Refused a waterbirth!

(88 Posts)
alicemama Thu 20-Oct-05 14:14:09

Hi girls,
well just had a midwife call round today after a home assesment yesterday for my homebirth and after monthes of planning I've just been told that I can't use my pool at all, as there is only 1 midwife trained in waterbirths.

I'm absolutely furious! I've talked about my home waterbirth to every midwife I've seen at every antenatel appointmentt and not once has anyone even hinted that this might not be possible.

I'm 36+3 and waited to order my pool from made in water until monday this week and it arrived yesterday and now the following day I'm told I can't use it. As you can imagine I had plenty to say to the midwife who is now going back to her supervisor to discuss it again taking into account that I've already received and paid for my pool! But she's off on annual leave now so won't find out til at least Monday and I know what the answer will be.

Not sure what to do now as I've been planning this for months and had my heart set on using the pool for labour and delivery! HELP!!!!

Mummyvicky Thu 20-Oct-05 14:21:13

Pay for an independant midwife ?
What a shame for you!!

auntymandy Thu 20-Oct-05 14:22:42

it will be a great pool for the baby to play in when its older!!!

DinoScareUs Thu 20-Oct-05 14:25:52

alicemama, could you use it for pain relief during labour, but get out for delivery?

Is this your first pregnancy? If so chances are that would still give you many, many hours to use the pool!

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:27:24

I thought that all midwives now had to have training in waterbirths? This is what I was told anyway. When I had my homebirth 7 months ago I could have had any of 8 midwives attending - not all of them had apparently been at a waterbirth (although they had all been trained). I was lucky in that the two who attended me had both had experience, but tbh, the whole thing was pretty hands-off anyway. The only real difference is that they had to have an waterproof doppler to monitor me.

Would an option be to labour in water and then get out to deliver? I know this is not what you planned, but tbh this is what I did (even though I had planned to deliver in water) as I felt I needed to be more "upright" for the pushing stage.

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:29:21

Another thought (and I may be wrong) but I thought that you had the right to any type of birth you wanted - even though certain things might be advised against depending on individual circumstances.

alicemama Thu 20-Oct-05 14:30:36

This is mt 2nd pregnancy and really do not want to go into hospital as I had quite a traumatic delivery with my dd.

I would be more than willing just to labour in the pool and get out to deliver but the midwife said not even that is an option.
I just don't understand what the problem is..what is so complicated about sitting in a pool of water while in labour?????

DinoScareUs Thu 20-Oct-05 14:32:49

How infuriating. Can't think of an answer, I'm afraid. How on earth can they only have one midwife who is trained in waterbirths?

Do they have e.g. a consultant midwife at the hospital, if so make an appoiintment to see her and plead your case.

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:33:45

alicemama - I think she is talking rubbish and honestly don't think she can stop you. Would she stop you from sitting in the bath when you are in labour? What's she going to do? Drag you out? I would speak to the supervisor yourself if I were you.

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:35:37

Aha - see here - AIMS site

A woman's right to choose a water birth is now enshrined in Government policy:

"We recommend that all hospitals make it their policy to make full provision whenever possible for women to choose the position which they prefer for labour and birth with the option of birthing pool where this is practicable." [1]

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:36:30

Another excerpt -
Arranging a water birth at home can be difficult for some parents unless they have a sympathetic midwife. Fortunately, since the First International Water Birth Conference many more professionals are better informed, more confident, and better prepared to assist parents with this option. If you are faced with a midwife who is uncertain, and a health authority or Trust that is unwilling, you should make sure all your contact is in writing. It is not unknown for officials to make statements which they would not be willing to put on paper because what they have told the woman is misleading or sometimes completely untrue.

"If we can't find a midwife who can deliver you in water you won't be able to have your baby in water." Julia Boulger, Redhill

The Trust has a duty to provide a midwife, and if you are wishing to have a water birth they have a responsibility to ensure that she is adequately skilled and trained. When challenged about such misinformation the defence is often "Mrs X must have misunderstood."

Many women are told that they have to seek the approval of their GP or obstetrician, or that there are circumstances where a home water birth will not be "allowed."

Unfortunately, there are many staff who are not aware that it is not in their, or anyone else's, power to "allow" anything. They may recommend, or advise, but they have no authority to "allow" as the decision is entirely the woman's. All women have the right to give birth in water in their own homes if they choose, and an appropriately skilled midwife must be provided.

hunkerpumpkin Thu 20-Oct-05 14:37:06

"Arranging a Water Birth at Home
Arranging a water birth at home can be difficult for some parents unless they have a sympathetic midwife. Fortunately, since the First International Water Birth Conference many more professionals are better informed, more confident, and better prepared to assist parents with this option. If you are faced with a midwife who is uncertain, and a health authority or Trust that is unwilling, you should make sure all your contact is in writing. It is not unknown for officials to make statements which they would not be willing to put on paper because what they have told the woman is misleading or sometimes completely untrue.

