When know for sure home birth ok?

(38 Posts)
leannac Sun 30-Dec-12 14:56:17

I'm 32 wks & am planning for homebirth which all seems ok so far but wondered if I should hang fire on getting birthing pool etc until a bit further along. Are there any further checks they do in later midwife apts that would mean they could possibly recommend hospital birth? This is my second baby but first homebirth

quoteunquote Sun 30-Dec-12 15:21:28

There are no certainties, it is about making informed decisions as each point.

I would at least check there are birthing pools available, good luck.

clickingtock Sun 30-Dec-12 16:18:09

At least wait til you are booked in, usually at 34 weeks, for the HB. But anything you buy can be sold on eBay if unused....

I had a presentation scan at 36 weeks to confirm baby was head down, and because my Hb was low they had to do another set of bloods to check they were over their home birth threshold which was I think 10.5.
Other than that it was just the fact that my pregnancy has remained low all the way through, but the midwives didn't bring home birth pack or paperwork for me to sign until the presentation scan had been done. So you can plan all the way through but they are cagey about confirming until the last minute.
I haven't ordered a pool to have at home as I thought there wouldn't be the room as we have the Christmas tree up where it would go otherwise, but if you bought a pool I'm sure you can sell it on/ get a refund if you don't use it?

Reading the other responses it sounds as if different areas have different criteria so maybe your best bet would be to ask your midwife?
I actually think in some areas the community midwives lend out pools anyway so may be worth checking with midwives before you pay out for one.

wouldyoupleasemove Sun 30-Dec-12 18:30:01

Just had my home birth booking in, am 36 weeks. They brought pack a few days ago and I have started to pull together bags of old towels etc. I'm borrowing a pool and my friend bought me a clean liner. DH and I are getting a demo tomorrow! I'm probably a bit more organised than I need to be as I'm moving in a week, baby is already engaged and on my dates my EDD is earlier than scam dates. I'm utterly terrified about going into labour on move date ( but that's a whole other thread grin)

leannac Sun 30-Dec-12 20:05:56

Our midwives don't provide pools so I do need to get one but maybe I'll wait until 36 weeks. I didn't realise that would be a specific home birth apt. Sounds a bit close to the end for me. My latest 3 friends to have babies had them at 35,36 & 37 weeks!!

Well as I say different places seem to handle things differently but the reason our midwives do the setup visit so late is that of you go into labour before 37 weeks they would not support a home birth under those circumstances anyway. So it kind of makes sense, no point in bringing loads of delivery packs round at 33 weeks or whatever just to have to collect them again?

MrsHBaby3 Sun 30-Dec-12 20:13:35

Prob around 36 weeks (for me apparently they need to confirm if baby is head down). I cant decide if i will get a pool or not, but if I do, itll be about 36 weeks that I order it.
Push your midwife if you think you want it done sooner. (my babies are always late). I think sometimes they need a bit of a shove!

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sun 30-Dec-12 20:16:19

It's best not to plan for a Homebirth but rather a 'starting at home' birth, then see how you go. No reason why you can't use the pool in that instance even if you later go into hospital.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sun 30-Dec-12 20:21:05

They did the Homebirth 'visit' and appt when I was already overdue. Admin issues or something. 'twas pretty late in the day when they made enough time to register that I was going to have a Homebirth.

Told them I wasn't going into hospital for reasons of admin.

Pascha Sun 30-Dec-12 20:36:55

No packs, no scan, no booking appointment, no pool hire here. They just have me down as a homebirth and took my good Hb at 28 weeks and my head-down baby as ok to go.

I have a pool ready, everything else will arrive on the day with the midwife.

I should say my hb check was only because mine had shown up low at 28 and dropped further by 35 weeks and was just to double check it had improved- luckily it had.

bealos Sun 30-Dec-12 22:10:15

Definitely seems to be different protocol in different areas.

It's your decision whether you have a home birth or not. Ultimately, they have to send out a midwife if you choose to deliver at home. They wouldn't support a home birth before 37 weeks, but you can still have one if you want.

but I think OP was asking about pools - I've borrowed one off my doula. Lots of places hire them out too.

tourdefrance Sun 30-Dec-12 22:21:24

I had a home birth appointment at 36 weeks but my waters had just gone that morning so they basically told me it was off and I had to go to hospital. I think you can order your pool to arrive at 37 weeks and cancel if you don't need it. If you hire I think you get it for 4 weeks.

eagleray Sun 30-Dec-12 22:43:42

I'm 37+2 and am due a home birth visit early in the new year. Have bought a pool off Ebay (birthing pools in my area cost £hundreds to hire) but it isn't due to be posted until tomorrow (prospect of pool arriving before baby has been causing me a couple of nightmares, however unlikely the prospect is!)

