Kaitlin Olson Has Fingers Crossed for a Homebirth

08/05/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Kovac/FilmMagic

When it comes time to deliver her first child — a baby boy! — this month, Kaitlin Olson has her heart set on a homebirth.

“I decided on a homebirth because I believe that as long as a pregnancy is normal and complication-free, your body knows what to do, and does not need medical intervention,” the Always Sunny in Philadelphia star, 34, tells Best for Babes.

“I believe I’ll be most relaxed and feel safest in my home, with an amazing nurse-midwife monitoring the baby and me the entire time, of course.”

Olson’s own mother, the founder of Earth Mama Angel Baby, opted for a homebirth as well and while the expectant mama admits the natural lifestyle is “normal” to her, she also understands the need for hospital care.

“I think hospitals are amazing, valuable places, and I’m incredibly grateful to have access to Western medicine! I just don’t think that childbirth is a medical problem that needs intervention unless there is a complication,” she explains.

And if all goes according to plan, Olson is prepared to welcome her son in as relaxed an environment as possible.

“I’ve been practicing hypnobirthing for several months now. It’s basically training yourself to completely relax on command, allowing your uterus to do its job without tensing up in reaction to the pain, which just slows everything down,” she says.

“It also really focuses on eliminating fear, and I’m learning a lot about the correlation between fear and pain. Instead of being afraid of powerful contractions, I’m trying to focus on being grateful for them, because it means the baby is closer to being born.”

Fortunately, Olson — who is also intent on breastfeeding — and her husband Rob McElhenney‘s decision has been met with much love and support from close family and friends. That said, not everyone has jumped on board with their choice.

“The people who panic and think we are crazy are the ones who haven’t done any research themselves. I don’t blame them, though,” she notes.

“The United States has one of the highest complication, intervention, and infant fatality rates and we have our babies in hospitals. Your body knows what to do in a pregnancy that has no complications. If you numb yourself and block your uterus’ ability to communicate with your brain, then lay down on your back and work against gravity, that can, sometimes, cause problems.”

To find out what Olson did to prepare for breastfeeding, check out the full interview at Best for Babes.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News

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Showing 87 comments

ForeverMoore on

Best of luck to her that everything goes as planned…but all us mommies know that sometimes there are other unforeseen factors that blow those plans right out of the water! Congrats to them, can’t wait to know the name and see a pic!

harley on

Best of luck to her! I’m personally a fan of mixing both natural and Western medicine if possible lol. That’s why I’m opting for a birthing center attached to a hospital which allows me the control over how I have my child but affords me the “just in case” down the hall when the time comes for munchkins. It’s refreshing to see that she’s realistic about everything.

Megan on

“I decided on a homebirth because I believe that as long as a pregnancy is normal and complication-free, your body knows what to do, and does not need medical intervention”

“I think hospitals are amazing, valuable places, and I’m incredibly grateful to have access to Western medicine! I just don’t think that childbirth is a medical problem that needs intervention unless there is a complication”

Plenty of women have normal, fairly healthy pregnancy and randomly end up with complications during delivery. So you can’t go betting on that.

Jane on

I seemed to have ‘no complications’ during my third pregnancy; then was trying to push the baby out for 2 hours. I AM SOOO THANKFUL I WAS IN A HOSPITAL AND WOUND UP HAVING AN EMERGENCY C SECTION.. MY BABY WEIGHED 10 pounds and 8 oz. A friend of mine had a ‘home birth.’ I SAY HOSPITAL BIRTHS ALL THE WAY!! Mid Wives can be in a hospital, too!!

Ann on

Wow, she couldn’t be more right. Love this interview! Go very attractive couple I’ve never heard of!

torel233 on

Best of luck to her on her home birth, but they make me so nervous. I have had 2 “normal and complication free” pregnancies and both of my daughters ended up in the NICU immediately after birth. I was very glad that I was in a hospital when I gave birth so that my daughters could get the care that they needed immediately.

BTW – I love “Earth Mama Angel Baby” products – they are fantastic.

Katie on

Wow! I don’t think its wise to do a homebirth. May things can go wrong during delivery and being at home unlike a hospital puts mother and baby at a disadvantage. Dear friends of ours did a home birth and the baby got stuck in the birth canal. He ended up having mental retardation because they couldn’t get him out fast enough. The parents everyday wished they had him in the hospital because he was a completely healthy baby during pregnancy! Wow! Women are meant to have babies in hospitals! DON’T TAKE THAT RISK!!!!!!

Nikole on

I love It’s Always Sunny and I love hearing about these two! I wish her the best of luck during the birth. I hope she can have the homebirth she wants. I’m currently early into a pregnancy and after reading this it just really hit me that I’m going to have to go through delivery and make these choices too. Eek!

Courtney on

I had a homebirth 9 months ago for my fourth child, and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I only wish I’d done it earlier! My labor was faster and easier than when I had epidurals and Pitocin in the hospital with the other births, and going to sleep in my own bed that night made everything perfect.

I recommend that everyone at least consider that option. She’s very right that sometimes hospitals *cause* the problems (breaking your water too early, starting pitocin before it’s necessary, etc) and then end up having to fix them.

Kajay on

I so wish I had done home births. The hospital experience is cold, sterile and impersonal. It’s a horrible way to bring life into this world.

Kajay on

Good for her! The hospital birth experience is horrible!

Laura on

Each to their own… my stay in hospital was great. My Mum and Mother in law caught up on all my housework for me and I came home to a spic and span house! LOL

Ann on

I just shouldn’t read the comments on here because hearing people laud the safety of hospitals and say how unwise homebirth in makes me think that humanity is doomed. Plenty of women have complications in the hospital, caused by the hospital like epidural headaches and hospital-borne bacteria (no homebirthing mom has ever contracted MRSA!) Why would anyone think that it is smart to have your baby in a place where sick people are coughing up their germs? Hospital interventions like “pit-to-distress” and amniotic sac hooks and inductions at 38 weeks because the OB is going on vacation/mom is tired of being pregnant are much more dangerous than giving birth the way that women have since the beginning of time.

Unlike Kaitlin, I had difficulty conceiving and a few complications during my pregnancy (mostly caused by my then-American ideals of working 10 hours a day and eating a typical unhealthful American diet) and still had a healthy baby in a wonderful homebirth. When I had my second, I had completely revamped my life and ate organic, got more exercise, rested more, and had a much easier pregnancy and much faster delivery (in my bathtub!) I don’t want to hear that I was brave for “trying” to homebirth, nor do I want to hear that I was risking my baby’s life. Neither are true. I was just doing the normal and natural thing that my body was designed to do.