"If we can't find a midwife who can deliver you in water you won't be able to have your baby in water." Julia Boulger, Redhill

The Trust has a duty to provide a midwife, and if you are wishing to have a water birth they have a responsibility to ensure that she is adequately skilled and trained. When challenged about such misinformation the defence is often "Mrs X must have misunderstood."

Many women are told that they have to seek the approval of their GP or obstetrician, or that there are circumstances where a home water birth will not be "allowed."

Unfortunately, there are many staff who are not aware that it is not in their, or anyone else's, power to "allow" anything. They may recommend, or advise, but they have no authority to "allow" as the decision is entirely the woman's. All women have the right to give birth in water in their own homes if they choose, and an appropriately skilled midwife must be provided."

This from \link{}

hunkerpumpkin Thu 20-Oct-05 14:37:46

LOL! Bonym quicker on the draw than me - and got the blinking link right

Good luck with it - and get them to put it in writing.

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:37:46

Great minds hunker

Katemum Thu 20-Oct-05 14:38:23

This is your decision not theirs isn't it?
I would be furious as well.

inkyminky Thu 20-Oct-05 14:40:42

Sounds like a load of Cobblers to me too, poor you, I know there was no one trained at my Water Birth as it was the first one the midwife had been there for, However I did have to deliver on land in the end, so maybe someone qualified would have rushed in at the last minute if I had continued.

Sounds crazy you cant labour in there, as Bonym said, no different from a Bath at all except easier access to get you. Take it all the way, You have a right to have what you want.

alicemama Thu 20-Oct-05 14:41:48

Thanks for that girls I've just been reading that as well.

When I had my first booking in appointment I was offered the choice between this hospital which is refusing my waterbirth and anothe local hospital....I'm thinking that perhaps I could ring the other hospital and see what their policy is. Does anybody know who I would need to ring?????

bonym Thu 20-Oct-05 14:46:55

alicemama - I would write to the supervisor of midwives at your chosen hospital and also to the chief executive of your local health trust- quote the AIMS site and tell them that you are aware it is your legal right to have the birth of your choice.

Stick to your guns and use the pool - as the site says - it is not up to them to allow or disallow anything that you want.

alicemama Thu 20-Oct-05 15:05:18

I'm so frustrated I know that I won't manage to get this sorted within the next 3 weeks before I go into labour. Thay'll just keep fobbing me off until I go into labour.
Forgot to say as well that if my waters go before I go into labour I will have to be admitted straight away and won't even be gien 48hrs to see if I go into labour naturally and my waters broke 2 days before I went into labour with dd. Arrrrgh!

Bonym, if you have 8 trained midwives in your local community team....can I come and stay with you when I go into labour, I'll be quiet I promise you won't even know I'm there!!!!

flamebat Thu 20-Oct-05 15:07:31

I would be being bloody stubborn . If you're already in the pool when they arrive, I'd love to see em try to lift you out without your husband's help, and with waters... as far as I know its 48 hours before the whole risk of infection, so don't call anyone until then if labour hasn't started.

hunkerpumpkin Thu 20-Oct-05 15:07:53

AM, that's what they're hoping - bastards

You could get in touch with AIMS - they want to hear about things like this.

And just tell them you're having a waterbirth at home - I know it's not ideal and it's a stress you don't need, which is why you need to put it all in writing rather than have convos with midwives who can then deny what they've said. And do get in touch with the head of midwifery at your local hospital too.

DinoScareUs Thu 20-Oct-05 15:11:47

alicemama, if its any consolation, my waters broke before I went into labour with both DS1 and DS2 but second time around my labour started very very quickly - basically my waters broke at about 4.30 p.m. and he was delivered at 8.15 p.m.!! So even if your waters go first again, it needn't mean the end of your homebirth - just give it a little while at home to see if the contractions start. In my case, by 6 p.m. they had kicked in and I knew I was in labour.

julienetmum Thu 20-Oct-05 22:01:05

Alicemama, I had the same problem. I got around it by labouring in the pool, I was in there when the midwife arrived, then I just didn't get out. My midwife had never done a waterbirth before but she said it was pretty much the same principle as being on dry land.

CADS Fri 21-Oct-05 08:53:09

Hi Alicemama

Think you have a strong case for getting your waterbirth. Don't give in. As everyone said, I would just get in the pool when you're ready, they not going to force you to get out when they arrive.

