Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
01/08/2013 at 09:46
I had a terrible hospital experience (back in the 90's!!) and at 14 days overdue I left in an exhausted strop and demanded to be admitted elsewhere, where - to be fair - they were wonderful and it was all rainbows and puppies...
So I would like to aim for a home birth.
Any strong thoughts/opinions/experiences about home births, either for or against?
01/08/2013 at 10:18
I'm hoping to have a homebirth with my first... as it's my first, my choice doesn't stem from a previously poor experience, it just seems normal to me.
I've birthed a lot of animals (mainly sheep and horses!) and everything I have been taught about them applies to humans - the easiest, most peaceful births are usually in the dark, in a quiet, familiar, safe place, no bright lights, no noise, limited number of people, and staying as hands-off as possible. As an animal midwife, you observe from the sidelines - carefully - and you go in to help if needed - all the while staying calm and quiet.
To me, this is all possible at home. It is not possible in a hospital - there are bright lights, people coming and going, MWs changing shifts, consultants popping in, even people coming in - perfectly well meaning - to offer food or drink... but it is all interruption that will shut down or postpone the normal pattern of labour and birth. How often do you hear of women contracting away at home, they go into hospital and with the change of environment things slow down?
For me, my baby's safety is the most important aspect so I am only happy trying a hb knowing that I live 20 mins drive from the hospital, and I am at peace with the fact I will transfer if my MWs advise it. My second best choice would be a midwife led unit (where much of the above is possible) but our closest MLU is actually an hour from the hospital, so I have less transfer time from home in an emergency so feel that my baby and I will be safest at home.
I'm really excited about labour and birth. I'm starting hypnobirth sessions next week and have ordered a birthing pool. Even if I transfer, I hope to mainly labour at home and I know it's going to be amazing.
01/08/2013 at 10:19
I had a home birth for my first, it was amazing, I loved it! Planning a home birth this time round too bar medical necessity (breech etc). I bought a pool and used that, it was so relaxing and really helped with pain relief.
01/08/2013 at 11:13
I am hoping to give birth in a midwife-led unit, providing no complications.
I love the idea of a home birth for the reasons that Mrs 50s stated but my H really wasn't comfortable with it because this is our first and he's nervous about what to expect with the whole birth experience anyway. I don't want him to be anxious so we've agreed to try for a water birth in the MLU. I'm hoping that this will provide a tranquil, home from home environment (at least that's what the hospital's website is promising!)
Again, like Mrs 50s said, consider how far away you live from the hospital should you require medical assistance that can't be provided from home. And speak to your midwife about your choice and your past experiences, hopefully she will be supportive.
I'm doing a tour of our MLU next week so it might be worth exploring this as well just so that you know what your options look like?
Just read this back and I hope it doesn't come across like I'm trying to talk you out of it, I think HBs sound like a wonderful experience so I hope it works out for you x
01/08/2013 at 11:50
No it's a no from me, I'd rather have immediate access to medical staff who could get baby out in a matter of minutes rather than having to transfer as an emergency. But I know a fair few people who have had good hb experiences
01/08/2013 at 11:54
I feel the same as CP, and also don't fancy making a mess in my own home ha ha! My friend loved hers though and said the nicest thing was not being separated at all - as there was no hospital stay she wasn't away from her H and other LOs overnight.
Had a lovely homebirth with my 1st and planning the same for my 2nd :-). I think hospitals are for sick and giving birth is not an illness!
01/08/2013 at 12:03
Hospitals aren't just for the sick, they promote health, promote investigation, provide access to emergency care if needed and provide adequate follow up care,
01/08/2013 at 12:21
I am with CP. For me i would find being away from medical help as soon as it was needed very stressful and so would not be more relaxed at home. I wouldn't even consider being in a MW led unit for this reason, i wasnt immediate access to doctors, theatres and a NeoNatal unit should the situation require it. I felt like this with P, i had a good hospital experience (overall) with her and still feel the same.
I didn't consider giving birth to be an illness but that didn't mean that I didn't want access to medical staff and equipment should I or my baby need it! I don't think many people who choose to give birth at hospital do so because they consider themselves ill.
01/08/2013 at 12:31
20.mins is a fair distance to travel in an emergency.
I'd ask yourself if you could live with the guilt if something happened. I briefly considered it for no3 but even with 2 uncomplicated births before I have decided it's not a risk I want to take.
01/08/2013 at 12:38
I'm not against it at all but I used to work in the MW led unit where I plan to deliver if all goes well and know how calm and at ease everything is there so definitely see it as an inbetween. I know I will have the freedom to do what I want (within reason!), move around etc. but also be 30 seconds away from doctors/ theatres etc if needed.