Shannon on

While I can respect each Mama’s righ to how they care for there child, she does come across a tad condescending. Especially the comments about people not doing their “research”. I had a completely normal and healthy pregnancy. My son even came five days before his due date, but nevertheless, he was born with the cord around his neck and muconeum (sp?) was present. My little guy started turning blue within a matter of seconds post delivery. Thank God for the NICU. They had him up to the NICU within minutes. I didn’t get to hold him until he was three hours old, but at least he got the immediate attention he needed and was healthy and could come home with me. Besides that, her comments about hypnobirthing, pain meds and what not, here what I have to say: best to say nothing until you’ve actually experienced child birth. You have no idea what its like until you are in the middle of it 🙂

alisonstrategy on

I have had 3 children – hospital birth, home birth & birth center… I understand the fundamentals of each & they were all great experiences with healthy outcomes. Along with having taught childbirth classes for 12 years & personally attending over 150 births as a Doula in a variety of settings – the most important thing I learned: There is no #1 perfect way or place to have a baby & everyone is entitled to their choices & opinions. Women choosing out-of-hospital births are well-aware of the potential need for medical intervention – they are not uninformed or careless. There are many safeguards in place for these deliveries. They also know that if a woman is respected, assisted & carefully monitored during delivery, she & her baby can have a great outcome no matter where the delivery occurs – even if they require an uncommon transfer to the hospital setting.

CF on

I have to add a comment, as the mom of a 2 week old baby girl. I also did hypnobirthing and had a natural birth center birth. All the way to 9.5 cm, I was in my hypnobirthing trance, not enjoying myself by any means, but very focused and relaxed. And then I stopped progressing. In a hospital, I would likely have had a c-section, but the midwives in the birth center told me I had to “wake up” from my hypno-state and push the baby out. They facilitated her moving into the birth canal by sitting with me for an hour and holding my cervix back. Then, 3 hours of horrible pushing later, she was born with the cord around her neck and facing up! I had a hemmorhage that required an immediate iv (I didn’t have one before nor a port) and a shot of pitocin and cytotec to stop the hemmorhage. I say all this because while I am so so so glad that we were in the center, that I didn’t have a c-section and that I got to experience the real power of hypno birthing up until I didn’t, I also learned quickly that no woman should ever ever ever question the decision another has made about the way they want to bring a life into the world. After hours of pushing, I was BEGGING for pain meds. At the birth center, hah, they don’t have them! (Part of why we chose to go there). If at the end of the day, you want pain medication, by all means, there is nothing weak about that and anyone who judges that, especially those who had a super easy delivery and.or have not had a baby, is totally absurd.

Heather on

Personally, home births scare the crap out of me, mainly because of what happened when our son was born. I had a normal pregnancy but while I was in labor his heart rate began to drop. It turned out the cord was around his neck. Luckily they got him out quickly and he had no lasting ill effects. While it may not have turned out this way, I firmly believe that if he had of been born at home, we might have lost him. A similar situation happened to a friend of mine. They chose to have their baby at home and he ended up being stillborn. Again, there’s no telling what might have happened if he was born in a hospital, but it might have turned out different if he was actively being monitored. I have no desire to potentially risk my child’s life simply to empower myself. I had an epidural with my first pregnancy and neither myself nor my child had side effects. My daughter was born quickly so I only had time for the nitrous gas. She was no more alert than my son was. It boils down to personal choice but my choice was to play it safe and be in a hospital for the birth of my children.

J on

That’s your choice Ann. Like Laura said, to each their own. Maybe you shouldn’t read the comments then if they depress you so much because a lot of women here as well as their babies are perfectly fine after hospital births. 🙂

SadieA on

I love Kaitlin Olson, I’m a huge fan of Always Sunny (and Curb!)

Shannon, I don’t think she was being condescending, I think it’s more of a defense mechanism. I think she probably has a bit of a chip on her shoulder after months of people looking at her like she’s crazy. And on the people who haven’t done their research, I don’t think she’s talking about other mothers, I think she’s referring more to the people who judge her without having ever been pregnant. If I had spent months researching and preparing for a homebirth and some young girl with no knowledge of childbirth told me I was crazy, I’d be frustrated too. It seems to me like she is just trying to defend her choice, but in doing so it comes across as more willful than she means for it to be. I think if she had been asked this question a few months ago, her answer would have been something like “I’ve decided to have a homebirth, I want it to be relaxing and comfortable.” But after months of having to defend her choice, she’s probably a little more spirited about it.

That being said, I wouldn’t ever have a homebirth myself, but I do like the idea of a birthing center.

One more thing, out of curiosity, does anyone remember if women were upset that Gisele gave birth at home? I wonder if there’s a difference in reaction to hearing that someone is planning a homebirth vs hearing that someone had a successful homebirth.

Nicole R. on

My healthy daughter was successfully born at home with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. It actually isn’t an emergency situation, although it sounds alarming. 🙂

Studies show that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck in 20% of births. (That’s for a 360-degree wrap; the cord goes around the neck more than one time in 5% of births.)

It is called a nuchal cord, the word “nuchal” having to do with the nape of the neck. It is associated with chemically induced and augmented labor; it can lead to prolonged pushing in labor and can cause fetal heart rate abnormalities.

But a nuchal cord is unlikely to cause complications and no intervention is recommended. It happens in 20% of births, and any midwife can handle it.

So I’m always disappointed when people say they were glad they didn’t have a homebirth because their kid would have died due to having a nuchal cord. If you yourself are happier giving birth in the hospital, then it’s the right place for you, but please don’t use erroneous statements to support your decision — scare tactics are not a productive form of debate.

CelebBabyLover on

Ann- Obviously Kaitlin knows how important monitoring is, because she said this, “I believe I’ll be most relaxed and feel safest in my home, with an amazing nurse-midwife monitoring the baby and me the entire time, of course.” So it sounds like she and her baby ARE going to be monitored during labor even though she’s having a homebirth.

CelebBabyLover on

Katie- Women are meant to have babies in hospitals? That’s news to me. Years ago, all babies were born at home, because hopsitals didn’t exist! And even after hospitals were created, it took several years before homebirths were no longer the most common type of birth!