Hb levels were ok in early 3rd trimester but have dropped a lot since so am now eating iron supplements like they're going out of fashion. MW at last appt stressed the need to get the levels raised asap but didn't see it as something to immediately rule out home birth. However, the next day I had a phone call from a hospital MW who definitely saw it as an issue regarding homebirth - I think these things are a little bit subective!

I like StarofLight's 'starting at home' birth concept - I have tried to see it that way as know that the chances of having a full homebirth are not that high and really don't want to wind myself up with the potential disappointment.

Good luck to everyone with homebirth plans smile

bealos Sun 30-Dec-12 22:47:17

Yes, it's good to think that there's lots of options out there... home or hospital. Whatever works in the end.

My friend recommended Spatone water for iron - you can get it in Holland & Barrett. More easily absorbed than the tablets apparently.

Yy- spatone is all I used and it raised my iron levels enough in two weeks for them to be happy. Not so many side effects as ferrous sulphate either.

sipper Sun 30-Dec-12 23:02:54

I hired a pool the first time (ordered it at 34 weeks) and then bought a birthpool in a box for 2 & 3. Get pool set up and ready before the date so you are ready to spring into action! My dd's had fun playing in pool (no water! and before sterile liner went in) - became a fun part of waiting for new baby to arrive, although pool did take up most of the house!

sipper Sun 30-Dec-12 23:04:35

Biocare's pregnancy supplements (Ican't remember exact name but its the pregnancy and lactation one) very good. I took for all three of my pregs. A friend who had low iron issues took aswell and her levels went up really well and midwife changed her notes to no concerns.

eagleray Sun 30-Dec-12 23:08:00

Spatone is what got me into this trouble in the first place unfortunately... Bought some when my Hb levels were borderline and thought that would do the trick. Fast forward 6 weeks and my levels are checked again and found to have dropped from 10.7 to 9.8.

I am now on the nasty Ferrous Sulphate (3 x day) and while they're not pleasant, I am not actually constipated (think I'm too scared to be constipated now!) Not sure how they compare with Spatone for iron content but have a feeling there is a massive difference.

It's all a bit of a mystery - Spatone seems to work wonders for some folks but not for others (I am vegetarian too, which possibly doesn't help). All I can say is be a bit vigilant re your iron levels as it's a bloody nightmare when it starts blighting plans for a HB...

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 30-Dec-12 23:13:29

for me it was never a certainty.
we planned to be at home for as long as possible, allowing for the option of transfer either by our choice or the midwife's guidance.
We booked a pool, so that the "long early labour" we had been warned about could be done in comfort.
We made it clear our hope was to have the baby at home.

sipper Sun 30-Dec-12 23:19:01

eagleray - the friend i mentioned who upped her iron levels with biocare pregnancy and lactation formulation is a veggie too.

eagleray Sun 30-Dec-12 23:31:43

Sorry Sipper I didn't see your post before I posted my last reply. I will look up those supplements as willing to do anything to get iron levels up.

I will have to see the iron thing as a long-term issue as know the levels won't magically right themselves after the birth!

Interestingly, someone has written 'potential thalassaemia carrier?' on my notes early in the pregnancy, but whenever I have questioned it, no one has been able to give me any answers as to why it was put there.

blondefriend Mon 31-Dec-12 22:09:18

I planned a homebirth and was accepted right up until 39 weeks. At 39+2 I was in hospital having my waters broken in theatre and on a oxytocin drip.

However I have an unused birthing pool if anyone wants it. ;)

leannac Tue 01-Jan-13 15:45:33

Blondefriend, what was it that changed so suddenly you needed to be induced? Seems silly in the grand scheme of things but am just trying to avoid spending £100 on a birth pool until I know I will be able to use it. Whilst also desperately knowing I don't want to do a home birth without one so panicking about not getting one in time!

gallicgirl Tue 01-Jan-13 15:50:32

I had a home birth without a pool and it was fine.