Had my assessment yesterday and my midwife mentioned that not all the communtiy midwives are experienced in delivery the baby in water but that I can labour in it. She also mentioned that I can get in it when ever I like and don't have to wait for the midwife to arrive.

Also, I am only allowed to stay home for 24hrs if my waters break. Don't see why you would have to go in immediately. Get on to AIMS, this morning and see what they say.

Don't let this upset your plans. Good luck.

motherpeculiar Fri 21-Oct-05 09:05:19


you poor thing - you don't need this right now. agree with the others about sticking to your guns but I remember well that at that stage of pg you just don't really want to have to fight.

wrt th ewaters breaking thing - like you with DD1 mine broke 2 days before labour, but second time round they broken just when I was getting ready to push, so you never know. Try not to fret too much about that anyway, and as someone else said, as long as you are feeling well and teh water is clear you can always just "forget" to call them

good luck, I hope you manage to get what you want (and are fully entitled to)

definitely worth giving the other hosp a call too, try to speak to the head of midwifery

tessasmum Fri 21-Oct-05 10:20:57

I'd say go for it too, if you are in there, smiling serenely,
there's nothing they can do. But I would also write to appropriate people as suggested.

I laboured in water the first time round, which was FANTASTIC, but got out to deliver because I think I was too laidback in the water and not pushing properly! That was in Bedford Hospital where they really encourage you to use the pool. I'm now in Luton where I have been told that the 'not enough midwives are trained' arguement is used a lot.
Going for a homebirth this time but no water as no room for a pool, unless we rig it up in the unheated garage which I don't fancy in November!

Good luck AM

mears Fri 21-Oct-05 11:51:41

First of all you cannot be refused a waterbirth so don't accept it.

In my area, the community midwives came to the hospital be be updated on how to conduct a pool delivery - it is not rocket science!

Contact your Supervisor of Midwives and discuss it with him/her. It is their job to make sure the midwives read up on it and prepare themselves to assist you to have your waterbirth.

Makes me mad

valuable information

RCM statement

alicemama Fri 21-Oct-05 14:26:56

Thank you for all of your messages of support.

I've written a letter to the head of midwifery which I'll post on Monday if they still refuse.
I spoken to dh last night and we agree that if my waters break then I'm not going to ring in for 24hrs as long as it's clear and everything feels ok.

As for the pool I think I'll just get in to labour and if they don't like it it's tough luck.
I have an antenatel app on Monday with my own midwife who seemed fine about it all on the many occasions that I've mentioned a pool so I'll talk it over with her. She only lives 2 streets away from me so might just ring her if I go into labour.

Thank you again for all of your wonderful messages of support....I'll keep you posted on my progress.

alicemama Mon 24-Oct-05 14:13:24

Well surprise, phone call as yet to let me know if I'm allowed my waterbirth at home. I've spent the last hour trying to get through to the community midwifery team and its either engaged or the answer machine is on.

I knew they wouldn't ring and to top it off I''ve had flu all weekend which dd has now picked up. So I'm stressed, full of a cold and have a snotty 2 1/2yr old round my ankles. Where's that bar of chocolate!!!!!!!

hi alicemama, i had two births on dry land, one in the water. very little difference except no 3 was easier. they kept checking the water was the right temp (think 37 degrees but not sure, memory is a bit hazy!) occasionally monitored the babies heart beat and that was it. when he was born i reached down and lifted him up. midwives didnt need to intervene much so i dont think it should be a problem if you go ahead regardless.

i would assume you are having one unless you hear otherwise. make sure dh knows how to set the pool up and then if mw says you cant go in, tell her to sod off! i was nearly refused a water birth because of low iron levels which i am told can complicate things (which i took to be a good reason for refusing!) so thought i would mention it incase you need a push to remember to take iron tablets (i was rubbish at remembering).

try not to get stressed out, i hope it goes your way

CADS Mon 24-Oct-05 17:23:18

Hi alicemama

Hope you feel better soon. Sending you a cyber chocolate. Have you heard anything?

alicemama Mon 24-Oct-05 19:32:37

Hi Cads,
Thanks for thinking of me.

As expected nobody from the community midwifery team rang and after trying to get through all day I finally got an answer ay 4.45pm.
Basically the answer is still the!
They have no trained midwife available and are not willing to help me in any way regarding a water birth. She even used the phrase that they cannot "legally" allow me to have one.
Well I rang AIMS straight away and spoke to a lovely lady who has given me the confidence to fight them. I have written a letter to the chief executive and included some info off the AIMS website.
I've made it quite clear that I'mnot going to be fobbed off and that I'm having my water birth.

Have antenatel app tomorrow so will make it very clear that I plan to continue with or without their support, they have a legal resposablity to provide a midwife for me.