So, in my opinion, women are meant to have babies without unneccesary medical intervention!

Laura on

Ok, so this sort of proves her point…. do the research, people! Approx 1/3 of babies are born with the cord around their neck! It’s not an automatic emergency. Yes, it can *in certain situations* be problematic, but it can also just be a variation of normal that is handled in a routine, non-dramatic fashion by any trained midwife. (They are also well-trained in how to handle meconium, which can occur regardless of birthplace but is often associated with the stress of inductions/augmentations, etc.)

Like someone else pointed out upthread, it’s a little backwards to give the hospitals “hero credits” for correcting a problem (usually with surgery or NICU) that was, in fact, the direct result of the way the birth was managed to begin with. Homebirth midwives are well-trained to oversee and facilitate births and transfer when appropriate. However, simply by not interfering unnecessarily with the birth process, they avoid many of the risks/domino effects that hospital OBs have to contend with. The risks of fetal distress, for example, are dramatically lower when one is not giving Pit/artifically rupturing membranes/starting an epidural/mandating mother into bed, etc.

Are people not familiar with the studies? Because the rsearch has been done time and again and definitively shows that homebirth is *just as safe, if not safer* for low-risk women than hospital birth. Statistics were tracked…. if it’s so inherently dangerous and if all these babies who were “rescued” in the hospital would truly have died at home (as I have heard so many moms contend), wouldn’t the stats show that? Where are all these babies that would have died? Because they don’t show up in the statistics.

mochababe73 on

I don’t mind what she said, but there’s a certain attitude that I sensed as she spoke about hospital births. I had both of my boys naturally in a hospital. Loved every minute of it. My husband and I watched basketball during the labor. He even ordered food and had it delivered (first one took almost 19 hours). After he was born, they cleaned me up and served me breakfast.

For me, I felt safe in the hospital. I had every relative known to man trying to convince me to get an epidural. I just did not want one. I am not afraid of needles, but that one scared me. My husband and I didn’t have a birth plan either. We just said we would play it by ear.

It’s all about what is comfortable for you, but I would have an obstetrician on call just in case. The one thing that we do know is that giving birth is unpredictable. Everyone is different and anything can happen.

Inge on

Funny that lots of women here dont like homebirths. In the Netherlands it is so normal to do a homebirth. Most woman do it at home.

Shelby on

Please check out Ryan’s blog. It chronicles the beautiful story of a home birth. Each is entitled to their opinions and neither way is wrong but it is important to explore both options and decide what is best your body and your baby. Mothers should be encouraging each other.


jessicad on

I don’t know this woman or the show, but she really seems down to earth and realistic about giving birth and I like that! I don’t think she meant any harm with the research comment. We are all comfortable with different things and some of us feel better in a hospital while others want to be home, nothing wrong with that.

I’ve told my labor story here many times so I won’t go into great detail, but I did research and fought for what I knew my body could do instead of the pointless c-section like my Dr told me I would absolutely need. The only complications I had were from the epidural and pitocin they gave me even though my water broke at home and I was at 6cm when I arrived at the hospital, but I still got the birth I wanted and plan to go completely natural next time. The c-section rate is at it’s highest right now and there are so many failed inductions, I think it’s great she’s telling women to listen to their bodies and do research, she’s right.

I hope everything goes as planned and can’t wait to hear her birth story!

Tina on

I applaud them for wanting to do everything naturally. However as the Mom of a baby who had shoulder dystocia. I pray that everything goes well for them. I had a completely normal pregnancy also but my DD got stuck in the birth canal. Her arm was broken during birth and she was in the ICU for a week after birth because she was having breathing issues. My husband and I both believe that had we been anywhere else she would have not survived. Good luck to this family and I really hope all goes well!

danni on

Maybe, we need to stop following the cult of celebrity. These people have no real medical knowledge. It’s her personal choice un til she goes to med school or trains as a midwife; she doesn’t have the knowledge to lamnet Western medicine. I bet a woman in a third world country would love to have medical care during her pregnancy.

danni on

US has high infant mortality rates because of drugs, drinking whlie pregnant, and lack of prenatal care. Anyone can look at a number. Also, women sometimes died from blood clots, which at times ( not always ) are influenced by the good ole pill.

Rikeia on

“If you numb yourself and block your uterus’ ability to communicate with your brain, then lay down on your back and work against gravity, that can, sometimes, cause problems.”

I think this is a very harsh and judgemental statement. Just because a woman has an epidural does not mean her uterus is not communicating with her brain. She makes it as if once you have the epidural you just lay there and everything happens for you. You are still very much apart of your labor. Most women don’t have compications throughout the pregnancy, the most dangerous part for mother and baby is the delivery. Each person is allowed to chose which is best for them but I don’t think it is fair to put down one birhting process to promote yours.

Mommyof4 on

All 3 of my pregnancies were complication free. I decided on a hospital birth. My first one, perfect vag delivery. My second (twins), perfect vag delivery. My third, a large baby that almost did not “fit” but other than that, perfect vag delivery. My question is what is done when the mother is having a homebirth and the baby is too large? I realize she needs to get to a hospital but how well is the baby monitored and at what point is the decision made “it is time to go to the hospital”? Homebirths fascinate me. I was too scared of pain to go through it though. LOL

MP on

“The people who panic and think we are crazy are the ones who haven’t done any research themselves. I don’t blame them, though,” she muses.

Do the research people!
Homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth, its been proven by research. Any research that says otherwise was funded by people making money on hospital birth.

this coming from a mom that had 2 homebirths after much researching and education on the subject.

Have your baby in the hospital if you are experiencing a high risk pregnancy, that is what hospital birth is for!

Midwives are qualified to handle emergency complications that might come up in a homebirth and can refer to a hospital if the need arises.

Nan on

I disliked my hospital birth experience, and would have loved either a baby-friendly birthing center, or a homebirth. But, I had pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes), and ended up with a complicated labor (precipitous labor with a baby in distress), so it’s just not an option for me 😦

Booyah on

It’s too bad that not all of us do research, like she has done. All women should be able to birth where they feel comfortable. It’s amazing to me how ignorant some people are to the dangers of hospital births and how homebirths are done, too. If you think that just because you are in a hospital you will have a live birth with the baby turning out 100% fine, then you are living in a dream world.

