Monday, October 31, 2011

Home Births

As the mother of 19 children, Michelle Duggar has been through 17 deliveries. So what does this experienced mom say about hospital births versus home births?

Her first five children were born at the hospital, but after talking with friends, she and Jim Bob decided to try something a little different. Jinger, baby number six, was delivered at home, her birth attended by both a doctor and a midwife.

Michelle loved the flexibility of laboring at home, and she recovered in record time. A few hours later, she was up and about. Joseph, baby number seven, was also born at home. Although the Duggars opted to deliver their next child, Josiah, at the hospital, they still utilized the helpful techniques taught by their midwife.

Josh and Anna Duggar chose to go the home birth route with both of their babies (Jim Bob and Michelle's first grandchildren). Mackynzie Renee just celebrated her second birthday, and Michael James was delivered on June 15th of this year.

What do you think of home births? Has your family ever experienced one?


  1. I LOVE home births. I had a home birth in August of 2010. After having delivered my first child in a hospital delivering my second in a home birth was AWESOME! It was the most AMAZING experience ever! So awesome to see my body perform in the way God designed it to. Such a beautiful thing!
    I truly believe that most women are being cheated out of this wonderful, beautiful experience of birth the way God intended when they go with the flow of society and give birth in a hospital with all of the drugs and forced "positions" and forced deliveries. Most women simply do as their Dr. says without asking questions and educating themselves.
    I desire to see more women educate themselves on pregnancy and birth and to realize that they have options and that they do not have to do everything the doctor says or recommends.
    I desire for them to see and know that their bodies were wonderfully and beautifully made to give birth and that there is nothing to fear. They CAN do this! And they can do it without drugs, without fear and even without pain!

  2. Our first baby was born at home six weeks ago. It was amazing, as Michelle said I was up and about a few hours later and my recovery was so easy! Our baby is so alert and healthy from having a totally natural birth too. We will definitely have the rest of our babies at home if possible.

  3. My three children were all born at the hospital, and I'm very thankful for that. All of the births had complications, and being at home would have been life-threatening in two of the three cases. I'd have any future babies at the hospital because of that. If I'd had a number of straight forward births, then maybe I'd attempt it. I'd love to be able to relax at home with out all the hospital noise and interruptions.

  4. I think home births are a wonderful option for low risk moms! After a hospital birth with our first baby last year, my husband and I plan to deliver our second baby at home in a few months =)

  5. Homebirths are always awesome for those for whom everything turns out fine. For those who have a life threatening situation for mom or baby and have a sad ending, it's not awesome. I think it's up to each woman along with her husband to make an educated wise choice. The majority of home births turn out well.

    I had six children, all in a hospital setting. The hospital we chose is known for a home like setting with as little intervention as possible yet with all modern medical technology steps away. For us, that made the most sense.

  6. We had our first home birth last year after 4 c-sections. Before we decided to have a vba4c, we took time to educate ourselves, took a vbac class, and then found a midwife who was willing to help us. Most importantly, we prayed for the vbac and felt total peace about it. It turned out amazing! It was a 2 hour labor, so the midwife didn't make it in time and my awesome husband had the honor of delivering our daughter. It was peaceful. It wasn't an emergency. It just happened. We knew God was there leading us through it all and we rested in that.

    If any one was ever considering doing a vbac, especially at home, I would recommend taking a vbac class first. We know several doulas that hold these classes. Also, know your legal rights. A good place to start with that is
    Lastly & most importantly, PRAY! Go with what Jesus is telling you.

    We are 17 weeks pregnant with our seventh child. We are excitingly planning a second home vbac after 4 c-sections. We humbly give all the Glory To GOD!


  7. I love homebirths! After 5 hospital births, including a c-section for a transverse baby, and a "forced" unnecessary repeat c-section due to a VBAC ban at the hospital, I had our 6th baby at home.

    It was a few hours of labor when I delivered 10 lb 9 oz Oliver James at just shy of 42 weeks.

    I am pregnant again, and unfortunately, the new midwife licensing law has made it illegal in the state of Idaho for a midwife to attend my birth. I am likely going to utilize a CNM in neighboring WA to attend my birth, God willing.

    The only other choices are driving an hour away for a VBA2C hospital birth at a VBAC supportive hospital in WA as I did with our 5th, or unassisted. A c-section is out of the question, since it is not necessary for me.

    Love the blog and the post..I'm a new follower.

    God Bless!

    1. I want to know how everyone's pelvic floor is holding up? I had a 4 pregnancy one being twins and my bladder prolapsed! I'm only 8 weeks pp so it can go away but it's scary.

  8. My husband and I have 4 children. The first two were hospital births and the 3rd and fourth were born at home. While my hospital births were fine and uneventful, my homebirths were absolutely amazing. Of course if anything were to be risky I would opt to go to the hospital. I would never want to risk anyones life just to get my own way but as long as everyone involved is healthy I plan to deliver any future babies at home too. It was wonderful to be at home in my own clothes and my own everything with no strangers or rules. It was great to be able to allow my body to go at it's own pace and do what God designed it to do all on it's own. I know there are always exceptions and Drs and Hospitals have saved many lives but I really think the majoritay of women are being cheated because they are made to doubt their bodies and their own strength and unfortunately many modern interventions that are offered to help women cause more problems than they help. God has given us amazing bodies that are capable of more than we imagine:)

  9. I had a natural birth in the hospital...thankfully I had an awesome nurse to support me. With my second, I had the same plan, but, unfortunately, didn't have such an awesome nurse, who by the way, actually encouraged me (in not so many words) to get an epidural. (Holly...I agree w/ you)

    I think a home birth would be great in the sense that you can take your time with everything and labor however you want, however, I did like the "safe" feeling of the hospital in case something were to go wrong (monitors, equipment if necessary, etc.) It can be a tough decision!

