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Green benefits to home birth!

I use the words green and birth together for a purpose. Green is about simplification. Green is about nature and allowing it to take its course. Green is about growth and the transformative journey that parents go through when they have been empowered to have the kind of birth experience they want.

Green is good! When faced with multiple theories, the simplest answer is usually the best one. So it is with birthing and life in general. When all the world is turning to the latest gadget, the latest expert, we can pioneer the way back to our roots, back to simplicity.

The mother is the expert when it comes to her body. So much of birth culture is isolating, takes the power away from the mother, operates from a basis of fear rather than trust and is stressful rather than celebratory.

There is a time and place for medical intervention and most natural, healthy, low risk births are not the place for anyone but a woman, a midwife and whomever else she chooses to support her.

Most of the time there is a focus on a lot of the other possible advantages to home birth such as a lack of unnecessary interventions, comfortable atmosphere for the mother and even affordability. It is hardly mentioned how having a birth at home can also be a green choice for your family.

Here are few things to consider. They are not the sole reasons for choosing to have a home birth, but they cannot 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 the hospital to minimise 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 the hospital, 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 labour really wants to be riding in a car anyway, so why not just stay home and save the gas?

· Rent a heated birthing tub which the research shows provides the best and greenest form of pain relief.

· Encapsulate your Placenta or plant a tree over it. This amazing organ is rich with healing properties naturally design for each birthing woman.

To summarize, birthing at home is healthier for the environment (much less waste generated), inexpensive and very satisfying.

For more information about how to make your birth green, or about home birth in Bermuda go to www.consciousbirthbermuda.com.

Sophia Cannonier is the director of Lotus Wellness and Birth Center, 46 Melbourne House, Victoria Street, Hamilton.

She specialises in providing expert pilates, yoga, Feldenkrais method and doula services. In addition she assists in planning home births with a team of professional midwives and oversees the development of Bermuda's Conscious Birth Movement.

www.consciousbirthbermuda.com

Sophia Cannonier and her husband Michael Watson and their kids who were all born at home.

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Published November 25, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated November 25, 2011 at 9:57 am)

Green benefits to home birth!

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