Please tell me about freebirthing

(87 Posts)
Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:07:12

Okay, so after my first birth I now am unfortunately dealing with PTSD and a massive phobia of midwives. So considering freebirth.

Could anyone be brave enough to share their experiences with me? And legalities, how did it work afterwards?

I have no interest in being controversial so please no one get upset with me

stargirl1701 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:09:21

A doula?

I didn't want to read and run, but have no practical advice to offer, sorry.

Sorry to hear that you had a horrible experience the first time round and hope it'll all be much more straightforward the next time.

Have you had any treatment for your PTSD or debriefing after your last delivery?

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:21:58

I had a doula for my first birth, but unfortunately she was unable to morph the midwife into someone who gave a crap

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:22:49

I've had an apology from the hospital for the actions of the mw. I can't face counselling right now :-(

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:24:10

Could you afford to hire an independent midwife? That way you can see references etc

Beamur Wed 16-Oct-13 21:24:16

Was your previous birth in hospital?

Are you currently expecting? Or do you have 'more' time to look at all your options?

Would you consider meeting with an independent MW or with several to find a person you can trust to be your advocate and truly be by your side from start to finish.

So sorry that you are having to deal with this. V unfair.

stargirl1701 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:25:35

Give birth in a private hospital?

Can you go elsewhere in the EU to give birth and still be entitled to public healthcare?

A different hospital?

A midwife unit?

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:34:01

I've been told by smw that an independent mw wasn't an option because thy were illegal hmm

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:34:49

But I really want to talk to people about freebirthing

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:36:52

I think intentional free birthing is also illegal.

QueFonda Wed 16-Oct-13 21:38:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:40:10

My bad, I think it's legal provided that you don't have anyone in attendance who is acting as a medical accessory

DaftAda Wed 16-Oct-13 21:40:25

Didn't want to read and run. I seriously considered a freebirth after a traumatic experience with dc1. When I really really thought about what my ideal birth would be though, I realised I didn't actually want to be all alone.

Impersonating a mw is illegal, so if your doula were to assist you, she could be prosecuted (although I think it would be pretty unlikely).. Otoh, your dh/dp would probably be ok. Lots of babies are born at home before any professionals arrive and no one bats an eyelid.

I found an IM I could trust. I now have 4 dc's and some happy birth memories (and now I'm crying). I hope everything works out for you.

QueFonda Wed 16-Oct-13 21:42:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Branleuse Wed 16-Oct-13 21:44:49

if youre going to do it, then id suggest still having someone competent and trustworthy with you. Your partner or mother/sister? Do as much research as possible and make sure youll phone an ambulance if necessary.

Do you live near a hospital?

DaftAda Wed 16-Oct-13 21:44:55

The law is in flux wrt IMs. Problems arose with their inability to get insurance. This is under review, I believe. Crucially, employing an IM is still legal.

DanglingChillis Wed 16-Oct-13 21:47:27

I don't know if free birthing is illegal or not but it could be very dangerous, for you and your baby. Are you pregnant now? Have you thought about a CS? Or would that be worse for you? Or a homebirth (with a sympathetic MW)? I do think you need to think about councilling to cope with the experience you had before, I have a friend who is still suffering PTSD after a badly managed birth and I know it can be very hard to build up the strength to face councilling but it will help.

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:48:48

Right so maybe a better option is either 1. An indep mw or 2. A home birth with the mws in a different room.

I'm actually shaking at the thought of a mw being that close to me. Would it be possible to 'freebirth' in 1 room of my house and have a lock on the door and have the mw in another room so they are close by but can not interfere with me?

OoozingCervix Wed 16-Oct-13 21:49:35

www.independentmidwives.org.uk/

not illegal yet.

have a good look before deciding.

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:50:13

I have major trust issues nowhmm

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:52:33

I'm not pg, my dh wants to start trying for no2 and I'm stalling.

I now realise that I can not let this experience stop me from having all the wonderful and amazing experiences another child will bring.

stargirl1701 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:52:42

There was a birth on C4 where the midwife was downstairs and the mum was upstairs with her DH.

gamerchick Wed 16-Oct-13 21:53:14

Freebirthing isn't legal. I don't know if you could get into trouble if something went wrong. What would be the point if a midwife next door . to a locked room?