Go Kaitlin for standing up for yourself. This is the reason that so many families are quiet about their choice until after the birth, so they won’t have to constantly justify a perfectly legitimate choice.

tink1217 on

she sounds very idealistic to me and kudos for her aspirations. I do not begrudge anyone for wanting to have a great birth experience. trouble is…no matter how much research you do or how “complication free” your pregnancy is…that does not mean the birth will be. I read everything I could get my hands on when pregnant, asked my doctors a million questions. My first pregnancy was textbook perfect…my labor and delivery were not. And I do not believe it had anything to do with being in a hospital. My water broke early on, I did not dilate very well, pitocin was not started right away, only after 5 hours of no progression although I was contracting well. I got to 5cm after 12 hours and was exhausted. They did not push an epidural or pain meds on me, they were very supportive. After 22 hours, 5 cm, water broken a long time, a fever, my baby being sunny side up and slightly crooked and not pressing on the birth canal efficiently I had an emergency csection. My baby girl was in the NICU for 4 days on antibiotics and although I had a hard recovery I am so glad I was in the hospital when all this happened. If I had been at home I would have panicked. She weighed 8lbs 5oz and my doctor said it would have been hard for me to have her natural. My body just didn’t “give” the way it should have. My 2nd child was estimated over 9 pounds, they were only 18 months apart and after considering a VBAC I erred on the side of caution and scheduled a csection. I did not want to take the chance of uterine rupture. I am glad I did too because he was 10lbs 2oz.

Birth should be a good experience for everyone involved…true. BUT…it should also be safe. I know home births can be safe and wonderful, but not every woman can or should have one. Not every woman’s body does what it is supposed to do…and it is nobody’s fault…it is nature. Sometimes nature does what it should, sometimes it doesn’t. I hate when people generalize with births. It’s great if you get to have the birth experience you dream of but if you don’t…let’s not beat ourselves up over it. The main objective are…healthy baby and healthy mom! If that happens in the end…it doesn’t matter where or how you give birth…it is a personal choice and no one way is right or wrong.

April on

Although I can understand the desire to have a birth at home where you feel so comfortable I think it is showing lack of responsibility in making sure there is quick intervention if something turns terribly wrong. I too had a perfect pregnancy and fast first 4 hours of labor but thankfully I did choose to be in the hospital because without any warning at all I had a complete placental abruption and with the fast moving nurses & Dr’s he was delivered via C-sec in just 9 minutes (albeit flatlined) and able to be resuscitated. I just can’t imagine the turmoil I would have if I had chose to be at home and didn’t have this wonderful 10 year old boy because of that choice, that is if I survived it.

Megan on

I’m not interested in home birth to feel empowered- I’m trying to protect myself and my baby.

People are so quick to talk about the risk of home birth but hospital birth carries plenty of risks! The doctors barely gloss over the many risks of inductions and c-sections. But they are quick to tell you the risks of VBAC and home birth.

The U.S. has the second worst fetal mortality rate in the developed world. We are ranked 41st for maternal mortality. Home births make up 1% of births in the U.S.- almost all births take place in the hospital and look how poorly we rank!!!!!!! Countries where 1/3 or more of all births take place at home RANK HIGHER than us for fetal/maternal mortality.

The maternal death rate in California has TRIPLED in the last ten years!

Do your research. We are overusing medical technology in birth to the point where we are moving backwards to a time when birth was extremely dangerous for mothers and babies.

Home is the best option for low risk moms to avoid unneccesary interventions that pose a risk to their health and the health of their babies.

April on

and before anyone jumps on the hospital caused it. I just had a fast & hard labor naturally with my first baby. I had contractions 5 minutes apart with the very first contraction and was a minute apart within an hour and 15 seconds in between by 2-3 hours. Within 4 hours I had dialated to 6 cm at the time of the abruption (remember this was my very 1st). Labor patterns can not be predicted during pregnancy no matter how ideal it has been. Midwives can be with you in the hospital for a fantastic support system and you can have a say in what you receive if you research Dr’s and Hospitals. What you can do there but not anywhere else is get immediate access to an OR except at a hospital. Even then they had to get permission from my husband to do the surgery. I still feel empowered by knowing I have a beautiful son and don’t need ,nor should anyone else, a certain enviroment to feel that empowerment. It should always just come from within not from something outward.

Anonymous on

The biggest problem I have with hospital births is that most ob’s and even hospital midwives have rarely seen a “normal” labor and delivery. Meaning not augmented with drugs after being admitted to the hospital, meaning not being induced, meaning not administering drugs PERIOD.
Most hospitals follow a strict protocol as well, and even if a mom comes into the hospital after going into labor on her own, she may be stalled due to procedures, etc.
When you are pregnant, ask your care provider these questions:
What percentage of your patients are induced?
What percentage of your induced patients have complications?
What percentage of your induced patients have c-sections?
What percentage of your patients go into labor on their own and have a drug free, non augmented delivery?
Unfortunately I don’t think they’ve seen enough of a “normal” delivery to know what the outcomes can be.
Yes a complication can happen in any situation, but let’s pull out the stops and see what the stats REALLY are.

Lorelei on

I think it’s wonderful that she has done her research, feels comfortable with her midwife and made the best decision for her and her baby. I’m sure every precaution has been taken that could be. Although it would not be my choice I respect her decision. I hope she has a safe and healthy delivery.

I do disagree with the following statement made by a commenter.
“US has high infant mortality rates because of drugs, drinking whlie pregnant, and lack of prenatal care. Anyone can look at a number. Also, women sometimes died from blood clots, which at times ( not always ) are influenced by the good ole pill.”

Many studies show the high infant mortality rate is due to several issues including the following:
-measures being used to save super preemies that aren’t done in other countries.
-fertility methods creating higher level multiples with an inherent risk.
-The way infant deaths are reported may differ greatly.

