Home birth?

(16 Posts)
twiglet2 Tue 02-Sep-14 13:17:01

Just had my 28 week midwife appointment and the midwife suggested that I have a home birth. This has been mentioned before, but I'd just assumed that I'd have the baby in hospital as its my first. My pregnancy so far has been very easy (touch wood) - low risk with no complications.
We live pretty close to the hospital, just under 3 miles, and I'm now thinking that a home birth might actual be pretty good.
Just after some home birth stories really - has anyone here had a good experience of a home birth? would you recommend it?

TreeMugger Tue 02-Sep-14 13:31:52

It's a very personal decision so I don't know if I'd 'recommend' it as home birthing certainly isn't for everyone but I would certainly aim for a home birth again myself! I had dd1 in hospital and it was horrible. It all became very medicalised for no real reason other than the first midwife I had having no faith in my ability to give birth naturally (which I did after the epidural the midwife sent me for didn't work). I hated being on the ward afterwards too.

So I had a homebirth with dd2 and it was great. The midwife came out to check on me the first time we called. She made a few suggestions and said that she could stay if I wanted her to or go and come back later. I was happy for her to go and leave us to it for a bit. I had a bath and we called her back a few hours later. Dd2 was born safe and sound, I handed her to DP while I went for a bath (mainly because she pooed all over my leg just after she was born!) Dp and one of the midwives weighed dd, got her cleaned up and dressed her then brought her to me in my own comfy bed. I fed her then ate a bar of chocolate then had a sleep for a few hours before dd1 came back (with most of my family!) to meet her new sister.

I think the most important thing is to give birth where you feel safest, whether that's in hospital or a midwife led unit or at home.

walde Tue 02-Sep-14 13:42:55

I agree about choosing wherever you feel safest. Giving birth makes you turn into an animal. You just need to feel safe. Some people feel safe with the Dr close by. I felt safe in my own space and didn't want to be a "patient". I was very happy with my homebirth and my MLU birth. I had competent and compassionate MWs. I had to be transferred to hospital after my homebirth which was a shame as I didn't get the nice shower and tucked up in bed treatment that everyone talks about. But given the circumstances I was lucky that things went as smoothly as they did and I was home again 2 hours later.
If you're keen on a homebirth and the MWs are supportive then I'd say go for it.

twiglet2 Tue 02-Sep-14 15:56:10

To be honest, I'd ruled it out as this is my first, but I have a lovely community midwife, and she said that as everything had been straight forward so far, there was no reason why I shouldn't. I feel like I'm close enough to be able to get to the hospital in a hurry if necessary, and I think I'd be a lot more relaxed in a home environment. Its really useful to hear about your experiences so thank you for sharing them. Just need to talk to my husband and see what he thinks.

WaxyDaisy Tue 02-Sep-14 16:07:04

Why not? If you change your mind on the day switching into hospital is pretty straightforward. Choosing a homebirth on the day is more difficult.

In terms of safety, they bring all the resuscitation gear, and you get 1-2-1 care in labour, something hospital often can't offer ( plus of course 2 midwives for the birth). More first timers transfer in than subsequent births. There are v few emergencies that can't be handled at home (and they often don't have good outcomes in hospital either).

There's lots of info on the web, so do some reading and then go with whatever feels right for you.

lotsoftoast Tue 02-Sep-14 18:41:17

www.facebook.com/groups/homebirthchat is a fabulous resource

Have a read of homebirth.org.uk and Home Birthers and Hopefuls online too

imisssleepandwine Tue 02-Sep-14 19:18:32

I had a homebirth with DD1 and it went really well, I coped just fine without pain relief and it was lovely to get into bed with DH and DD afterwards.

Do what you feel comfortable with, you can always change your mind on the day if it gets too much. Good Luck.

DizzyKipper Wed 03-Sep-14 09:06:58

Like others it's not something I'd recommend as such but it's definitely what I'll be doing for myself. I had a homebirth with DD and I do believe the standard of care I received was well above what I would've gotten in a hospital. It was hard though, I really hadn't expected the pain to be as horrendous as it was and did think at one point I would have to transfer into hospital for an epidural. Managed it in the end with just G&A though and if all goes well should be having another homebirth with DC2 - I'm going into it with the expectation of the pain will be bad but I can put up with it.

weebairn Wed 03-Sep-14 10:57:35

I had really good care with my home birth which was my first child. I also found it very hard and it was pretty long and I was sort-of asking to be transferred at one point as I didn't think I could do it. However my care was brilliant and I got through mostly just by breathing and counting! I don't think anything that would have happened in hospital would have helped me particularly and it could have had lots of downsides too.