Are you pregnant? You need to address this beforehand.

I read the born free sight a lot during pregnancy and found the story's soothing. But you need to talk to somebody about this seriously.

gamerchick Wed 16-Oct-13 21:53:36

*site

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:54:04

You are able to refuse any intervention etc. They cannot touch you withit your consent. However after such a traumatic birth first time round, you don't know what a normal uncomplicated birth should feel like. How would you know if something was wrong. Free birthing means you take FULL responsibility for your birth and baby. Not your husband or your friend who try to help. But YOU.

I can understand not wanting them near you. I have a lot of resentment as to how my birth was handled and I blame hospital fully for the circumstances during and after.

But without some help with the potential PTSD can you be sure that this is something you are mentally and physically ready for. thanks

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:56:17

There was an issue with consent last time so that doesn't help. I think I'm asking in the wrong place.

This might sound odd in response to your question, but have you considered elcs? I'm just thinking it would mean you could discuss/agree details in advance, consultant rather than midwife led, etc.

stargirl1701 Wed 16-Oct-13 22:05:51

Have you asked for debrief about your previous labour? An independent midwife could come with you to it. It may help.

pinktransit Wed 16-Oct-13 22:06:18

I also unintentionally freebirthed my second baby.
From the initial 'I think I'm in labour' to 'I want to push' was 45 minutes. The ambulance turned up 10 minutes after dd2 did.

I wouldn't recommend it, from my experience. It was scary, possibly because it was unplanned, but knowing that I was giving birth with no pain relief available (other than half an aspirin somewhere at the bottom of the first aid box, maybe), and nobody who knew what to do if something did go wrong.

I went to hospital afterwards, and they spent quite some time listing all the things that could have gone wrong. angry I think that they thought I'd done it deliberately as I had originally said that I wanted a home birth.

For you, I'd probably think about a home birth. You are on your own territory which automatically gives you more control. You can discuss what you want (minimal/no intervention unless you ask for it) but still have the safety net of someone who knows what to do if you need help.

Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 22:08:49

Cs not an option. Home birth is the only way forward and I'm really not fussed about pain relief.

That prev thread is very helpful.

Chacha23 Wed 16-Oct-13 22:18:20

I cannot even begin to comprehend how traumatized you must have been by your previous experience, if you are willing to risk your own life and that of your baby in order to avoid midwives. I'm very sorry this happened to you, and I'm not judging, honest. It just blows my mind.

My best and limited advice would be that it may really help you to choose your own independent midwife and build a relationship with them, so they become a real person whom you know and trust, as opposed to "a midwife".

Littleredtree Wed 16-Oct-13 22:19:13

Here's another resource on freebirthing - it is legal.

http://homebirthersandhopefuls.com/other-common-questions/unassisted-free-birth/

emsyj Wed 16-Oct-13 22:24:32

I don't know what area you're in OP but may be worth enquiring to see if One to One Midwives are available in your area. One to One

You would meet your midwife as soon as you find out that you're pregnant. The same person would see you for all your appointments and would be able to deliver your baby at home. This is a very different prospect from the 'standard' situation where you first meet the midwife who is to assist you when you're actually in labour. I had a fairly unpleasant first birth (although nowhere near as traumatic as your experience) but a very calm, positive home birth with my second. My midwife was fantastic and I had no internal examinations, no directed pushing - she was just sort of 'there' but not.

SaggyIsHavingAPinkKitten Wed 16-Oct-13 22:32:00

The thing is, if something goes wrong, you are alone. obviously.
I can completely understand that you have serious issues, but if it comes to a life or death situation, and as someone else asked, how would you even necessarily know, a midwife has got to be a better option than someone dying.
Lock the door, and let them sit there until you need them.
Find a lovely IM and build up a relationship and trust with her, and more importantly, speak to a counsellor. I don't think that shaking at the thought of MWs is the best situation for TTC.