I just need to hold my resolve til them.
Wish me luck and I'll let you know what happens.


Cooperoo Mon 24-Oct-05 19:57:16

OMG! Can't believe you are having to deal with this at the mo. Just wanted to say GOOD LUCK!
I had a waterbirth with dd1 and it was fab.

CADS Mon 24-Oct-05 20:09:15

OMG, can't believe they don't have an experienced midwives. Keep strong!!! Will they at least let you labour in the pool? Surely, no different to a bath, just more comfortable and bigger!!!

franke Mon 24-Oct-05 20:13:45

Ooh, Alicemama, this makes my blood boil - I'm so sorry you're facing this at this late stage. With regards to your waters going, just keep monitoring your temp, stay clean, no baths etc (showers) to minimise the risk of infection. Some hospitals have a limit of 72 or 96 hours before they insist you go in, so 24 hours is just daft really. But fwiw, like many here, I had this problem first time round, but my waters didn't go til I was ready to push last time, so every birth is different I guess.

Like Mears says, delivering in water isn't exactly rocket science and there is absolutely no reason for you not to labour in water even if you end up delivering on dry land, utter nonsense that you shouldn't be 'allowed' to. This is your baby, your birth. I hate this kind of bullying of vulnerable women - go for it girl and give 'em hell.

PeachyClairPumpkinPie Mon 24-Oct-05 20:46:33

Feel very angry that they can do this to you, even if they say you can't deliver I just don't see how they can tell you what to do in your own home!

As well as contacting AIMS, there are ways of speeding up the process with the decision makers: a heavily pg woman camped on their doorstep is one way, going to the local press is another, setting up a petition for M'snetters to sign might be another less confrontational way?

I was refused a home birth for no good reason and didnt think of arguing until afterwards, don't make my mistake! (they kept taking multiple bloods that were not required until they managed to find one that was 0.1 'too low', then refused. As my parents were 400 miles away on holiday and I have two older ds's, it was only thanks to my heavily PG sis taking the boys that I didnt labour alone in a hospital I was terrified of because I and ds1 nearly died there).

Go on, fight!!

tessasmum Mon 24-Oct-05 22:07:59

Go for it AM.

Can't believe what they are putting you through at this late stage, obviously hoping that you just won't have the fight in you. I hope you have. You've got full support from here and I'm sure there are a few of us who can rant to the appropriate people if needed to. Just let me know if there is anything I can do, I can write a mean snotty letter!

Hope you and snotty toddler are feeling better too.

hunkerpumpkin Mon 24-Oct-05 22:22:29

AM, hope the appointment goes well tomorrow.

Ask them to put in writing that they're refusing you a waterbirth too - actually, tell them you want it in writing. They're not allowed to refuse you, so will be interesting to see how they get round that!

Good luck with it - you don't need this hassle at this stage of pregnancy

alicemama Tue 25-Oct-05 07:59:58

Thank you girls for all your messages of support. You really have no idea how much it means to me knowing that there's people on my side.
I've been up all night worrying about my antenatel app this morning but I'm going armed with loads of info off the AIMS website.

I'm also going to call the Birmingham WOmen's Hospital as I live just outside of B'ham and I'll see if they can offer me any support.
Either way I'm not letting this'll teach them to mess with angry hormonal women!!!

Once again thank you so much for all of your support. I'll give you an update this afternoon.

p.s. still snotty noses all round here!

franke Tue 25-Oct-05 09:16:38

Alicemama - I just had another thought about this. When I was planning a homebirth a couple of years ago (it never happened but that's another story) I asked my midwife what would happen if there were no midwives available on the day to attend. Her reply was something along the lines of that the hospital would have to draught somebody in (agancy staff I suppose) to provide cover at the hospital whilst the normal community midwives would come out to me. I would have thought that the same principle should apply here - they should make sure there is provision to meet your needs by getting in a temp midwife who is familiar with water birth. Just a thought. Hope your appointment goes okay this morning.

alicemama Tue 25-Oct-05 13:01:58

Well its amazing how quickly they've backed down when faced with a letter to the cheif executive and a research paper on home water birth & government policy!!!

Just got back from seeing my midwife who is actually on my side. She agrees that they cannot refuse me using my pool and the only concern is delivering in the pool. But when her team leader told me yesterday that there is no one experienced in waater birth, she was lying! There is at least 3 midwives who have delivered a baby in water before. So we've reached a compromise in that we've agreed that I can labour in the pool for as long as I like and that they would like me to deliver out of the pool but cannot force me if I don't want. So if I want to stay in I will, at the end of the day they're not exactly going to drag me out are they.
I'm so relieved but still extremely angry that they've tried to manipulate me like this. I'm sure a lot of women would have just accepted what they said and not pushed the issue any further. I still feel like pushing for all midwives to be trained in water birth and still plan to send a letter of complaint to the cheif executive.
So thank you so very much for all of your support. I'm off to celebrate this evening with a box of pringles and a bag of maltesars!!!