There’s so much more then lack of prenatal care and drugs and drinking. You need to compare apples to apples to get a true picture.

hayley on

i really hope she has the birth she wants, because as all those who have been there and done it you no having babies is not black and white or stright forward as you can hope.

i have said before i am a midwife in the uk and think my hospital where i work is the best place to have your baby but i understand why women want to be at home,

myself, well if i had been at home i would have died, and my baby along with me so i am glad for all the medical help i recived and women that come to see me after a failed home birth are just thankful we are here to get the babies out.

good luck to her, i truly truly hope i goes well,

sorry for the spellin ladies jsut come off a veryyyy long shift , loads of lubly babies born 🙂

Luna on

Personally, I had all five of my children in a hospital. I didn’t even know about the advantages of homebirthing (which sounds ignorant but is true). I am KICKING MYSELF that I didn’t even consider having my kids at home. Most likely my first would have been born in a hospital, because he was my first. The next pregnancy was twins, and yes I would have erred for a hospital then too. But my third daughter and my youngest son, I would have had at home, had I even thought about it. I’d always associated homebirths with things going wrong and having the baby at home last minute or not being close enough to get to a hospital. Since researching, I’ve realized how TOTALLY WRONG I was. I feel that I cheated myself of a wonderful birthing experience.

Fifi on

@Anonymous – In line with what you said about many hospitals not knowing what an unaugmented birth looks like, when I was admitted to the hospital, the nurses asked if I wanted my epidural, when I said, “no, I’m not using one,” they replied with, “no one EVER goes without some kind of medication.” This from an older, veteran OB nurse who has witnessed who-knows how many deliveries. They didn’t think it could even be done. When I delivered sans medication, I was the talk of the L&D ward for my entire stay there, “Oh! you’re the woman who went without meds! Wow!” Crazy.

SadieA on

Fifi, how long ago was that? It seems like more and more women are embracing natural childbirth. I don’t know if it’s really the case, but it seems to be much more common today than it was even 15 years ago.

Minami86 on

I wonder what bashers of home births think women did before hospitals or if their town didnt have one…

I’ve seen many home births with good & bad results & I’m not speaking against it but I also understand what pro-hospital births moms are saying too. When I was born, the cord was around my neck too & I had my hand wrapped around it. I was ok but if I wasnt in the hospital, they wouldnt have known that. You dont always need a c-section with cord issues, but it’s good to have medical pros on standby. Mom said they just hooked her up to oxygen to help the both of us.

I feel it’s a personal choice. Many birthing centers are adjacent to hospitals or you can give birth naturally in a hospital. I was watching a special where a woman had a natural water birth in a hospital with her midwife & a team of nurses.

KC on

I cant’ believe all the people saying home births are dangerous. I was born at home 23 years ago and according to my mom it was far and away the best of her 3 birth experiences. My older brother and sister were both born in the hospital and their births both went fine, but my mom found the home birth to be most relaxing and stress-free. Our family doctor was there with a nurse so everything was totally monitored.

I am glad my mom chose to have me at home because I feel like it was more special (esp. since we had it on video). Even as a toddler and kid I was proud of my birth and loved to reenact births, which sounds weird, but I swear I turned out normal. Birth is totally natural and I would seriously consider having one myself when the time comes depending on circumstances.

meghan on

I think she has done a bit more research than watching Ricki Lake’s documentary. That is incredibly condescending to say that Kaitlin isn’t taking the healthy delivery of her child seriously and focusing on her own empowerment. She has obviously considered her options, factored the circumstances of her pregnancy and made the best choice for herself and her son, while staying aware of the fact that she may not get to have the exact birthing experience that she wants. I wish Kaitlin, Rob and their little boy the best of luck and I applaud Kaitlin for considering the situation so carefully.

annie on

It seems like so many comments about birth and breastfeeding come from a place of defensiveness.

Can’t we all accept that we made the best decisions for ourselves and our child and encourage other women to do the same? Why bash other women who choose hospital or home births as misguided, uninformed, etc.? It would be so refreshing to read the comments and find women being encouraging and hopeful for each other rather than complaining, accusing, and defending our choices as better than others.

Shannon on

As long as the baby comes out healthy who cares? Motherhood is not a competition. Sheesh.

Fifi on

@SadieA – it was only 16-months ago, haha! But, I admittedly live in an area that is a little “behind” when it comes to the “natural” movement stuff. Everyone I knew thought I was nuts for doing it med-free. I actually don’t know anyone else whose done it without the epi in real life, except my mom and MIL.

Marisela on

Shannon, very wise words.

She is entitled to have whatever birthing experience she wants. If having a homebirth is not for you, guess what? Don’t have one. Making judgments when you’re not educated about all the facts makes you look foolish. She and her husband have obviously been working very closely with her midwife, assessing a birth plan that works for them.

Also, whatever did women do before hospitals existed?

Kate on

I would be fine birthing in the hospital as long as there were no pitocin, forceps, vacuums, coached pushing, and episiotomies involved. The amount of harmful interventions forced on women doesn’t make me feel safe delivering in a hospital. Under no circumstances would I consent to being cut and sewn up down there. I’ll stick to a nice warm birthing pool.

On another note, I find Hypnobabies a more complete course than Hypnobirthing.

Moore on

This is about delivering a child where the mother feels most comfortable and if that happens to be at home (where it is quite possible to have sufficient medical intervention) then great. If its not for you then you can go to the hospital for intervention and thats great too. It’s not up to anyone else but the mother and she should not have to defend your choice of birthplace because other people don’t understand the motivation behind the decision whichever it might be.

As far as homebirths and hospital births go, do your research. Plenty of people spout out “facts” that don’t hold up to the research. Hospitals aren’t always the greatest (50% c-section rate here at one hospital) and homebirths aren’t for everyone. Educate yourself on your birth choice and leave other people’s choices out of it.

Loralee on


while homebirth are associated with lower rates of maternal intervention, there’s higher neonatal death. just fyi, cause you know, she’s not really a medical doctor.

SadieA on

Ann, the risks of homebirth exist solely because the woman is giving birth at home rather than a hospital. What you call complications of hospital births are actually the risks associated with elective procedures (induction, epidurals, elective c sections.) A mother can choose natural child birth in a hospital.

Unfortunately, avoiding a hospital birth does not guarantee you’ll avoid hospital bacteria. Just recently, Katy Hayes of Kingwood, TX contracted two types of Group A Streptococcal disease (one flesh-eating & the other destroys organs) within days of her homebirth. Both of her legs & arms had to be amputated & they had to remove her decaying reproductive organs & colon.

SadieA on

I think it should also be pointed out that we all live in different areas which may shade our opinions. A homebirth in rural Oklahoma is a lot different than one in a large city or the suburbs. My mom had my younger brother at home, but we lived in the suburbs and the closest hospital was three minutes away.