Waferthinmint Wed 16-Oct-13 22:37:47

Start researching independent midwife now. Get to know one you like. Mine was amazing and would have done anything I asked. Very very hands off as that was what I wanted. Most importantly though, I saw her all the way through
Regnanyc in my own home and built up huge trust over the 9mknths

ReallyTired Wed 16-Oct-13 22:39:09

I'm sorry that you had such a hellish birth experience.

Please consider a homebirth with a midwife. Childbirth can be really dangerous for both mother and child. It is easy to forget how perilous childbirth is in a developed country.

I had a homebirth with an NHS midwife who was very hands off. A homebirth is nothing like a hospital birth. I was lucky enough to have the same community midwife who did my ante natal care deliver my baby. It felt more like having a friend with me than a health professional.

I am scared of doctors so I do sympathize. I think that independent midwife would be ideal for you.

OhBabyLilyMunster Wed 16-Oct-13 22:45:36

Homebirth with IM.... A magic experience.

I have to say that i have read online experiences of freebirthing where new mothers have had social services at the door. Not what you want, however unwarranted. Plus you just have to think of all the possibilities. Shoulder dystocia, cord prolapse, bleeding after delivery. You cannot treat YOURSELF if these things happen.

Btw ive homebirthed. Im not averse to risk.... But you have to balance it.

Beamur Wed 16-Oct-13 22:49:26

Where I live homebirth is an option and the MW are very supportive. Best of luck whatever path you take.

ShoeWhore Wed 16-Oct-13 22:49:38

OP would it help to try and focus your feelings on the mw who was present at your previous birth?

Not all midwives are like that. I had my babies in a wonderful mw-led unit and the last one at home and the mws were brilliant. Very respectful of me and my body and they knew exactly what to do to naturally help me have the best labour possible.

Have you discussed your feelings with your GP?

Please don't try and have your baby alone. It could be so dangerous for you and your baby.

RedToothBrush Wed 16-Oct-13 23:10:54

Where abouts are you in the UK?

Support for someone in your position who has a severe lack of trust in the medical profession is few and far between but there are a few places that seem to 'get it'. I have my own issues with it, to the point that I have had to seek advice over it and its a problem for me prior to getting pregnant.

If you intend to go down this route, please consider the possibility that if it doesn't go to plan that you might end up in a situation where your mental health or whether you are putting your child at risk might be an issue.

To me the issue is very much about you feeling the need to be in control and to be able to make your own decisions rather than be treated in a certain way. ELCS are usually talked about as the solution to this; I don't think this is the case for a second, but you need to be given an alternative that works for you and until you find that, I can understand why this option looks an attractive one.

In terms of legality, there are issues if you deliberately and knowingly avoid medical advice during pregnancy for example if you deny you are pregnant. In terms of consent this could potentially be used against you. You have a right to refuse treatment if you wish, as long as you are considered competent, but to actively avoid any medical involvement, it may identify you in some way as 'at risk' by assessing you as not competent. The point is 'they' (and I think you understand why I have phrased it like that) need to feel reassured that you fully understand the risks to you and yourself and are not acting in a way that is not in your best interests and put you at extreme risk perhaps due to your inability to assess that risk properly due to your fears. (Eg in exactly the same way that some one who was expressing suicidal tendencies might be assessed as a risk to themselves).

On a personal level, one of the things that has been said to me was that that my fears did necessarily just impact on the birth. If you have issues with the medical profession then how does this affect your child? Does this mean you would avoid seeking medical attention for them under certain circumstances. In which case are you putting yourself in a position where you might be considered as posing a threat to your child? Tough question, but be honest with yourself over it, and not anyone on this forum.

I don't mean to sound alarmist. Far from it. What I'm trying to say is you need to do your research and fully understand the implications of what you are thinking about, and you need to fully explore other options that may be an alternative to you.

The key part is you need you address what is the very core of your fear and how you feel you can cope with that under your terms. I'm not entirely sure you are doing that, as you are adopting a coping strategy of 'avoidance', which is rarely a productive response.