After the birth was exceptionally lovely. Bed, shower, cuddles, champagne! Sleeping in your own bed with your partner and your new baby on the first night, no one to disturb you. I think it helped a lot with the very easy start I had to breastfeeding as I just stayed in bed with the baby for a couple of days and was very relaxed.

I also live near to the hospital and read up enough to be happy it was a safe choice. I think the main thing to bear in mind as a first time mum is that 50% of planned home births do end up transferring in. This is for a big range of reasons almost all of which are not dire emergencies, but worth bearing in mind so you're not too disappointed if it happens. Obviously you can change your mind on the day too.

good luck whatever you decide - I think I am going for a home birth with no. 2 too in a few weeks time.

weebairn Wed 03-Sep-14 11:00:19

Another really big bonus - most men get much more involved at home and find it easier to support you and keep themselves busy getting everyone food/drinks/filling up birth pools/fetching things/etc. (Unless they are terrified of being at home instead of hospital of course - it was very important to me my boyfriend was happy with the idea.)

twiglet2 Wed 03-Sep-14 12:03:08

Thanks everyone. Had a good chat about this with my husband last night. We've been doing some reading and he's keen on the idea. I've come to the conclusion that having a home birth pretty much is like having a birth plan - its a wish list really, and you have to be prepared for every eventuality. It wouldn't be a big deal if they decided that we need to go into hospital after all and as the hospital is close by, we wouldn't have a long journey to get there should we need to in a hurry - I think if the hospital wasn't so close I'd have more concerns. I've read up about the pain relief side of things too - I'm under no illusions! but I think that I might be able to try and cope with that pain a bit better if I'm in my own home and able to move around more.

Ihateparties Wed 03-Sep-14 13:12:07

I really agree with what you've written in your last post, being prepared mentally for different eventualities. I had a home birth with dc3, it was lovely but I wouldn't actually have minded either way having had a good hospital experience previously. Dc2 was also booked to be a home birth but the community midwives were short staffed at the time so that didn't happen. The hospital is almost visible from my front door, much less than a mile away which had the double positive of being an extremely quick transfer if required and also the midwives could get to me very easily and quickly.

I had a prescription from my gp for meptid, had it not been suggested to me by my midwife I wouldn't have known that was a possibility.

CantUnderstandNewtonsTheory Wed 03-Sep-14 22:35:59

It sounds like you're pretty open minded and ready to go with the flow so why not book the homebirth and see how you get on? You can always change your mind even during labour if you decide you'd rather go to hospital. I had my first in hospital and tbh it was a horrible experience purely because of the bad attitude of the mw and the busy environment. I'm convinced I would have been better off staying at home but being my first I didn't know what to expect and thought we would be safer near the doctors. My dc2 was born at home and it was so much nicer, I think it was safer too as we had the undivided attention of a very experienced midwife.

NoodieRoodie Wed 03-Sep-14 22:48:48

I think going into this with an open mind is the best thing,

I attempted a home birth with DS but transferred at 9cm only because I'd been vomiting for 24 hours and had had enough and needed something to stop it. The MW wasn't concerned and DH drove us there in our car, had baby and discharged 6 hours later.

Had DD at home and it was amazing slobbing on the sofa afterwards.

We're about 5 miles from the hospital on a main road so easily accessible.

Like PP have said it's far easier to plan a HB and change your mind at any point than it is to decide on a HB when you're in labour

twiglet2 Thu 04-Sep-14 09:37:16

We're going to go for the home birth, but will be prepared for a transfer to hospital at any point. It's 3 1/2 miles to the hospital, so not far to go. From what I've read on mumsnet, everyone's birth experience is so different, there's no point really trying to plan too much, because you just don't know how you'll cope with the pain, or what will happen!

Any tips or advice from those who have had a home birth would be really helpful.

NoodieRoodie Thu 04-Sep-14 20:31:09

It sounds like you have the right attitude to this! With DC2 I had no birth plan, the only plan was to try and have this baby at home.

With regards to practicalities:

- Give birth wherever you fancy, you don't have to be in bed or in your bedroom

-Shower curtain or the like to put under you - I had one but when it came to that point I wasn't going to shift to put it under me! I had an old sleeping bag with a towel on top and the Persian rug survived unscathed

- A couple of towels you don't care about - one went in the bin afterwards, the others just got chucked in a hot wash

- Tens machine and spare batteries - it's a love or hate it thing but I loved it

- plenty of tea and biscuits - for the midwives and us!

People seem concerned about the mess but to be honest I gave birth on the living room floor and once I went upstairs the 2nd midwife threw the sleeping bag and towel (they'd been in the charity shop pile anyway!) and by the time I came down from my bath apart from the fact there was a tiny baby you wouldn't have known I'd given birth.

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