Elisabeth on

Getting so sick of this “natural is always safe and always better” trend, usually paired with a holier than thou attitude. It’s manifesting itself everywhere, but especially with mothers and their perception of what’s good and healthy.

CelebBabyLover said: “Katie- Women are meant to have babies in hospitals? That’s news to me. Years ago, all babies were born at home, because hopsitals didn’t exist!”

It’s silly to say what women where women were “meant” to have babies in a particular place, either at home or in hospitals. Looking into history for the most “natural” way to birth a human baby isn’t very helpful, unless you think we should start giving birth in caves again.

ecl on

Are women not even allowed to talk anymore? She reported on her feelings about birth and her birth plan. What’s wrong with that? Are people so insecure that you need to rip her plan apart to make you feel better about your own birthing experiences? I gave birth in a hospital with an epidural. Guess what? I could care less how she is planning on giving birth. Just because she gives birth one way doesn’t mean I have to or that my choice was bad. Good for her for doing what she feels comfortable with, especially since there is plenty of evidence to back up her point of view. While I think it is good that there is discussion over these issues, my sense is that people seem very rigid in what is good/bad annd intent using their own experiences to justify their opinions. Guess what? A sample size of 1 means nothing. Just because you had one experience does not make it the norm. There should be nothing but support for a woman making an informed decision.

Marisela on

Elisabeth, than ignore it and have your baby in a hospital. That said, there’s no reason to get upset about what others think is best for their children. It doesn’t concern you one bit.

CelebBabyLover on

Elisabeth- I don’t think anyone is saying that natural/home birth is ALWAYS safe or ALWAYS better than an assisted/medicated/hospital birth, just that it CAN be. Also, on the flip-side, I think most of us are just trying to point out that are risks to giving birth in a hospital, too!

Elisabeth on

“That said, there’s no reason to get upset about what others think is best for their children. It doesn’t concern you one bit.”

It does concern me when the “natural is best” mantra extends to other medical issues, like vaccination. That’s the root of what we’re talking about here: a distrust of modern medicine and a deep seated belief that given a choice between natural and synthetic, natural is always superior. Sometimes it can be, but not always.

CelebBabyLover – likewise, my comment about people believing that natural is always best was a general statement about the belief people many people seem to hold nowadays, not concerning birth specifically. Many people do believe that natural is safe when it comes to food, supplements, etc.

SadieA on

Elisabeth: “Looking into history for the most “natural” way to birth a human baby isn’t very helpful, unless you think we should start giving birth in caves again.”


The argument that homebirth is best because historically women have given birth at home holds no merit in my opinion. I’m not referring to any specific comment here, but I’ve heard people argue that women used to do it all the time, so why can’t we now? The complications and problems of those childbirths are the reason obstetrics has progressed and developed over time. The need for more advanced medical care is why we have hospitals.

Obviously convenience and comfort has also driven innovation, (epidurals, elective c sections) but I don’t see how disagreement with those procedures justifies homebirth. The doctor isn’t going to sneak an unnecessary c section or epidural, and saying that a mother may be forced into one is ridiculous. Are we completely devoid of responsibility in the situation? If a mother wants a natural childbirth it is up to her to stand her ground.

I’m not opposed to women having a homebirth, but using US IMR, the prevalence (& risk) of elective procedures in hospitals, or past norms to justify it bothers me. The only legitimate reasoning I’ve heard for homebirth is that the mother prefers the experience to that of the hospital, and I know cost can also be a factor.

Fifi on

CelebBabyLover – You said what I was about to say 😉 No one is saying that “natural” is ALWAYS better. There are times where it may be, and others where it’s not.

Also, SadieA really made an excellent point, that it really does depend on where you are. As I mentioned, where I live, NO ONE goes without an epidural. When a woman goes into labor around here, she checks in and immediately gets the epi. There is no question. It’s her birth plan. But, I live in a place where breastfeeding, baby-wearing, organic diets, and cloth diapering are all considered unusual, to varying degrees. So, around here, an unmedicated labor is odd. People don’t understand why someone would want to do it. I have to say, personally, my biggest reason for going with out the epidural was because I didn’t want a needle near my spine, and I didn’t want a catheter. Also, I was afraid of a spinal headache. But, that’s me.

I now can see the appeal of a home birth, although it was the most appealing option to me with #1. I was not in a “baby friendly” hospital, so they discouraged rooming-in, limited the amount of time I was able to breastfeed, etc. I would love to not have to deal with that again. But, the biggest thing I’d like with a second child, is to be able to hurry home to be with my first child, too. For everyone to be together as a family. Plus, I had a really fast birth with #1 and worry that I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time with a second (the hospital is 30 minutes away, the only birthing center in the area is nearly an hour away).

Anyway, I think women should be allowed to TRY for the birth experience they desire without people poo-pooing it.

amyelizabethsmith on

I have done an immense amount of research and plan to have my first child at home in two weeks-ish. Fear and pain do coincide! And I will always know that there is a great hospital 20 minutes away in case of an emergency. (But birth, in itself, is not an emergency, it is a natural, normal process!)

I just blogged about it and will next post my emergency hospital birth plan: http://amyelizabethsmith.wordpress.com/

gdfg on

“I just don’t think that childbirth is a medical problem that needs intervention unless there is a complication”

Ok, so how do you know whether or not there’s going to be a complication until the baby is born?

Bo on

I’m baffled when people claim that childbirth is as safe and healthy as getting a tooth extracted. Less than a century ago, when all women gave birth at home (“the way they are meant to be”), stillborns or dying in childbirth was a common occurrence. And The Netherlands, one of the countries with more homebirths, has one of the highest child mortality rates in the European Union (of course it’s still low in comparison to developing countries).
It’s perfectly possible to have a “natural”, drugfree birth in a safe hospital environment. Considering all the things than can go wrong, giving birth at home is a pretty risky (and I daresay selfish) option for both the baby and the mother, unless you live next door to a hospital.

KayeT on

Why to people act like midwives just walk in off the street with no training or equipment. Midwives go through years of training and all midwives undergo supervised practical placements. All the equipment one finds in a birth center, a midwife has with him/her at a home birth, i.e. oxygen, doppler, pitocin for PPH, saline IV for dehydration, etc. If you were in a hospital you have 1 midwife who only checks on you occasionally. During a homebirth you have at least two midwives with you at all times – and they often call in back-up for the birth.