A very happy Alicemama

hunkerpumpkin Tue 25-Oct-05 13:05:25

Brilliant! Glad it's sorted - and very angry on your behalf that they've been so manipulative about it.

Will be interested to hear what happens if you take this further - and good luck with the waterbirth! Looking forward to hearing of your baby's birth!

franke Tue 25-Oct-05 13:08:21

Well done, what a relief! But I am absolutely outraged on your behalf - they played the craftiest trick in the book leaving it so late to tell you that you couldn't have what you wanted - very underhand. But well done you for standing up to them and I really hope the birth goes well.

CADS Tue 25-Oct-05 14:02:51

Yipeee!!! [pops open imaginary bottle of champayne]

I am sure this thread will help alot of women to stand up for themselves.

Miaou Tue 25-Oct-05 14:16:23

Been following this but had no advice - I was so on your behalf though! I am so pleased it is going to work out for you, but as you say, many less confident people would have backed down before now. If you have the energy/strength to follow this through (complain about the way you were treated) that would be great - but having a three month old myself I would totally understand if you didn't!!

Looking forward to hearing your birth announcement now - hope all goes well.

PeachyClairPumpkinPie Tue 25-Oct-05 16:35:28

Well done you!

Cooperoo Tue 25-Oct-05 17:22:42

Excellent news. I think you should still complain though. You could have certainly done without the stress and hassle of having to fight for something that should be your right, especially at this late stage. Someone less assertive or less well informed would have just accepted it .
Good Luck for a quick and smooth delivery, in the water if you choose it to be!

bonym Tue 25-Oct-05 17:26:17

Just caught up with this alicemama - very, very pleased that this is now sorted for you.

Hope the birth goes well and look forward to reading your birth announcement! .

grannygoose Tue 25-Oct-05 18:00:49

I am really chuffed for you alicemama - you are very brave to stand up to the powers that be and this shows that by standing your grand, you can get what you want, and what you are entitled to.... Good luck for your water birth - it will be a triumph I am sure.

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 10:12:54

Think I might have spoken too soon. I've just had my midwife on the phone asking if she can call round this afternoon. She said her team leader and supervisor have asked her to come and talk to me again.....doesn't sound good does it.

So fed up of this stress. I'm full of a cold, my 2 1/2 dd is also full of a cold and has a nasty cough now and to top it off I was up in casualty til 1.30am this morning with my dad with a piece of metal in his eye. My poor dh has been going to work all day and then coming home and helping with all the housework, he's shattered. If I wasn't so close to having this baby I'd be on a plane going somewhere hot and sunny. Where's that cyber beach & bacardi??????

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 16:28:39

Well midwives have just left after managing to reduce me to tears... in fact now I can't seem to stop.
Don't worry they haven't convinced me to back doen but they had a hell of a good try. First excuse was that they don't have an underwater sonicaid which is fine I can just raise bump out of water when they need to check baby's heartbeat. Now they're saying that once in established labour they will have to check baby's heartbeat after every is it me or that the biggest load of ****'s I've ever heard??????
Basically they don't give a toss about me or my feelings, they're just trying to look after themselves. I never felt this bullied at high school...what is the big deal over a pool of warm water!
Off to demolish a bar of galaxy, I'm sure I'm going to give myself gestational diabetes by the end of all this

Gizmo Wed 26-Oct-05 16:31:25

ARGGGGGGHHHHHH on your behalf.

How much does an underwater effing sonicaid cost anyway! If I could buy one and post it to your health authority with a sarky note it would be done.

Write to your MP. Seriously. It is DISGRACEFUL that someone so close to birth should be so harrassed over the purchase of what - I'll bet you - is a £500 bit of equipment.


motherinferior Wed 26-Oct-05 16:36:39

WTF???? I had my second baby at home (in water, in fact). The lovely midwives never checked the baby's heart at all, I think, when I was in established labour.

(And yes, I got a midwife 'experienced in waterbirths' but in the event all she had to do was catch DD2 as she shot out like a champagne cork!)

I am SO sorry you are going through this.