01/08/2013 at 12:42
I had a home birth (first baby), I live only a short distance from the hospital and was fully expecting to have to transfer into hospital as it was my first. Midwives take action early if you are encountering issues and you will be transferred to be on the safe side. That said I was lucky enough to have a very straight forward home water birth which was amazing.
I had always wanted to have ahome birth - both H and Iwere born at home. I have heard lots of horror stories about the standard of care in hospital, whereas I had two midwives dedicated to just me. It was so nice being in my own home and having my H with us for the first night.
It's not for everyone - one of my good friends thought I was bonkers, as she wanted machines that went beep in close proximity. However, for a normal pregnancy it is no more risky than giving birth in hospital - even though people seem to think it is more risky having a baby at home.
Oh - and there really wasn't that much mess!!
01/08/2013 at 12:54
It wasn't something I'd considered, mainly because I wanted immediate access to medical help and pain relief. As it was both my births ended up with intervention - ventouse and forceps, which certainly weren't pleasant, but the situation could have been even worse had I not already been in hospital as I labour well until pushing and then can't get them out on my own. What was a very straightforward process with my 2nd came close to an emergency c-section which couldn't have been predicted and I dread to think what would have happened if I was 20mins away from the hospital. The safety of my children and myself were more important than the experience of giving birth in a certain atmosphere Etc. However, many women do labour easily and have lovely home births. I believe you have to do your own research and base your decision on what is best for you and baby.
01/08/2013 at 12:55
20 mins is actually fine (IMHO, after taking advice) as a transfer distance because as Alocin says, very early action is taken if needed. If it all went wrong very, very quickly and an EMCS was needed (for example) then I have been told I could be prep'd for theatre whilst being transferred and almost go straight in (while they were assembling the surgical team and anaesthetist ready to receive me) whereas in hospital there would still be a wait of 15-20 mins for the same preparation.
It's definitely a personal choice - I am fortunate that I am not fearful of hospitals or medical intervention so am happy to accept that if needed, but I am also confident in my body's ability to do its job, and I am supported and confident in the team I have around me (my husband is really positive about it all, the community MW team does a lot of homebirths as its a popular choice in our area, and we've hired a doula as well who is a qualified MW).
I just can't imagine getting started in labour and then just as things get going and my body is getting into it, having to interrupt it to drive to the hospital - but I understand that for a lot of people, being that far from a doctor (even just 2 mins!) would be more stressful.
01/08/2013 at 13:00
Mrs 50s from initial deceleration of Ls heartbeat that the mw didn't pick up on (we only knew through our complaint) that from initial deceleration to delivery was 19 minutes, crash calls are answered within minutes, I was looked at by senior, transfered, waters broke and ran down to theatre, catheterised, intubated and sedated in those 19 mins and L born, I'm just trying to get across that a 20 min transfer time is quite a long way
01/08/2013 at 13:09
Counter - have a look to see if there is a homebirth support group near you. I found loads of info/personal experiences on the internet but I found it most helpful to talk to 'real' people.
01/08/2013 at 13:18
I appreciate that based on your experienced CP, 20 mins must seem like an age. For me, I am comfortable with that distance and happy that my baby and I be at no more risk at home than in a hospital - I believe that we will actually be at lower risk at home.
Echo HF re: finding a homebirth support group - I'm a member of a local one and a couple of FB groups and they are brilliant.
01/08/2013 at 13:31
Found this in a quick scan.
Thanks for the advice ladies, appreciate it. Really interesting to read others' opinions. Am trying to find a group locally.
I love my bedroom and my house, we've recently moved and I can see the sea, lol. I am super-relaxed there and I hated being in hospital. I found it a traumatic experience in itself. Even after, when the staff were lovely I was so desperate to go home I was on the verge of leaving without being discharged! However, I am likely to have another giant which in itself would need to be considered nearer the time.
01/08/2013 at 13:32
I think it comes down to where you feel most comfortable giving birth - for some that's at home and for others it's at hospital - and being comfortable is so important for labour and birth. Most women who have home births are low risk and labour spontaneously - i.e not induced and studies have shown that low risk women can be just as safe at home as they are at hospital. Things can go wrong at hospital too not just at home and some people could argue that things went wrong at hospital because of interventions that would not take place at home. But I appreciate points for and against homebirth and can totally understand those who have had difficult/bad experiences wanting to be near medical help too. I think wait and see how your pregnancy progresses, discuss it with your midwife and if you feel happy and comfortable with a homebirth then go for it!
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