  10. I feel sorry for Anna. She didn't just have a homebirth, she gave birth on her toilet with cameras rolling. That is NOT modest, it is actually offensive to watch this young woman in pain on the toilet. Before that she had to go to New York 9 months pregnant to babysit Michelles kids then she had to travel across with world with a newborn and a toddler and march in a parade. It makes my back hurt just watching her.

  11. I was enjoying these comments and blog post until I came upon Long Time Viewer's view. =/ Cheer up. :)
    Anna gets paid.
    Anna didn't HAVE to allow them to tape that.
    Anna didn't have to go to New York.
    For pity sakes, Anna didn't have to marry a Duggar that goes on tv.

    Anna chose to do all these things.

    I agree on one thing, I was surprised the modest Duggars showed the toilet birth as I was how they showed Anna's first birth so graphic. Little children watch the Duggars. Bad decision. However... it's their choice to air it on tv and not mine. I may not agree but if I watched it.... what can I really say?

  12. Long time viewer...I can relate to your comment (it seems like the episode of Michael's birth has been somewhat controversial because of the reasons mentioned), and although labor & birth are definitely "real" moments, a part of life and how God made it, personally I think it could've been edited a little better (maybe not actually showing the "toilet scene") any rate, in my opinion, Mackynzie's birth was very well done-I think if Michael's would have been filmed in a similar way it would have been better received.

  13. I followed Josie's birth and your family's struggles with her.

    My daughter's step granddaughter gave birth to a tiny little one 2 weeks ago.

    She did really well until this past Friday.

    Little Jozalen weighed 1 lb 12 oz and was 13 in long at birth.

    This morning they operated on her and found she had 2 holes in her bowels. They are continuing massive antibotics but do not give the family a lot of hope.

    Please keep them in your prayers

    Pat Hill
    Iuka, Ms

  14. Hi Pat!

    We will definitely keep little Jozalen (and your entire family) in our prayers.

    ~Lily and Ellie
    Authors of the Duggar Family Blog

  15. All of my bio kids have been born at home. We're planning another water birth for blessing #8 in six weeks. It's such a peaceful way to give birth.

  16. I am 5 weeks pregnant with my first baby!!! I am planning on a homebirth with a local midwife. I am so excited beyond words. I am also filled with other emotions, but it is so encouraging to hear the positive comments about home birth. I actually have never met someone who had a home birth and didn't like it. Holly, your comment boosted my enthusiasm for a home birth! I CAN do this, without drugs, without fear, and without pain! My home birth will be around early next July!

  17. My Mum had 3 home births in the UK then moved to Canada in th emid 60's where it was not an option-she HATED the hospital births!

    When we had our 3 kids it wa snot an otpion where we lived(lots of scary threats about prosecution). If I knew then what I know now I might have taken my chances! I had 2 awful Dr led births and a wonderful midwife birth! Plus 2 out 3 kids came home with a cold and neither my Dh nor my family had one in the 2 weeks before the birth nor after so someone in th enursery gave colds to my kids!

  18. You said something about Anna's birth not being "modest" I know the Duggars are all about modesty but, you can't have a baby and be wearing a dress down to your ankels. I do think they should have cut that scene out but, your right, it was her choice to be filmed, and I totally respect her for that.

  19. Oh! I hope people are reading my comment! I HIGHLY recommend watching The Business of Being Born. It is an incredible documentary that explains why home birth is such a beautiful, healthy and NATURAL way to go! Lilly and Ellie, PLEASE pass this word along to Jim Bob and Michelle, and Joshua and Anna. Although I'm sure they already know the joys behind home birthing, this documentary is so incredibly insightful.

  20. Hi Duggars!!!!!

    I'm writing from Puerto Rico and I love all of you in the love of God!!!! Right now I'm expecting my second child and I want to know what is the name of the method Michelle used to prepare for the labor. during my first child pregnancy I took a prenatal course to handle my labor pain, but didn't work. I want to try something different so my labor experience could be much easier and to enjoy the greatest give God can give to a woman and husband, to born a a child. Thanks a bunch and God bless you all!!!!!

  21. Hi Duggars:

    I'm writing from Puerto Rico and I love you all in the love of my beloved God!!!! The reason I write to you is because I'm pregnant of my second child and I want to know the method Michelle used to minimized the pain through the labor process. I saw in some episodes of your reality show when practice and i want to do it so i can have a better labor process. I remember when I was pregnant of my first child I took some prenatal courses on how to manage the pain and the whole process, but didn't work and i want to try something different to have a more enjoyable process during the most wonderful experience God can give to a woman and husband, the born of a blessed child. Thanks a bunch and God bless you all!!!!!

  22. Edith...Michelle and Anna used the Bradly method.

  23. I have had both of my babies with midwives at a birthing center on a hospital campus. I really enjoyed the security of knowing my baby and I had quick access to all medical care, while also having the calm, homey feel.
    I am always a little sad for the moms who describe their birthing experience at hospitals as victims. It has been my understanding that medical staff encourage communication, including accepting a written birthing plan (drawn up by the mama) to help communicate the mama's expectations before, during, & after the birth.
    Sometimes surprises happen, and so changes to the plan have to be made for health of mama and baby.

    But, truly, there's loads of options than just 1. A happy birth at home and 2. A manipulated and forced birth at an uncaring hospital. Sheesh. Just communicate, be honest, and be grateful for this modern world of medicine we have access to! :o)

  24. Hannah Bliley, Pennsylvania has birth centers? I don't know why you said they are illegal.

  25. i am all for home births! i hope to have a home water birth if God ever blesses me with a husband and kids! i plan on becoming a cnm in the future!


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