Aragon Wed 26-Oct-05 16:39:02


Don't talk to these people anymore - if you haven't done so already ring AIMS as they will ceetainly be on your side. Just wish I was closer to you as I was a midwife and helped many women deliver their babies in water. The midwives are talking a load of crap. I used to do readings of the baby's heartbeat and rate every 15-20 mins during labour. I cannot think what their rationale is for wanting to check after every contraction - would they do this if you were in hospital or on dry land. What a load of rubbish.
It's YOUR body and YOUR baby and YOUR birth - they are there to assist you and YOU are in charge NOT them. Write a letter to the supervisor of midwives tell her you have hired a pool at great expense to labour and birth in and that you think it's a bit rich that they have waited until this late stage to tell you they haven't got anyone qualified etc. Tell them you have no intention of subjecting yourself to the experience you had last time and that if nobody is qualified to assist you with a waterbirth then they'd better find you (and fund) an Independent midwife who DOES know what she's doing.

Bit of a rant there but just so mad on your behalf.

Chloe55 Wed 26-Oct-05 16:39:48

How awful for you to be put through this at this stage, the only advice I can give is to stay strong and do what YOU want to do. There's no evidence that a waterbirth is 'unsafe' so what the hell is their problem? B*llocks to them I say. Is you DH/DP standing by you on this issue?

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 16:44:29

My dh is very supportive and right now is at work looking for an e-mail address for the chief executive of the hospital.
I've already contacted aims and I know i'm in the right, its just so frustrating.

I have a sure start midwife coming on monday to bring me a tens machine and I've just found out that she works at a birth centre in Lichfield. So I'll talk to her and hopefully get her on my side.
I'm just praying that I don't go into labour next week as the really snotty midwife that's just been is on call then!

carly82 Wed 26-Oct-05 16:45:32

your poor thing i have been reading through your thread and just wanted to say keep fighting them all the way!! and to check the heart rate after every contraction is the biggest pile of rubbish ive heard, as long as the pg has been trouble free there is no need for constant monitering. they seem like they are trying to bully you out of it get writing your letter of complaint and enjoy the glorious waterbirth you deserve xxxx

Chloe55 Wed 26-Oct-05 16:48:43

Glad to hear you have good support at home, that's the main thing. Good luck with it all.

Aragon Wed 26-Oct-05 16:49:31

Just read all the thread. You are definitely in the right - how unsupportive and uncaring of these "midwives".

Another website which has lots of research info is Angela Horn's Homebirth reference site . She has lots of info there about waterbirths at home.

Stick to your guns and keep AIMS involved.

n1k199 Wed 26-Oct-05 16:52:15

Have just sat and read all of this...what a shame. I had my first baby (6 months) in a pool, I had planned a pool birth from the start and my midwives were constantly trying to convince me to have it at home and it was me who wanted the safety net of hospital (first baby and everything). The pool birth was the most fantastic thing, and I am definately doing it again if its possible.

I am shocked that all midwives are not taught to deliver using a pool, after all they don't actually do anything hands on during a pool birth, you are pretty much left to your own devices with gas and air, and given lots of support - how hard can that be? They don't even touch the baby until you have brought it to the surface yourself then its business as usual cut the cord and off you go....

Gob smacked to say the least!

muma3 Wed 26-Oct-05 17:03:28

i have a 5 month old and although i didnt want or have a home birth i was suprised to find that i could give birth in pool . the long and short of it is i got to hosp to be told all rooms full. i labour quick and waters had gone so they put me in the pool room as it wasnt being used i had posterior baby and got in the pool as i was in ssooooooooo much pain . i had to get out to give birth as there wasnt enough midwifes . the pool didnt help but the having to move when ready to push was a night mare

muma3 Wed 26-Oct-05 17:04:50

what im trying to say is its terrible that you might not be able to use it but in the end you might not want to anyway !!!!!!!

hunkerpumpkin Wed 26-Oct-05 17:06:16

AM, am shocked and very angry on your behalf at the bullying behaviour your midwives have shown you. Really hope that you get some joy from contacting the Chief Exec of the hospital - God, I wonder how many other women these bitches have bullied out of the births they want?!

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 17:08:45

I know that when the actual time comes I might not to use the pool anyway but I want that to be my choice, not theirs.
Its also the way they are going about this...I feel lied to, manipulated and bullied.

I know nobody here actually knows me but I'm not the kind of person that cries easily, especially in front of other people but thats how bad this is all getting to me....Perhaps they're just trying to stress me out that much that my bp goes sky high and I end up in hospital anyway

hunkerpumpkin Wed 26-Oct-05 17:10:10

AM, it's pretty common behaviour from what I've read - have AIMS been back in touch with you?

Just thought - the hospital doesn't have a birthing pool or plans for one, does it?

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 17:12:49

NO they don't have a pool or plans for one, so thats their excuse for not having trained midwives.

