Green Birth

As a birth and postpartum doula, and a natural parenting company owner who is expecting a baby in the next few weeks, I can’t help but write a post that mentions the “greenness” of homebirth.

I think that most of the time we focus on a lot of the other possible advantages to homebirth (such as lack of unnecessary interventions, comfortable atmosphere for the mother, and even affordability), but rarely mention how having a birth at home can also be a green choice for your family. So, I thought I would put together a few little green things to consider (which obviously should not be your soul reasons for choosing a homebirth, but they can’t hurt either):

Less waste! Hospital births are flanked with disposable products. Everything from the possibly unnecessary IV tubing, to the scrubs the doctors wear, to the hospital ID bracelets; it is the nature of the location and is all very necessary for hospitals to minimize risks and the spread of disease. However, with a homebirth there is no concern of cross-contamination since mother and baby are in their native environment and most products used at homebirths are items that are normally found in the home and are reusable.

No nasty cleaning chemicals! Along the same line as the disposable products found in hospitals, heavy, industrial-grade cleaning agents are necessary to keep the hospital environment safe. Such cleaners have to be powerful enough to wipe out any organisms that may be left on hospital surfaces, so just imagine what they can do to the environment or our bodies (or our newborns’ bodies, for that matter).

– Your house- your stuff!
By this I mean that by birthing at home you have much more control over the products that you and your new little bundle use and are exposed to, such as the detergents that receiving blankets and towels are washed in, the soaps that are used for your little one’s first bath, and of course the diapers that your new babe wears. Some of these things can be brought to the hospital to be used, but it takes far more effort and can be difficult to encourage nurses to break from their normal routine to use products they are unfamiliar with.

No wasted gas to make that run to the hospital! Let’s face it, no woman in labor really wants to be riding in a car anyway, so why not just stay home and save the gas?

Want to learn more about how to make your birth green, or about homebirth in general?  Why not pop on over to Mothering.com for some solid articles and advice or even take a peek at their forums?

Another great resource that just made it’s debut on May 1 is MyBestBirth.com– the official online community put together by Ricky Lake and Abby Epstein, the creators of The Business of Being Born and authors of the new book Your Best Birth.

Most importantly I just want to encourage you to take responsibility for your pregnancy and birth–research all of your options, get educated, and make choices based on that knowledge. The choices you make for your birth will impact you and your baby forever!

Good luck!

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Follow the rest of MacKenzie’s musings on being a birth and postpartum doula while pregnant, totschooling her son, and still finding time to knit, at Mama Kenz Studio.

*Picture is a reproduction of “Home Birth” by Richard Wilkinson.

One Response to Green Birth
  1. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    May 24, 2009 | 1:54 am

    I’ve never really thought about a home birth that way before. I’m just way too scared to ever birth a baby anywhere but a hospital. But since I only plan on having the two I already have, I won’t have to make that decision again.