Homebirth in Israel.

UPDATE (April 2011): After this post was written, down the road, for my second child, we did a home birth in our apartment in Tzur Hadassah. I’ve got more info on the subject now from firsthand experience and am happy to share:

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes into the third trimester and thus far have read a lot of too much research, visited two Jerusalem hospitals and met with one home birth midwife.

Needless to say, the water’s cold.

I’m caught in this tiring cycle of not knowing whether I should do the home birth thing or not. I mean, I do know I should, but between all the reservations of the people around me and the looming status of ‘first pregnancy’, my birthing confidence is crushed.

I figure, maybe if I can hear from women who have done it/do it, as opposed to just midwives and people who are anti, I could feel better about making a confident decision. Because either way, I feel confidence is key and I need to find it in myself within the next 10-12 weeks.

So… if you’ve been there, done that, labored through it at home, feel free to chime in with a comment about the following (or you can email me if you’d rather):

  • Where did you do it? Where did you live? House, apartment?
  • Did you use a midwife and doula?
  • Was your husband/partner into it? What kind of a role did they play at home?
  • What did you do about pain relief?
  • Did you check into a hospital after?

I’d love to hear thoughts from women who have given birth in Jerusalem hospitals, too. I realize it’s a very realistic situation that I could end up choosing to be in a hospital or end up needing to be in a hospital. Talking to women who are satisfied with their experiences either way and are willing to share can really help me at this point. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Israeli birthing stories on the web, at least that I could find.

I guess the problem is right now I’m so open minded, I don’t have any direction.


    6 responses to “Homebirth in Israel.”

    1. Katherine Avatar

      i think the expression is – so open minded your brains have fallen out :)
      check your email!

    2. holeycheese Avatar

      Here you go..

      I’m quite a young mother..was 22 when I had the first one. I’m originally from Sweden, but all of my kids(3) were born in Israel. The first two were born in the hospital, and the third one in what I would call an accidental homebirth at home in Ma’ale Adumim with only my husband and our three-year-old son present.(we hit the local newspapers first page. ;) She was born only two hours after the first very weak contraction.. We were not really sure I even was in labour until the head was crowning and it was kind of too late to move to the hospital. A few seconds later she out in one single push.. and suddenly my husband was there with a baby in his hands and neither of us really understood what happened. Chocking… but still a wonderful experience.
      We called for an ambulance when everything was over and spent two days in the hospital.. just like after every other birth.

      I love reading about homebirths.. and I’ve been dreming about doing it myself all the time since we had the first one. If it wasn’t that it is more complicated and cost more money – I would definatelly go for it next time.. especially since I had a very fast birth last time and I don’t want to take the risk to give birth in the middle of traffic jams at the Ma’ale Adumim checkpoint. And now that I have given birth to three kids I know that my body knows what to do. I do have the confidence and I love the thought..

      But.. there is always a but.. I’m afraid to sound just like everybody else.
      It is your first pregnancy and you have no idea how your body will respond to the labour. The first birth is usually more complicated, and very few who have their first child – have “the perfect birth”. It usually doesn’t go “according to the book.” It usually takes many hours.. maybe 24.. 48 or even 72 hours.. and is freaky tireing.. and might become complicated.. and there is a great risk the midwife would recommend you to move to the hospital in the middle of everything.. to make sure that you and the baby are fine.. and that transfer is NOT what you want to do in the middle of giving birth.

      I don’t know the reasons why you consider giving birth at home since I bumped into your blog now – this morning. I don’t know anything.. and of course I can not tell you what you should do. But I just wanted to say – that even if you give birth to this child in the hospital it is probably not too late. You could give birth to the second one at home – and then with all the confidence you need.. knowing from experience how to handle every part of the birth, and knowing that your body knows what to do.. and then also with the full support from people around you and from midwifes etc.

      I’m happy for the experience of giving birth to one of my kids at home. But I’m also happy it didn’t happen with the first one. I would never have handled it as nothing went according to the book..
      But as I said – I don’t know your special situation. Maybe you have other reasons that I never had and that I can’t understand.

      I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. But I do say – If there is the tiniest chance you would regret it in the middle of everyting.. if there is any possibility you will doubt you did the right thing – you shouldn’t do it.

      But if you are 100% sure and have the confidence to convience both yourself and the people around you that this is how you want it – I think you can do it – and you will probably have a wonderful experience.

      I know this is a very long reply.. but I’ll just add about the pain relief.. I have always wanted to give birth without. But at the first one I gave up on the midwive’s recommendation after 15 hours and only two tiny centimetres open. I was exhausted and nothing happened. So I ended up with epidural.
      The other two I gave birth to without even considering taking something.. it just went a lot smoother..

      From now on your blog is in my RSS.. I wanna see how everything goes. :)

    3. holeycheese Avatar

      hmm.. something more that I wanted to add.. about giving birth in an Israeli hospital.. in this case Hadassah har Hatsofim.

      When I had the first baby.. the midwives were wonderful during the birth.. Very nice people.

      But the two-day-stay in the hospital was a horrible experience. I almost didn’t speak hebrew by then and I felt they thought I was a complete idiot who knew nothing about nothing. I felt they were really rude to me. I don’t know if it was my age.. or the fact that I had my first baby, or simply the language barrier. But I was very uncomfortable with it and couldn’t wait to get home so I could feel it was MY baby and not the hospital’s baby.

      With the other two it has been different.. total respect.. it has been rather a pleasure to be there.

    4. Katherine Avatar

      it’s a driveby shoot down your confidence! :)

      just wanted to say one more thing – I decided on a home birth also because I read a LOT of birth stories in which they said they had a horrible first birth in a hospital, and next time they wanted to do it at home, and they did and had a fantastic time. I decided to learn from other people’s mistakes, not my own, and to do it first time at home. What people don’t realise is midwives are very cautious, and they don’t want you to screw up their statistics – the first sign of trouble and you’re on your way to the hospital. also with a first birth that it mostly happens quite slowly is a distinct advantage, as nothing happens within 2 seconds and suddenly you need to be at the hospital. it takes time and you can identify before hand that you need to go, and meanwhile you call the hospital and tell them to prepare an operating theatre. depending on how close you are to the hospital maybe 5 extra minutes is taken, and generally you have plenty of time anyway.
      oh and if you birth in a hospital, in any case you have to drive there while you are in labour – so there’s no escaping that drive, in the middle of a home birth or not.

      at the end of a day a good birth is one where you are respected and feel like you had a positive experience – home or hospital. don’t let people frighten you or influence you either way! (me included :)

    5. Sara Avatar

      I’d say home. You’re close enough to the hospital anyway. And the two day hospitalization is miserable, not the birth. They don’t get the idea of early discharge as a positive thing, and you’d end up fighting to get out and having to sign AMA. I’d do it myself. Statistically, it’s just as safe.

    6. […] There’s a lot of stigma around home birth. That’s actually an understatement, of course. Which is why for almost the entire nine months, I told not a soul that we were planning it, save for a friend who did it herself and recommended her midwife to me last time (when I contemplated a home birth). […]

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