My advice. Find somewhere prepared to listen and proactively response to your demands no matter how 'nuts' they might consider them. If they think you are really seriously considering this and therefore have considerable concerns about you, it might surprise you how far they may bend over backwards to help you under your own terms. Not everywhere will be like this but there are a tiny number that are. Thats your problem, finding the right place where you can discuss your concerns - not counselling - so they can put in a plan that works for you. (I refuse to go down counselling route fwiw due my concerns over that too).

Good luck whichever approach you take ultimately.

Beesandbutterflies Thu 17-Oct-13 10:18:46

Redtoothbrush, did you have a plan agreed before getting pregnant? I feel like it's all hanging over me a bit

Beesandbutterflies Thu 17-Oct-13 10:21:33

I think I'll have to find the money for an IM and hope I can find one I trust, unfortunately I only have this one experience and therefore can not say of course it was just one bad mw, anyone could show up on the day and they could be just as awful or even worsehmmhmmhmm

OhBabyLilyMunster Thu 17-Oct-13 11:38:40

Start with www.homebirth.org.uk

Read every single birth story, i believe it will resonate a lot with you. It will empower you and give you the resources to do it your own way.

fuckwittery Thu 17-Oct-13 11:46:07

Independent midwives are not illegal! There is new EU law that was due to come in on 26 Oct which would make it illegal for an independent midwife to practice without insurance. For some years it has been unaffordable for IMs to get indemnity insurance. However a product has been found and should be able to be put in place, however the latest is that the UK government has delayed the coming into force in this country of the EU law, and the law won't likely change here til Feb 2014. I am due to give birth in the next few weeks with an IM and also have a phobia of hospitals and healthcare providers generally, would highly recommend looking into an IM. Ring a few, try and get a personal recommendation. I was still unsure after booking, but I've had around 10 antenatal appts that usually last an hour and a half each in my own home, still v anxious about my birth but complete faith in my midwife, I've had plenty of time to build up a trusting relationship.

MiaowTheCat Thu 17-Oct-13 12:53:55

I don't know how much it'll help, and I won't write the full thing because I don't want to terrify people - but the birth of DD1 was a life shattering experience because of how appallingly I was treated, consent issues like you mentioned, and the triple whammy of the fuckers ringing social services on me for not immediately consenting to forceps. I still have flashbacks and nightmares now, am on antidepressants for the anxiety disorder it left me with (they won't label it as PTSD because then it kind of indicates the NHS traumatised me and they won't do that - but basically it's what it is).

Fell pregnant again almost straight away and was absolutely pant-shittingly terrified (I struggle to even drive past the hospital in question who did all that to me). My community midwife had been utterly livid at what had gone on before (had said as much as - and possibly a bit more than - professionalism allowed) and she pulled every single string she could to make things as easy as possible... booked me in at a different hospital, chased up their specialist birth trauma/phobia midwife to try to make sure I was marked as high a priority as possible to NOT be sent to the other hospital if things were busy in the unit I wanted to go to, roped in perinatal mental health to support me on the phone (they were based in the hospital I can't deal with going to) and again, they tried to flag up not sending me to the other place under any circumstances that were avoidable.

I put at the top of my birth plan something like "I am very scared of you. I had a horrific experience last time and if I'm frightened, irrational or defensive - please accept my apologies in advance" - there was only one member of staff (on the post-natal ward and a woman with the general sensitivity of a house brick) took it on board and went absolutely above and beyond to help me out, understood when things triggered me off (a couple of pieces of medical equipment lying around the place that featured prominently in my flashbacks) and they were absolutely and totally fantastic.

Not for everyone - and ideally I wouldn't have had back-to-back pregnancies (but again, I think if I'd had time to think about it all - I possibly wouldn't have been brave enough to risk it again at all - and I'd never swap DD2 now she's here cos she's fab)... but if you get a good community midwife backing you you can get a decent amount in place to try to minimise any possibility of events repeating themselves again (I also had my health visitor chipping away behind the scenes as well).

