Homebirth: what should I know?(34 Posts)
I'm 37.5 weeks with DC2 and am just making arrangements for a homebirth (haven't been able to do so before as baby was breech but has turned).
However, I realise I don't know anything at all about HBs! I wanted one as I don't like hospitals (can't sleep, and have loads of dietary restrictions so can't eat the food), I had a very easy 5 hour labour with DS, and will have no childcare for him (other than DH) for the 2 or 3 hours it'll take my parents to get here.
I'm starting to feel really unprepared as I've done no exercises, classes, stretching or anything this time.
What would it be useful for me to know?
I can't speak from experience as am planning hb for my first. But this website is v useful www.homebirth.org.uk/
midwives should bring everything, but if you want to labour and birth in low light or the dark, you'll need candles/torches etc.
Remember the breathing and find some distractions for your DS in case he is awake for some/all of it- they do tend to get bored - movies/books etc might be useful.
Food for your DS that doesn't need much prep, and a few meals for yourself. Tea and biscuits for midwives, parents etc.
Towels, container for placenta and ice in the freezer all useful too.
Hope it all goes really well for you!
My hb was lovely 2 midwives with me nearly the whole time. My 1st labour was 5 hrs but my 2nd was 8 but hey ho. They look after you really well so you have no worrys really. Buy a cheap tesco value £1.77 shower curtain. I gave birth kneeling front streched over the end of my bed on the shower curtain with loads of old towels underneath for comfort so all the mess was caught on that and I just folded it up and chucked it away easy. Well when I say I the midwives did it for me. Get a waterproof mattress cover too as post partum bleeding can gush at 1st I had a leak on my bed but had a cover so that was all good. Make sure you have tea, coffee and biscuits for the midwives and that's all I needed plus my tens and whatever you wanna give birth in nightie etc. Oh and decide where. I decided bedroom as ds1's stuff is always all over our living room and did not fancy moving toys in labour!
The midwives bring gas and air and all the other drugs and oxygen in case baby needs it. In fact they bring a massive suitcase full of stuff we were amazed how much they bring and hardly use any of as its a just in case thing. Congrats and good luck. My ds2 is now 7 weeks.
I'm considering a homebirth too but DH isn't that keen. I'll be watching your thread with interest (I've got a few months left to go) - and good luck!
First birth was a HB and I spent ages worrying about what I needed etc. But in reality once I was in labour my DH made our bed with waterproof sheet and old sheets on top, loads of pillows in 'old'/cheap pillow cases. With the list of stuff the MW had given near by and 'hospital bag' in easy reach. I then just 'got on' with it.
Want a HB for my 2nd (37w) and at the HB booking in appointment on Monday found out baby is suspected breach so opposite to you!
The attraction of a HB for me is not having to worry about getting to hospital and having your own stuff, to me this is an easier option.
Tesco/Asda value towels did a grand job for the 'old' towels we are all supposed to have but my DH and I have yet to accumulate (still use them today!).
Dust sheets from B&Q/Homebase or shower curtain with sheets on top.
Bucket handy for voming (you may not but lets face it if you get the urge you do not want someone having to run around looking for one).
Think about any action DH needs to do as soon as you go into labour - for example my DH will move the cars from driveway to street so that there is easy access for MWs and if needs be ambulance.
Like you I have done none of the classes/exercises I did for my 1st DD, I put this down to having a toddler to look after
when in fact it is pure laziness. So trying to spend some time remembering what helped in labour - the breathing/positions etc I used.
Oh also, the MW list will include a torch/bendy lamp. You will think WTF? This is important! I am speaking from experience as I had a 2nd degree tear and they needed our big torch to ummmm 'illuminate' the wound to stitch it up. Lets face it for such a delicate job you want the MW to be able to see what she is doing!!!!
One thing to bear in mind is that the room where you give birth needs to be very warm. Hot really. So plan where you're going to give birth/put the birth pool accordingly - our living room only has one smallish radiator so I'm planning on using dining room instead for that reason. And make sure you whack the heating up when you go into labour! Sounds obvious, but it's one of those things you could easily forget.
Yes, DD2 getting a bit cold was the only problem we had.
Oh and finding clean sheets the lovely MWs wouldn't go until they'd tidied every thing and changed the bed.
I'd delivered DD crouching beside it over an inco pad and they'd put more pads on the bed to check me so it was fine.
