Birth at Home – At Home With Birth
Susan James, PhD
In Canada, homebirth and midwifery seem to be inseparable. Prior to regulation, women wanting homebirths sought midwives and women wanting midwifery care often gave birth at home. Choice of birthplace, including the option of homebirth became a central tenet of regulated midwifery across the country. In this paper, the experience of homebirth is explored. Women and midwives from four provinces, both before and after midwifery regulation, spoke of their experiences of homebirth. Using hermeneutic phenomenological analysis, themes related to experiences of time, space, relationships and embodiment were identified. While some of the women's stories include comparisons of their births at home and hospital, the objective is to uncover what it is like to give birth at home not what is better or safer or more challenging than other birthplace choices.
homebirth, midwife, phenomenology
This article has been peer-reviewed.