I personally would prefer to be at a hospital in case of an emergency, but I honestly do not want a doctor coming anywhere near me unless there is a genuine emergency. Labour is different from woman to woman, how can they establish rules and time limits? Yes, pitocin is a naturally produced hormone, but the doses often given during inductions, can cause the baby (and the mother) extreme distress. If a woman is in too much pain, she stops dilating from the stress and tension. Disregarding c-sections due to abnormality or a pre-existing condition, a great majority are due to failure to progress. This can be because of a failed induction that puts either the baby or mother (or both) into distress.

Other times baby’s head is not pushing against the cervix properly and so the cervix does not dilate – this can also happen during induction. If the baby is not engaged and one induces, the baby isn’t always able to assume the correct position – the result, a c-section. It is well known that induced contractions are generally more intense and painful than natural contractions. So, some women may opt (understandably of course) to have an epidural early in labour. Now they must lie flat on their backs. The baby cannot press against the cervix properly (gravity aids this process) – the result, a c-section. If the body is not ready, and unless the situation is life threatening, doctors should not induce. More often than not it fails and results in far more complications than waiting a few more days (and being periodically monitored) would have.

I’m afraid of having a doctor waltz into the room and take over. Midwives are trained to completely handle normal births. In fact, as a public patient, if your birth is routine, a midwife is likely to deliver you. They have trained solely on assisting women through labour and delivering babies naturally. Doctor’s are used to dealing with deviations from the normal healthy state. They treat birth and women like we were not designed for it. Of course, there are doctors who appreciate the natural state and don’t like interfering unless necessary, but they can be hard to find.

I feel that many women, who chose to have a home-birth, would have a hospital birth if they could feel safe there and be able to be in control of their labours. I’m hoping that the medical interventionist attitude is just a phase, and soon they will realize that a c-section rate over 30% when the World Health Organisation recommends a c-section rate of 10% or less, is mostly due to their improper view of birth as a medical condition, rather than a natural part of life.

Sorry for the rant/ essay.

gdfg on

“I cant’ believe all the people saying home births are dangerous. I was born at home 23 years ago and according to my mom it was far and away the best of her 3 birth experiences.”

Well I guess since you were born without complications then homebirths must NOT be dangerous.

brannon on

Defensiveness indeed. Fact is – complications can happen anywhere. That is the definition of complication. Did my research, great mid-wife, birthing center, natural, etc. 24 hours of labor. Healthy baby. Two minutes after he was out I hemmoraged and my mid-wife couldn’t handle it. I had to be rushed to surgery in the hospital next door and the doctors there saved my life. Does this mean I am against homebirths? Of course not. I thought about it too and am obviously glad I chose the birthing center; however, I am also glad it was my choice. To each their own but seriously, stop competing and making everyone feel bad for their personal choices. As a RESEARCHER, I can guarantee you that research on both sides of every argument exists. What it should come down to is where you will feel most comfortable.

CelebBabyLover on

gdfg- Like KayeT said, it’s not like midwives don’t have the equipment or experience to intervene if neccesary. No, they obviously can’t do everything that could be done in a hospital, but there are quite a few things they ARE able to do if something goes wrong during labor or birth.

And another thing any good midwife is going to know…..when it’s neccesary to transfer to a hospital.

Also, like other posters have said, research has shown that, for low-risk women, homebirth is just as safe as, if not safer than, hospital birth.

ecl on

SadieA – Yes, doctors are performing medically unnecessary c-sections. They are afraid of lawsuits so they jump to them faster than they would otherwise. If a doctor recommends a c-section, who is going to say no? You say mothers have to resist, but how? They have no medical knowledge. They have to go along for the ride. Besides, if they do something against medical advice, their insurance can choose not to cover them if something goes wrong. So please don’t ask a laboring mother to take responsibility for a problem that is caused by a whole messed up system.

Jennifer on

Great interview. Very well said, you can tell how much research has been put into her choice.

Way to go for choosing a homebirth!! Good luck on your journey!! (from one doula/homebirther to another soon to be homebirther :))

gdfg on

“No, they obviously can’t do everything that could be done in a hospita . . .”

That’s exactly my point . . .

And yes, they transfer them to a hospital if need be, but wouldn’t it be better if they were already at the hospital? Sometimes the ten minute drive to the hospital is ten minutes too long to save the baby / mother.

And I would love to see these statistics that claim home births are safer. Any statistics I have ever seen show hospital births to have a lower mother and infant mortality rate.

CelebBabyLover on

gdfg- Well, here you go. Take a look at the third paragraph: http://www.gentlebirth.org/ronnie/homesafe.html#safety

CelebBabyLover on

brannon- I think yours is the best post I’ve seen on this thread so far!

Savannah on

@ Nicole R: A nuchal cord isn’t “associated with chemically induced and augmented labor; it can lead to prolonged pushing in labor and can cause fetal heart rate abnormalities”. Nuchal cords are the result of the baby moving in utero, and are often seen on ultrasound prior to the onset of natural, induced, or augmented labor, not caused by chemically induced or augmented labor.

aja1223 on

Most of my friends have had their babies in hospitals- allowed themselves to be induced (for no reason then being past their “due date” which is NOT a magic date like women are fooled into believing it it), pitocin, epidural, followed by fetal distress, and C-section. I practiced hypnobirthing, arrived at the hospital at 9cm, and proceeded to have to convince the hospital to check me in because I was so calm! I nearly had the baby in Triage. Instead I calmy pushed out a healthy baby in 30 minutes with no medicine and no complications. The nurses and my OB had never seen such a thing. It’s because we’re brainwashed in America to believe medical interventions are the only safe way to birth, even though they often cause more problems than they fix.

I am now 35 weeks pregnant with my second and planning a homebirth. Midwives carry all supplies to a homebirth that are needed except pain relief (epidurals, etc). If some complication arises, midwives are trained to anticipate them and get to the nearest hospital (in my case, 5 minutes away) quickly. I am not at all nervous. Birth is a normal process of life, not brain surgery.

Becky on

Absolutely love that show! They are hilarious! Congrats on the baby boy. As long as the baby is born in this world happy and healthy, then have it at home or hospital. I had to have a C section with my boy and had a wonderful experience with my doctors and the hospital. No one is going to win any argument about home vs hospital births so stop trying. Do what you feel is best for YOU and your baby. Atleast she has put research into it and isn’t doing it because it’s some stupid celebrity fad. I don’t think anyone gets “brainwashed” like another post said. But after reading several posts on here, it’s clear that there are IDIOTS on both sides of the argument. There are risks and complications with anything in life. That’s where FAITH IN GOD comes in which unfortunately seems to be forgotten about these days.