I'd seen one of the MW in clinic the day before so I knew she'd had exactly as much sleep as me.
She went home to look after her own DC, it was half term and her DH was off to work and she still insisted on changing the bed.
That has just reminded me - If you have to heat your water (don't know what type of boiler that is???) put the hot water on continuous when you go into labour, for showers/baths/washing hands.
snacks for birth partner and midwives
still sports drink/milk for you
seive, thermometer if you are using bath/pool
Hi AngelDog I'm planning 2nd home birth in just over a weeks time (I hope!).
My MW visited us at home at 36 weeks to talk through everything and left a list of useful things for us to have:
clean old towels and sheets
cushions or pillows
large plastic sheets eg shower curtain (pick them up in the £1 shop)
Torch and candles
angle poise lamp
If using pool - mirror and sieve
something loose and comfy for labour
comfy big knickers
refreshments and snacks
clean soft old towels
What I did last time was sort everything into two piles; one that I would need if had to transfer to hospital and one with the stuff that would stay at home. I packed a bag with all the stuff we'd need if we ended up in hospital e.g stuff for me to wear during and after birth, baby clothes, snacks, and my TENS. The rest eg old towels, angle poise lamp, plastic sheets went into a big box in the dining room. I also packed a bag for DD just in case she ended up elsewhere, which she did, with change of clothes, nappies, toys, books etc.
It's really useful to have everything to hand when it all kicks off without having to send DH all round the house to find stuff. On the day I sent him up to change our bed so we all climbed into clean sheets with the new baby, lovely.
The MW will bring all the medical type stuff you need. They will also clear up afterwards.
When you go into labour as well as putting water on and turning heating up, make sure any outside lights are on or tie a balloon or something to the door to make it easy for the MW to spot your house.
If it's possible to ask a favour of friends locally do make some arrangements for your DS just in case you have to transfer in or decide on the day you'd rather he was elsewhere. This time we have a list of friends who have all agreed to take our DDs until the grandparents arrive (they live 150 miles away so it'll be a few hours) if needs be and we'll contact them depending on their availability. I'm hoping it'll be night time in which case I'd happily leave them upstairs sleeping while I labour downstairs after last time I'm pretty sure they wouldn't wake.
Very best wishes with everything.
Thanks, everyone. That's really helpful - reminded me I needed to track down my TENS machine among other things!
The midwife talked me through things today, so I feel a bit more clued up in that respect.
We're lucky that our bedroom is a loft conversion so we'll use that as it's fairly big, has an ensuite shower room and I can stay away from everyone else in the house. The only issue might be that DS usually sleeps up there with me, but we need to get him used to kipping in the spare room with DH, which I think will be fine.
We have a combi boiler so that's one less thing to worry about!
susie, I didn't want to think about the second labour taking longer... Congrats on your DD.
MoonHare, hope it goes well.
Wilkos have cheap dust sheets. We then put some old bed sheets on top of them.
You don't need a bucket for the placenta as someone mentions above! Unless I guess you want to keep it in your fridge to make pate out of or something! Otherwise, the midwives bring a medical waste bucket.
If you're having a pool, fill it up sooner rather than later. You can always top out with hot water when you need to. My son was born well before ours was full. Should have just used it for a post birth pool party instead.
Well, my waters have gone and I'm waiting for contractions to start, so no time to worry about things I'm missing now!
GPs are here so no worries about DS which makes life much easier.
Best of British, hope you have a lovely snuggly baby soon soon soon!
Wow - go angel !! Very best wishes for a straight forward relaxed home birth xxx
Hope it's going well Angel and we hear some happy news in due course!
Oooooo, can't wait to hear angel about your snuggly baby
I've had 3 babes, 1st in hospital and stayed 1 night, hated it. 2nd at home loved it and 3rd in hospital in and out in 3 hrs! The only reason i had no3 in hospital was because no2 ws quite protective and still fairly young and i didn't want him distressed. But if i had the choice i would definately go for a hb as it is far more relaxing although slightly surreal. I think the advice you have been given thus far has pretty much covered it, but all i can add is maybe pop th heating on to make the house cosy for the new arrival and try not to be tempted to jump up and start doing chores about the house, as i did, as it will catch up with you! best wishes x
go Angel! Hope all is going/has gone brilliantly for you all!!
Hey good luck with it all, let us know about the bundle when he/she arrives
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