I was thinking of ringing aims back but I'm not really sure what they can do to help?

muma3 Wed 26-Oct-05 17:13:47

dont let them, it is your baby your body and YOUR choice , i dont wish any harm to you or your darling unborn but if you were to go into labour and refuse to go hosp what will they do then ????
get in the pool and they will have to look after you wont they!!!!!!
aaaaawwwwwww GOOD LUCK and keep calm i can see you getting what you want you are determined and im sure they will come round xxxxxxxx

hunkerpumpkin Wed 26-Oct-05 17:14:48

I'd say you won't know what they can do unless you ring them - might be nothing, might just be some tips, might be a full-scale hitman organisation

Ask the midwives you saw today to put in writing all they said though - definitely.

And have a nice cup of tea and a sit down with a biscuit too - you deserve it

despair Wed 26-Oct-05 17:50:57


I feel very angry on your behalf. Pls look after yourselves. I am having difficulty with my midwife myself and recognise this bullying type behaviour. However, as others have already said, this is about YOU AND YOUR BABY they are there to help you and you are not there for them. If they are incompetent/rude/poorly trained you need to get another midwife. If you don't trust your midwife you are much more likely to end up with medical intervention, C-section, assisted delivery etc. Definitely try to get a doula to stand up on your behalf! Also, be careful with heart rate monitoring, latest research suggests that women who undergo a lot of monitoring are much more likely to end up with a C-section, because the baby might be in distress. However, unless there is a clear issue with meconium it is quite difficult to assess from heart rate monitoring alone whether the baby is in distress or not. I have decided that I will decline heart rate monitoring/vaginal examinations/giving birth against hospital timelimits given that every woman is different and given that no body has been able to give me any evidence that the outcome for mother and baby are better of all these interventions. To me it seems all a power issues with midwives and doctors wanting to run the show and feeling that they are sidelined if they haven't got a piece of equipment or paper in their hand. Good luck! And I really think that you should try to get another midwife, you don't want to end up with that bitch, this is disgraceful after all the tax we are paying for the NHS!

All the best.

Cooperoo Wed 26-Oct-05 18:36:33

Oh NO!! How dare they!! I am very on your behalf. Get everything in writing. I had a few (unrelated) issues surrounding the birth of my second child and complained and had the supervisor of midwives and her boss come to my home. They were very sympathetic but the important thing was that they put EVERYTHING in writing to me in a letter detailing the points made and what action they were to take. I was definately not monitored after every contraction when I had my waterbirth with dd1 two and a half years ago. That is utter crap. You could just be in a bath FFS. I am so angry on your behalf. They are taking your choices away and have no right to. I really hope you have the strength to get this resolved. Good Luck

mears Wed 26-Oct-05 21:05:30

alicemama - please find out who the Supervisor of Midwives (SOM) is at the hospital (there will be more than one). He/she is not the Head of Midwifery but is responsible for ensuring that midwives have the ability to care for women safely and in a manner of their choosing!

I am a SOM at my hospital. When we had a home waterbirth request recently, we made sure the midwives got a training seminar on the subject. There is absolutely no excuse for midwives not be be able to do this - they can get access to plenty of literature and they should be able to contact other units for advice.

The SOM will support you in your request and support the midwives . An underwater doppler should be bought for use because it is better than disrupting the flow of labour by asking you to lift your bump out the water.

The heartbeat should be listened to every 15 minutes after each contraction for 1 full minute in the first stage of labour. In the second stage it should be listened to after each contraction for 1 full minute.

I am sure I posted a link to midwifery guidelines earlier in the post. Send away for them - they are not expensive and they are very good. It means you will be armed with all the info you need about waterbirth.

mears Wed 26-Oct-05 21:06:50
tessasmum Wed 26-Oct-05 22:33:29

AM - I'm so sorry that you are having to go through all this now and can't believe the bullying tactics that are being employed. There is great advice on here already that I can't really add to but I wanted to let you know that my thoughts (and righteous fury!) are with you.
Hope you have the strengh to keep fighting, keep the chocolate levels up!

Cooperoo Thu 27-Oct-05 12:05:01

Wow Mears you shock me with how often the heartrate should be monitored and for how long. I now actually do not doubt that this was done for me but I was so much in my 'bubble' concentrating I obviously didn't notice. It is fab to have you on here to offer a professional pespective!
AM - Just to reiterate the SOM who came to see me was definately on my side to try and achieve the kind of birth I wanted. I wish I had tracked her down sooner in my case so get on to them at your hospital. Really Good Luck.

franke Thu 27-Oct-05 12:16:51

Alicemama - I've just seen this again - this is just awful. Would it be time to try plan B - get in touch with a different hospital and see if they will support you in the birth you want? I know that you absolutely shouldn't have to do this, but in the next couple of weeks you need to feel supported not bullied. I'm fuming on your behalf.

alicemama Thu 27-Oct-05 16:47:23

Thanks mears for clearing that up for me, I've never heard that before. I've also ordered a copy of those guidelines, thanks for the link

I've just had my own midwife brip my delivery pack round and she's apologised for the behaviour of the other midwife that came yesterday. She even admitted that the midwifes behaviour was intimidating and bullying. She went to her SOM this morning and basically told them that I know what I'm doing, I'm not going to put myself or my baby at risk and they should just leave things as they labouring in the pool and getting out to deliver.

