Easy one this one.
I have been a military spouse for nearly 5 years now and this is something I have unexpectedly come across. It isn't always random people saying so either. I have heard that you're not allowed from health care professionals, housings officers, welfare officers, consultants. But it isn't true. You are indeed allowed a home birth in military quarters. Follow the rule of thumb, if you can have sex there, you can birth there! My youngest two children were born in the same quarter, one with a pool, and one without.
Just in case you are met with this nonsense, here are some rebuttals you can use:
"The houses aren't insured for a home birth"
Neither are regular civilian houses. You don't need a specific type of insurance, nothing stops you filling a paddling pool indoors that might accidentally burst. But also, birth pools (that is if you're using one) are made to be strong and sturdy, much longer lasting than paddling pools.
"Midwives won't be able to get to you".
Why the heck not? Even if you are behind the wire, midwives can get to you. If you are behind the wire, speak to your welfare officer and they will ensure that the midwives have a pass and therefore can be let on in order to attend your birth. And if you are not behind the wire, it is no different to midwives attending a civilian birth.
"The housing officer can say no if they think it's dangerous".
On a daily basis there are things that happen in houses that are far more dangerous that birth, so this seems ridiculous. But even if it was really more dangerous than a hospital birth (which it isn't) no one can tell you what you can and can't do within you own home. And whilst your name is on that lease, it is your home.
"The neighbours might talk and will hear you".
You got me on this one! They likely will, but when do they not?! And I'm sure this applies to every sort of living situation. For neighbours of any kind I recommend giving them a heads up if you can talk to them so they don't freak out if they hear mooing!
Truth of it is, the military can't own your birth, and you have just as much a right to home birth as anyone else.
Want to get in touch and share your story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!