Feeling at home

Yoga teacher and mum-of-two Claire Maguire describes the reasons why she opted for a homebirth, outlines its benefits and looks at its take-up rate both in Ireland and globally

I’ve never met anyone having a homebirth,” exclaimed a surprised mother as we sat talking in a Co Meath playground last winter. “Are you mad?” cried my friend Deirdre
when I broke the news to her about planning my water birth at home in Ashbourne. In truth I wasn’t shocked by the reactions of people, who, after an initial intake of breath, were all extremely encouraging and supportive. According to the local public health nurse,
planned homebirths recorded in this busy commuter town stand at one – me. Continue reading


Country Comparison: A second baby in a US birth centre for an Irish mum

I’m an Irishwoman who lives in America. My first child was born in Texas, and when he was four months old we moved north to a Maryland suburb of Washington DC. When I got pregnant again, 21 months later, several friends and acquaintances in the delightfully slightly-hippie-but-not-snobby town I live in recommended a birth centre about half an hour away. Having had a straightforward hospital birth with no epidural (but some narcotic) the last time, I was ready to try for an unmedicated birth. The centre is a five-minute drive from an excellent hospital, and I trusted the midwives to know in plenty of time if someone would need a transfer in an emergency. Continue reading