JDA on

I think it is wonderful when people can opt for and follow through with as natural as a birth plan as possible, and I agree that the less the medical intervention along the way, the better for mom and baby. But it is condescending and shallow to claim that it is only people who haven’t done the research on birthing who are skeptical of a home birth choice. I read every shred of information from every perspective that I could get my hands on about delivery throughout my whole pregnancy. I have also spent many of my recent years in a developing country, where I have met many women who tragically lost their babies in or shortly after birth because they did not have access to the same resources and interventions that we do. I am tired of people painting western doctors and caregivers as some evil conspirators to muck up our birth processes; the doctors and nurses who cared for me during my delivery were committed to the health of me and my baby, and I’m thankful for when they took actions they needed to. After dangerously more than 3 hours in the birth canal, when they realized my DD had flipped at the last moment and was coming out face up, they were able to help me get her out with some extra pitocin and suction (and I had no epidural at this point ‘numbing’ communication between my brain and uterus). I am so grateful, recognizing fully that not so many decades ago (or continents away) she and I could have both died or suffered other severe consequences. Let’s all make the most informed decisions we can, and be careful not to judge others if their research, information and experience leads them to different experiences.

Kirsty on

In the UK under the National Health Service you’re only seen by midwives (unless you have a complication during pregnancy) and then most babies are delivered by midwives. You have the choice of a hospital or a midwife-led delivery unit but doctors are not part of the equation unless there is a complication. “Pregnancy is not a medical condition or an illness” is the mantra over here and it is interesting how differently Brits view pregnancy from Americans. With no insurance companies involved (maternity care and delivery is one of the largest money makers for all hospitals in the US)here there is no mandatory time to stay in the hospital and “medical intervention” is minimal. The C section rates are much lower and the maternal mortality rate is lower as well. They don’t induce until you are atleast 10 days overdue and each health board has its own policy. Just a different perspective.

mc on

As a labor and delivery nurse in one of the busiest hospitals in the US, I have seen everything possible that has anything to do with labor and delivery. We have midwives and doctors that work together ensuring that the patients (mom and baby) stay safe and healthy. We have plenty of nurses and midvives that deliver at the hospital, birthing center, or at home even knowing everything, knowing all the complications that can occur. I believe we are probably the most educated about the labor and delivery process and LOOK we do some of everything. That’s the great thing about being an adult and living in the US, we have options.

Elisabeth on

“gdfg- Well, here you go. Take a look at the third paragraph: http://www.gentlebirth.org/ronnie/homesafe.html#safety

CelebBabyLover, that article is a meta-analysis of observational studies conducted in 1997 (the author says in her article “some differences may be partly due to bias”) and a total of almost 25,000 infants were studied.

There have been plenty of more recent reviews that conclude planned home births are associated with significant risk to the infant (take this one, for example – “Less medical intervention during planned home birth is associated with a tripling of the neonatal mortality rate.” And that study used data from 342,056 planned home and 207,551 planned hospital deliveries.)

MiB on

Thank you KayeT and aya1223! I was waiting for this comment! There is a huge difference between delivery at home 100 years ago or in a third world country and delivering at home in a western country today. Mothers to be in a third world country have hardly ever had any maternal care at all, many have pre existing conditions (like malaria, malnutrition, or being circumsized) and their “help” consists of women who have had children before them, some of them have no knowledge of basic sanitation (like washing their hands or using strilized blades to cut the umbillical cord), some practise dangerous methods (like using a paste of tabcco to stop bleeding).

About 10 years ago unicef started handing out basic care packages to every pregnant women they saw in third world countries, the packages consisted of a plastic bag containing a piece of soap, a piece of string and a clean razor blade and saved the life of millions of indants and mothers around the world. Another group has started educational projects in India, Bangladesh and Nepal (If memory serves me correctly) where they educate women in topics like hygiene in child birth, infant resusitation, birthing positions to change the position of the baby, and this has considerably lowered the maternal and infant death rate in the project areas (unfortunately they had to stop the project due to lack of funding).

Kaitlin Olson and other women who give birth at home in the western world give birth under totally different circumstances. At least were I come from midwifes are certified nurses with 1-2 years of additional training in midwifery and have to practice midwifery for 5 years before they are allowed to attend home births alone. They are also trained to look for any signs that could indicate any problems for mother or child and respond accordingly, icluding arranging a tranfer to hospital if needed.

I know several women who have given birth at home, and several women who would have liked to but couldn’t due to health reasons or because they lived to far away from a hospital with a maternity ward. A midwife friend of mine always says that the more relaxed (and less stressed) the mother is, the less the risk that something will go wrong at birth whether she gives birth at home or in a hospital. But then, like Kirsty, where I come from babies are delivered by midwives, not doctors, unless there is a complication.

fan on

cant wait to see what their little d.b is gonna looks like

Songwriter Mamma on

Wow- I’m so amazed that most of the women posting are so fearful of giving birth. How in the hell do you think we survived as a species for so long? You do realize that birth in a hospital setting is only very recent (in the past 60 years). Look at the statistics, too. The US has some of the worst statistics for maternal mortality of the developed world…we also have the most interventions in the hospital setting. There’s a connection there.

Home birth is the way to go IF you have an experienced and trained midwife. Most of the doctors in the hospitals are so ‘out of touch’ (literally), when it comes to treating pregnant woman hands on. Instead of feeling the body and reading it and the baby for cues, they rely heavily on machines, which have the possibility of breaking. I prefer a midwife, not a machine.

I agree with MiB completely.

Hannah on

I think its great she opted for a homebirth because that is what she wanted to do. Everyone who thinks it is not a good choice because its so dangerous should look into it further, really research before you judge. I work in the medical field and have experienced childbirth-my son was an emergency c-section and am glad I had that intervention available to me, though it still would have been available had I been at home. Home births with practiced midwives have protocols they follow if something goes wrong. Yes, things can go wrong at home, but things can also go wrong in the hospital. Birth should be whatever the woman feels comfortable with whether it be at home in her bathtub or in the hospital with an epidural. There is no “right” way to have a baby.