Is Beyoncé mad, crazy, insane or very sane for considering having a home birth with twins?
Hello and welcome, Tricia Murray here from The Birth and Baby Academy.
I work with women to make sure they have easier, smoother and hopefully quicker birth experiences.
At the end of this session, I would like to you to download the Resources Bundle (which includes 101 Questions About Birth).
This is a free tool for you to use to get you really thinking about all the different questions that you need to consider so that you can prepare positively for your birth experience.
So, let’s get into the topic in a bit more detail. Today we are talking about Is Beyonce mad, crazy, insane or very sane for considering having a home birth with twins?
Beyoncé’s Home Birth Plan
So today, we are talking about Beyoncé and her proposed homebirth with her twins. Something that is nowadays, very, very unusual. In fact, homebirths anyway are very rare. But home births with twins are almost unheard of.
Beyoncé’s homebirth plan is slightly different to most because she has her $1m birthing suite. I just want to read out what’s in her birthing suite.
In that birthing suite, Beyoncé has medical equipment, including incubators which are often very needed for twins because 50% are born before 37 weeks spontaneously.
She’s got an entire neonatal wing which has been shipped into their $100k per month rented property “as they plan the ultimate in-home births.
Beyoncé has the ultimate in privacy and safety – which I really like – and we’ll get more into that later towards the end.
It’s really exciting that Beyoncé is doing this. Many people have suggested that she has actually recreated a conventional maternity suite, that she’s not really planning a homebirth. They feel that it doesn’t really fit in with the traditional philosophy of a homebirth.
However, when I read about Beyoncé’s last birth, I realised that as she has such an amazing first birth, I think she wanted to replicate that. I am of course making assumptions, but I think she wanted to replicate that experience with her twins.
This is what she said about her first birth, which is beautiful.
“I felt very maternal from around 8 months and I thought that I couldn’t become any more until I had the baby, but it happened during my labour because I had a very strong connection with my child. I left like when I felt contractions, I envisaged my child pushing through a very heavy door. And I imagined this tiny infant doing all the work, so I couldn’t think about my own pain. We were talking. I know it sounds crazy but I felt a communication”.
So, I think really what she was doing was to replicate that really normal, physiological birth and she probably knows that that’s very hard to achieve within a medical setting, where she might have no control.
So, I think that Beyoncé’s decision to have a home birth is actually a very, very sane choice to make. It would be lovely to see more women exploring a home birth as a positive choice for them.
Home Birth or Hospital?
Currently in the UK, only 2.2 per cent of all births are home births, even though we know that home is the safest place for second time Mums to give birth.
It’s frequently recommended that twin births should happen in hospital. It’s not that we know having twins at home is dangerous as there is no information, due to a lack of funding in this area, there’s little accurate research to go by. So, it really comes down to individual choice.
Going back to Beyoncé, she is so fit. She is in prime physical condition. Comparing her likely medical needs with, for example, a woman with an underlying physical condition isn’t right. We need to look at individual care within the much bigger maternity system.
There are a number of complications to do with twins, I’m not going to deny that.
If you’ve got identical twins, you’ve got issues around the placenta and how the placenta works and there’s a thing called twin to twin transfusion and I don’t want to go any more into that for today as it’s too complicated for this purpose.
But looking at non-identical twins, what we’re looking at is two babies. So of course, with having two babies you are doubling the chances of things going wrong because you’re looking at two babies, but these things happen in singleton pregnancies too and the numbers are absolutely tiny.
It’s really important that you explore the available facts for yourself, in terms of what you want to achieve and in terms of what it is that you want to do.
The Fear Effect
There’s was something else that I really liked about what Beyoncé said about the birth of Blue Ivy. She stated, “My family and my closest people were there when I gave birth. Everyone that scares me was just not present in that room”.
I think one of the things that Beyoncé can really understand (which is something that many of us don’t understand) is the physiological process of birth.
It is a very primal period where we need to feel physically and emotionally safe and secure. Something that’s often overlooked and is very hard to achieve within the current maternity system.
I want you to think about other mammals and how they give birth. They often give birth in very dark, very private surroundings. They don’t have people coming in to interfere with them, nobody’s giving them a vaginal exam, nobody’s monitoring their babies. None of these things are happening.
With women, this is exactly what happens is they go into hospital. Suddenly their privacy goes, their dignity goes, and people are examining and monitoring them.
Now, there are always times for these situations, and I’m not denying that. But the vast majority of women don’t need all of this monitoring. All that this does is increase our fear and anxiety around birth.
The fear and anxiety often experienced during pregnancy and childbirth can in fact be multiplied when expecting twins.
When you’re pregnant with twins you go and see the consultant at the hospital every four weeks. You also see the midwife. You get regular scans, and receive all of this information about them, about how they’re going, etc. All of this fear and anxiety is not just coming from the healthcare professionals, it’s coming from your friends and your family too.
That fear is then often added to when we give birth in the hospital, which is an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people around us. We sometimes have no idea what’s happening and don’t understand the impact of the decisions being made there are.
All of these things add to your fear and anxiety. When we are in this state and have a feeling of being unsafe, we stop birthing and everything slows right down.
So, for Beyoncé having a home birth, is a very, very sane decision because she has got complete control. It is something that I wish more women would explore.
This is not specifically related to twins, but it is actually taking back control of that birth. People can only do that when they understand that that is a choice for them. Things will only start to change when women take back birth.
How Can You Take Back Control?
Going back to Beyoncé’s birth, I can understand exactly why she is doing that and I think it’s great that she is considering that. Obviously most of us can’t have $100 maternity suites installed in our homes, so what are our options?
It is your human right under law to have access to privacy. That means that we can birth at home and we should be able to birth at home if we wish.
You can consider hiring an independent midwife and that’s what I considered doing eight years ago. An independent midwife costs about £3500.
However, one of the biggest issues right now with home birth, not only with twins but all sorts of different complex situations is that often there are no staff who are skilled to be able to support you at home.
I really think that getting independent support in the form of a doula or an independent midwife and really embedding yourself in positive birthing culture.
There are more and more people really starting to take birth back. There are a lot of really positive twin stories online. We just need to read them.
We have to remember that birth has been happening in hospital really only for the past fifty years. So, before that there would have been so many women who would have delivered perfectly happily and well at home. Things have only recently changed.
What About If Medical Intervention Is Required?
I don’t want you to think for a moment that I think there’s absolutely no need to have any medical intervention at all because I think sometimes we absolutely do need it, especially with twins.
However, a lot of the issues with twins arise because they are born so early, spontaneously before 37 weeks. That’s where a lot of the issues come from. Whereas after 37 weeks a lot of these complications go.
I do think that there’s a lot of complications that come with the induction process and that’s what I feel quite strongly about.
I think Beyoncé’s decision around having a home birth is a very, very, very sane one and I think she is doing the absolute right thing for her. I really love the fact that she has taken control of her birth and I hope it goes really well.
What are you going to commit to today?
For those that want to explore their birth options, download the Resources Bundle (which includes 101 Questions About Birth) now. It’s a really good tool to use to start exploring the different beliefs and attitudes around birth.
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