Voices of Tane


Initially, the decision to have a home birth was my wife’s choice. Before our first home birth experience, I must admit I was full of apprehension, but I couldn’t have wished for anything else. It is hard to put into words how special it is to be there for your wife during active labour as you brace your baby gently guiding her out of the birth canal. I have had the privilege to have delivered two of our four children at home and with our second home birth, felt confident enough to do everything from cleaning, coaching, applying hot towels and delivering our daughter. Not only did this feel natural, it gave Mum a place to rest in an environment where she felt most comfortable and relaxed. Plus, we were able to add to the experience with family sharing in a first birthday cake for both of home birth experiences.


I wanted us to have a home birth because its normal, natural and logical to have a baby at home. Having a baby is hard enough without the added stress of having to pack up and go somewhere else to do it.

I have to say, having experienced a hospital birth (a problem free / as natural as you can get in a hospital) and a home birth – I find myself almost unable to fathom why you might not want a home birth. Our home birth was such an experience for me, I felt a lot more connected to my partner as she was having our daughter, everything just seemed right. She was in our birth pool and I was on the outside cuddling her and encouraging her, trying to make sure that she felt cared for and loved as she progressed more and more. She seemed calm and very positive, very confident. There was no pain to be had as she was in the comfortable area that we had set up just for the birth. As her partner I couldn’t have been more proud of her, and as our daughter came out and actually started having a little swim around the birth pool I couldn’t help but be amazed. I remember thinking that I couldn’t have had this experience at a hospital. I also admit it’s hard not to smile as I walk into our bedroom (where the birth pool was set up), remembering the joy of it. As a father, having a home birth puts so much more flexibility into your hands as you can do as much as you feel is necessary, and because you’re at home you have all of those home comforts around you and your partner to help out and relax things. You don’t really get that sort of thing at a sterile hospital. Having gone through this I would not have it any other way now. As a small chunk of advice, I read The The Father’s Home Birth Handbook, and found it very helpful in the way it was able to address most of my questions about a home birth in a humorous yet informative way.

Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati

ki te kapuia, e kore e whati


When we stand alone we are vulnerable,

but together we are unbreakable


To me it was all about ensuring my wife was in the most comfortable environment for her, after all she is the one tasked with the hard job on the day. What is more comfortable than being in your own home and being able to curl up in your own bed after the ‘work’ is done. Not only that, during the birth you get to choose exactly what music, lighting, drink, food and other stuff you want, after all it is your house. As long as you have a midwife that you trust, it is actually a very moving experience much more memorable than a hospital birth (I have experienced both). There is no having to pack or unpack for a hospital stay, you don’t feel like you should be moving out as soon as possible, it is not an ‘unknown’ environment, and you don’t have to take other peoples feelings into account. EVERYTHING is exactly as you want it and how you want it as a family.


Home birth allowed me to have direct involvement in the whole process. I felt empowered not only to fully support my wife, but also to become a dad when we choose to birth at home.

From my perspective as a first time dad it was great – just us and the midwife, peaceful, our own music, surroundings, knowing help was not far away if we needed. We had an experienced home birthing midwife and she made us feel prepared for almost anything, she fitted in with the natural process and helped it along. We had hot towels for pain relief which I was supplying and I felt an integral part of the process, ensuring the room was warm etc. This was my first child so cannot compare it but we had a very positive experience. Mum and baby were very comfortable afterwards and had a lovely slumber without noise or distraction from other people as I would expect in many hospital situations. One thing which was important was limiting the visitors to the house in the first few days as it is easy for people to call round knowing there has been a new arrival, when that may not be what mum, dad and baby want, anticipate having to protect mum and babies space for the early hours / days. Overall I would choose a home birth again for sure! It is no way as scary as some people make it out to be as long as you have some good advice and prenatal checks.