Throughout her pregnancy, it was rumored that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, were planning to have their baby at home, rather than in a hospital. Of course, it was met with a fair amount of criticism and misunderstanding from the media, doctors, and other homebirth skeptics. But it also put a spotlight on home birth in a positive way. For those interested in home birth, or who haven’t heard much about why someone might be interested in birthing outside of the hospital, it created an opportunity to investigate why someone like Markle would opt for this kind of delivery, rather than the standard.
Anytime a high profile individual plans for a birth that strays from the beaten path, a hospital delivery with an obstetrician, it gives an opportunity to examine why someone who is in a position like Markle’s- educated, with every possible resource available to her, might prefer a different kind of birth. Because, if it’s fit for royalty, it must be pretty good, right? While in the UK, midwives are more common than here in the states (Kate Middleton chose midwives to attend her birth), home birth is still pretty rare, the same as in the U.S. But home births used to be a royal tradition, so perhaps the tradition will return. Either way, rates everywhere are on the up and up, though, and with more well-known individuals choosing alternative types of birth, royalty does not, we’re likely to see more questions, chatter, and education about it.
While it’s now being reported that Meghan Markle actually gave birth to her healthy baby boy in the hospital, which will soon be confirmed when the royal baby’s birth certificate arises, it’s still a great opportunity to examine the perks of birthing at home. Because when it comes to home delivery, there are more than a few perks.
Here are 5 Reasons home birth is fit for royalty:
1) You’re surrounded by the comforts of home
In a hospital, there are machines that beep, harsh lights, and about a thousand and one other distractions. It’s no surprise that one of the biggest reasons people choose to have babies at home is because that’s where they can be the most comfortable. With all your clothing, toiletries, not to mention, your bed and bath, right at your disposal, you can feel completely relaxed because you are in your own space with all your own things.
2) You are the boss
During your birth, you should be treated like an absolute queen. That means you’re not the one being bossed around. You get to boss everyone else around- Truly! If you can’t make the rules when you’re delivery your baby, when can you? Birthing is one of those times when everyone should be giving you exactly what you need, whatever that may be. Need someone to feed you bites of a sandwich while you labor in the tub? Check. Need a backrub? Check. Need the music turn up, the lights dimmed, or to walk around naked for hours while no one bats an eyelash? Check. Check. Check. Princess or not, during a home birth, you better be made to feel like one. It’s your birth and you get to decide what goes.
3) You can wear whatever you want
Whether it’s no clothes at all or a gown that makes you feel like Meghan or Kate, at home, you choose exactly what stays on or comes off your body. In a hospital setting, not only might it not be allowed to wear your own clothes or to strip down (or it may just be frowned upon), you may not feel as comfortable wearing exactly what you want there. At home, your birthing outfit is completely your choice. Crowns optional. If you’re lucky, the paparazzi will stay away.
4) Pass the hor d’oeuvres, please
In hospitals, there are sometimes (dated) rules about when you can or cannot eat during labor. But at home, you’re free to eat when you’re actually hungry. Imagine that! It’s important, too, because not only do you need strength and energy for the delivery, the practice of avoiding eating during labor is just not evidence-based. If you’re birthing at home, whether you’re craving a cheeseburger or a cheese plate, you can bring on the snacks. And when it comes to post-birth meals, you get to pass on the hospital food and eat what you want. That’s princess stuff right there.
5) It’s easier to have a royal rest
Delivering a baby in a hospital and then trying to get some shut-eye is a bit of a conundrum. There’s doctors, and nurses, and tests- oh my! It sure feels like it should be easier, and anticipated, that you get to take a nap after birthing a baby. But sometimes that feels all too hard to come by. So instead, mothers muddle through those challenge days at the hospital, just waiting to get back home. When you already are home from the start, though, you can do what you need to do to make yourself comfortable, get snuggled in your own bed (hopefully with a few helping hands nearby)and actually relax. While you may be a birthing queen, you also need a royal rest. At home, you can actually get one.