family may not be as supportive as you'd like.
  • You feel comfortable with that fact that in order to keep your birth as safe as possible, your midwife may require that you transfer to the hospital to give birth.

What does the medical community say about home birth?

It is important to note that home birth is controversial, in that providers feel differently about them. Here are what the leading women's health organizations have to say:

American College of Nurse-Midwives: "For the essentially well woman experiencing a healthy pregnancy, intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn course, childbirth with qualified providers can be accomplished safely in all birth settings, including home, birth center, and hospital."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with the following statement as well): "Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that hospitals and accredited birth centers are the safest settings for birth, each woman has the right to make a medically informed decision about delivery. Importantly, women should be informed that several factors are critical to reducing perinatal mortality rates and achieving favorable home birth outcomes. These factors include the appropriate selection of candidates for home birth; the availability of a certified nurse–midwife, certified midwife or midwife whose education and licensure meet International Confederation of Midwives' Global Standards for Midwifery Education, or physician practicing obstetrics within an integrated and regulated health system; ready access to consultation; and access to safe and timely transport to nearby hospitals."

When deciding where to give birth, listen to your intuition, and ask your provider (and potential providers) tons of questions. Know that beautiful and safe experiences can happen no matter where you decide to give birth.

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These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.


Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.


Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.


Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.


Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.


Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.


Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.


Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.


Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.


Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

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