Feeling much better now and just praying that I don't go into labour next week as my midwife is on holiday and the evil midwife from yesterday in on call.

Just waiting to speak to the sure start midwife on monday who might be able to get a waterproof sonicaid for me to use.

Once again, thank you so much for all of your support..cyber flowers & chocs to you all

grannygoose Thu 27-Oct-05 17:29:28

This might sound odd, but I am sure I read in Sheila Kritzinger's "Birth your way" that you could put the doppler into a condom to use underwater if necessary. I just cant find the page now...

tessasmum Thu 27-Oct-05 21:04:30

AM - at least it sounds as though you have someone from the midwifery team on your side.

I'll be keeping everything crossed that you and the baby can hold on for a week.
Think you have done incredibly well to keep fighting, I'm due about the same time (at home hopefully but no water this time) and have a 2 1/2 year old in tow. Not sure if I would have found the strengh, could barely make it to the park this afternoon

alicemama Thu 27-Oct-05 21:49:41

I also have a 2 1/2yr old but she is a very good girl for me so I'm not too worried about her.

When I go into labour she'll go round grandma & grandad's who only live 5 mins away. She loves spending time with them and I normally have to drag her home.

Been looking thru my delivery pack, didn't realise how much stuff there is! Suddenly feeling very real now there's only 2 1/2weeks to go!

netter Fri 28-Oct-05 00:12:52

My midwife asked dh if he could go and get a condom so that she could put it over her sonicaid.

(Ever tried to find the condoms when you havn't used one for 9 months!!!!)

So yes, just get the condoms ready alicemamma. Where are you by the way as some of the places you have mentioned seems fairly close.

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 08:09:22

Thats a great tip..I'll have to get dh to hunt one out.

I live in west bromwich and come under Sandwell General & District Hospital altho I wish I'd booked in under Walsall Manor now as it has a lot better reputation and a higher star rating.

franke Fri 28-Oct-05 08:21:06

Can you not change hospitals AM? You have a strong case I reckon.

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 08:29:13

I have thought about that, I rang walsall manor and altho they do have a birthing pool in their delivery suite, they wouldn't support a home water birth either. I them rang b'ham womens hospital who do support home water births but typically I live to far away for them to cover me.

I do feel a lot about things now my hormones have calmed down since wednesday. I'm def labouring in my pool and have agreed to get out to deliver which I've heard a lot of women do anyway. I was just so upset about being bullied by that midwife. It was like the only answer she wanted was me to back down and she was going to keep on pushing me til I backed down. But that was why my own midwife ended the "discussion" and once outside told the other midwife to back off.
So hopefully that should be the end of it now, I'll just have to wait til d-day comes!

mears Fri 28-Oct-05 11:31:12

AM - I am glad there has been progress but I am horrified that you have been asked to agree to get out the water for delivery.

I have been at many waterbirths and yes, women sometimes do come out. My experience has been more the opposite - women go in the water and say that they plan to get out but when the time comes they do not WANT to.

It is very much instinctive. At our unit often women have not thought of labouring in the pool when they come in then decide to try it.

When we first started. the request had to come from the woman. We had about 3 waterbirths a year.

Then we changed our policy and offered the pool to women who came into hospital in labour (normal pregnancy).

Last year we had 100 waterbirths.

You will feel much better about it all once you read the guidelines.

The SOM will support the midwives if the are nervous about you delivering in water - she will not tell you that you must come out. If she does, she should reconsider who shge is there for!

SoupDragon Fri 28-Oct-05 11:32:56

Out of interest, how would they plan on getting you out for delivery if you refused??

QueenVictoria Fri 28-Oct-05 12:18:49

This makes me sooooo angry!

I hope you get what you want Alicemamma.

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 13:39:52

Well tbh if when the time comes and I don't want to get out, I'm not going to. Even my midwife has said there's nothing they can do about it.

Hopefully guidelines should come tomorrow or monday...I just can't believe that I know more about waterbirth from watching tv than the midwives do!

netter Fri 28-Oct-05 23:42:32

Hmmm, I gave birth in Walsall Manor and guess what, the pool wasn't available/no trained midwife on shift.

Am definatley not surprised to hear this is Sandwell hospital though.

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