No.2 Home Birth Is (Not Just) For Hippies

Today we take the time to explore the options for place of birth in British Columbia to raise awareness and help you become better equipped to explore your own birth experience. 

You can join the discussion and share your own birth stories at via email at or on twitter @agilefamily.

Once again, I’m joined by my mum Jacquie Munro, Doula and childbirth educator of 30 years experience, and my wife Alanna Munro, freelance communication designer, typographer, and the mother of our baby James.

Thinking about the options for where to give birth to your child is one of the first major decisions you will come to as parents. You will feel the weight of this decision, as it’s not just about making a decision for yourself, you also have an obligation to your child, and it may have great implications for their well being. It’s an intense introduction to parenthood. 

How you go about forming your decision will likely lay the foundation for your future decision making process. 

Early on, you have a lot of time to think and consider many different influences; from family and changes in roles of responsibility, to societal expectations, past experiences with healthcare, your own personal health, as well as best evidence. 

Who knew babies were such a research project. 

We hope this episode will spark in you a broader dialogue of birth experience amongst those close to you as well as your caregivers. 

Knowing that you have thought clearly and carefully through all the possibilities and being open to as many options as possible will set your family up for the best success. 

One of our favourite responses to the question “Where are you planning on having your baby?” has always been; wherever our baby chooses. Jacquie also has this to say:

“Ultimately it is your baby and your body that makes that final decision and it might be midway through labour when you discover where you are having your baby.”

Things to check out!

BC Place of Birth Handbook

Call the Midwife  (TV Series) 
Chronicles the lives of a group of midwives living in East London in the late 1950s to early 1960s.

Here is a summary of evidence based research included in today’s episode:

Midwives Association of British Columbia

16% of all births 2012/2013 were midwife assisted.
17% of midwife-assisted births that are planned home births
83% of midwife-assisted births occur in hospitals
18 hours - Average reduction in hospital stay duration after midwife-assisted birth
42% fewer births by caesarean section in midwife-assisted births than provincial average

“A study Published in 2009 in the Canadian Medical association Journal found that Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.”
– Janssen et al., Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician, Canadian Medical Association Journal:  Sept 15, 2009. p 377.