MW did a home visit around 35-36 weeks and then just brought all the kit with her on the day.

clickingtock Tue 01-Jan-13 15:56:53

Leannac, you simply can't plan for these things other than staying positive and going for what you want. You have time to pick up a bargain on eBay (just buy a new liner). Personally I waited til I was booked in, but as others here have pointed out that can vary according to your trust. I got an unused second-hand pool for £50 and will sell on however the birth turns out... Just go for it, but accept it may or may not be how you envisaged it. Good luck.

blondefriend Tue 01-Jan-13 20:41:04

My MW thought everything was ok and sent me for a "check-up" scan at 39 weeks. I was seen by a consultant immediately after the scan who told me I had severe polyhydramnious and needed to be induced. TBH I knew I was carrying a lot of weight but just thought I had overdone it with the chocolate. I'm still amazed the MW didn't pick up anything was wrong.

leannac Wed 02-Jan-13 07:52:55

Oh that's a bit scary blondefriend. I have to keep thinking I am going to have a home birth as last birth was so traumatic that I mentally cannot cope with the thought of going into hospital again. It gives me the heebie jeebies

GaryBuseysTeeth Wed 02-Jan-13 08:05:34

Good luck for your homebirth.

I had been planning one all the way with DS & was booked in to have one.
Then he stopped moving at 38wks and when I went in they noticed he'd developed an irregular heartbeat (which wasn't there at my appointment a few days earlier!!), he started moving again but he needed to be born in hospital.
He stopped moving again at 39wks & I was induced, all was fine with him. Awkward little bugger.

A friend of mine planned a homebirth, got to 41wks went into labour & started filling the birth pool, only to then find meconium in her waters so she had to go in anyhoo.

Are there any on eBay in your local area? You may find lots of people have bought them only to not use them (like friend above who sold hers after).

bealos Wed 02-Jan-13 11:54:46

I'm going to test out our pool today!

eagleray Wed 02-Jan-13 17:52:15

Leannac - sorry you had such an awful time with your last birth. This is my first, but I have some very bad memories of the hospital where I would give birth and that is partly why I am hoping to opt for homebirth (10 yrs ago,my then partner was critically ill for months and I had to go into the hospital day after day not knowing if he would live or not, and also found his loss of dignity/suffering very distressing).

So, am hoping to stay at home, and have let MWs, docs etc know I am not that happy with going into hospital, but at the same time understand it may be necessary and will accept that if things don't go as planned. There is also the option of paying for a private room which I think would help a bit so I will hopefully do that (if there is one available on the day).

Do you think you would be able to cope with a hospital birth if you had to? It may be worth talking through your fears with someone. I am doing hypnobirthing, which am hoping will help with any situation I end up in, as well as with a homebirth.

MW did home visit today finally! (am 37+5) She was happy with house/facilities and also pointed out a few things I need to buy asap, which was useful.

Bealos - how did the pool testing go today? Am still waiting for my pool to appear - there's nothing like a missing pool to bring on imaginary contractions!

brettgirl2 Wed 02-Jan-13 18:06:07

In my case the decision was made 2 minutes before birth. Meconium in waters but too far on to transfer!!!

Keep an open mind but so glad I chose to do it at home

bealos Wed 02-Jan-13 18:13:55

Pool is currently inflated and filling up (slowly) with water. Ds1 (7) is incredibly excited. He thinks it's like a combination bouncy castle / giant paddling pool.

CrunchyFrog Wed 02-Jan-13 18:26:06

eagle I have thalassaemia trait, it's worth getting it checked out, as my "normal," non-pregnant hb is about 10. if you have thal trait, the important number is the MCV.

I had 2 home births, the second one at 42+3. You can only be advised, not indstructed, and in my case I felt that the baby and I were safer at home.

eagleray Wed 02-Jan-13 20:23:40

Thanks CrunchyFrog - will remember to ask about the thalassaemia at next appt. I have endless trouble with ferretin levels when not pg although generally don't have any symptoms. Think Hb is normally ok - it was 11.3 in first trimester then has dropped a fair bit since. MW who visited today was fairly unconcerned about it - but then it does seem to be very subjective and each MW seems to work to a different threshold!

eagleray Wed 02-Jan-13 20:26:52

Glad you are having fun with the pool bealos - I would be going crazy with excitement too if I was 7!

I will have to be a bit careful with DP 'helping' me with pool - he has a tendency to break everything during assembly and is a bit like an overexcited dog when it comes to water hmm

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