Monday 22 October 2018

Home Birth Awareness Week 2018

This week is Home Birth Awareness Week. I realised recently that there was no such thing as Home Birth Awareness Week in the UK and that seemed a shame, so I thought it was time to start one. Home Birth Awareness Week already exists over in New Zealand, so I figured we could join in over here. We will piggyback on their awareness and hopefully raise a little of our own. The world is global and all that, right?

Why Do We Need Home Birth Awareness Week?
It’s not a disease or little-known condition, so why do we need to raise awareness of home birth? Well, simply, because not many people choose it. Only 2.3% of women chose to give birth at home in the UK in 2015 and this number hasn't changed since I had my first daughter at home in 2012.

I often encounter women who say they would have liked to have home births but didn’t because they didn’t think it was an option, or they were worried it wasn’t safe, or they didn’t have the support of their partners. We need Home Birth Awareness Week so that we can share some real stories of home births and make women aware of their birth options.

Home Birth Awareness Week isn’t about trying to force women to have home births, it’s about making people aware that home birth is an option. It’s also about addressing negative reactions to home births and empowering women to tackle negative comments from friends and family members. And, most importantly, it’s about encouraging women to share their real-life experiences with the world.

When I was pregnant with my first, all I wanted to do was read about births. I had no idea what to expect, I couldn’t imagine what contractions would feel like, and I wanted to try and prepare myself. Home Birth Awareness Week is about sharing real-life examples of home births and how they worked for you and your family so that other women can feel inspired by your choice.

Simply put, Home Birth Awareness Week is about normalising home birth so that more couples will take the time to consider it. And, hey, they might decide it’s not for them and choose to give birth at a birth centre or hospital, that’s fine. It’s not about trying to make people want home births, it’s just about encouraging people to see home birth as a real and acceptable choice.

Is Home Birth An Option For Me?
You’ll need to speak to your midwife to find out more about home birth provisions in your area. And, of course, your midwife will know your full history and be able to advise you accordingly. If you’re considering a home birth or would simply like to know more about it, mention it to your midwife at your next antenatal appointment.

In the meantime, there is plenty of information online. is a great website filled with advice about planning a home birth. Hopefully, some of the stories shared during Home Birth Awareness Week will help you to decide whether giving birth at home is something that appeals to you.

How To Get Involved With Home Birth Awareness Week
As with any awareness week, the more people who get involved, the more awareness we’ll be able to raise. And I would love for you to get involved, partly so it’s not a failure but also so that we can take some steps towards normalising home birth. It would be great to live in a world where people’s reaction to a planned home birth was ‘cool’ rather than ‘aren’t you worried about…’

So, do get involved. If you’ve had a home birth yourself or if you’re planning one now, please get involved this week. There’s strength in numbers and I’d love for you to be involved. Here are some ways you can help raise awareness of home birth this week:

If you have a blog, write some posts about home birth and link them up below. Include the link badge so we can keep track of how many people take part. Write about your own home birth, why you wanted one and what advice you have for other couples planning to welcome their babies at home. Write about anything and everything to do with home birth. Let’s try and share as many stories as we can.

If you have already posted on your blog about home birth, this week is the perfect time to revisit them. Share your old posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #HomeBirthAW18. I’ll be keeping an eye on the hashtag and sharing all the posts I find. It would be great if you could do the same, of course.

Don’t blog? No problem. You can get involved by sharing your home birth story on Instagram. Please use the hashtag #HomeBirthAW18 with your post. It would be great to see the hashtag filling up with inspiring home births and real birth experiences. If you have a photo from your birth to share, that’s great, but you can share it with any related photo really, there are no rules.

Send Me Some Questions
If you have any questions about home birth, send them my way. I’ll be sharing a Q+A post later in the week so it would be great to have some readers’ questions to answer. What are the things you want to know about home birth? Send them across to me on and I’ll include them in my post.

Happy Home Birth Awareness Week!

Bloggers, don't forget to link up all of your relative posts below (they don't have to be new) and I'll be sure to share them throughout the week.

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