Beesandbutterflies Thu 17-Oct-13 14:39:16

Miaow I'm so sorry to hear of your experience but I'm glad it was better for you second time around

RedToothBrush Thu 17-Oct-13 18:03:02

Beesandbutterflies my position is slightly different in that I would like to go down the ELCS route, but this has meant seeking help before getting pregnant all the same.

I have found it difficult to get referred because I don't fit into a normal care pathway, but I did manage to in the end, and had a talk through my options and what was concerning me most.

To do that, I had to research all the local hospitals within a reasonable distance and found out what their attitudes were to treatment and whether they had a particular bias or interest in a certain approach to supporting women in the way they need and not the way they demand.

And yes, I have effectively got a plan in place which is 'abnormal' and would break some of their normal 'rules' because of what my special needs are. And this is something that will be worked through and expanding on in more detail as time goes on.

So this IS possible. I'm sure a plan could be tailored to your needs and around your fears.

The consultant I saw isn't pro - anything apart from getting the right plan in place for women who have additional needs and anxieties and he is supportive of natural birth as much as a more medical birth (in fact if anything he aims to support women asking for an ELCS to be able to have a VB on their own terms by simply building the trust and confidence up with their team of HCPs to enable them to feel able to do this).

I genuinely didn't think I would feel as reassured as I did given my trust issues, but its made a real difference as its been affecting other aspects of my life and my relationship with my husband.

For me, the biggest thing in the end was I didn't want to spend the whole time being pregnant worrying about what was going to happen and if you did want to go down the free birth route you would be in that position. Far better to at least try and see if you can find some reassurance before you start.

MrsPatrickDempsey Thu 17-Oct-13 18:58:15

Hi

Are you aware of the role of a supervisor of midwives? Every practicing mw in the UK has to have one (independants included). Supervisors are mws who have undertaken further training. Women are at the centre of their sphere of practice, along with the safety of mums and babies. They can be your advocate. You can approach any one of them - near where you live or not. They may be a useful resource for you, especially in securing a pre delivery plan.

MrsPatrickDempsey Thu 17-Oct-13 19:05:58

PS

Just to echo what another poster said - spell out your concerns/fears/needs/wishes whatever they may be. Lots of confusion and difficulty arises from misunderstanding and poor judgement. There are many mws with so much experience and compassion who will think no further than you. You can be supported to achieve the birth you want. Knowing your mw beforehand is crucial and achievable and will make a huge difference. Please don't put you and your baby at risk.

Beesandbutterflies Thu 17-Oct-13 19:24:25

Hi mrs, yes I had a meeting with a som last time and all my concerns and extensive birth plan etc we're discussed and agreed and actions put in place, this however was totally ineffective and the me on the day ignored my birth plan (with no exception reason other than 'that's what she always does') and concerns, so I'm struggling to see how that would be helpful again.

MrsPatrickDempsey Thu 17-Oct-13 19:36:06

Bees - sorry to hear that - vv poor :-( I do wonder if your previous experience will carry more weight in getting what you want (Wrong I know but may be the case).

RedToothBrush Thu 17-Oct-13 19:38:30

Bees, find somewhere that has some sort of special interest in fear of birth if you can. Then do some research on the staff that work there and what their reputation is. The consultant I've seen has a v good reputation; I've seen a lot of v good comments from women who have had issues with birth trauma or fear or wanted an alternative birth plan for some reason - including on here. If you can't trust the medics, trust women who may have shared similar experiences to you. Find somewhere that is delivering on the promises. I really don't believe that everywhere is the same.

SaggyIsHavingAPinkKitten Thu 17-Oct-13 20:40:56

If you cant afford an indwpendent midwife then I second a doula. You need someone who will be your absolute advocate and speak for you without wavering.

Strumpetron Thu 17-Oct-13 20:43:57

I'd fully recommend and Independent Midwife, they're amazing. You'll get the support you need with minimum intervention, and if anything happens (god forbid) they are there to help if you need/want it.

CoconutRing Thu 17-Oct-13 20:58:50

Bees - I had an horrific experience with my first DS in hospital. The birth was so brutal, I decided that if I were to have any more children, I would rather give birth in my back yard rather than allow the sadistic and cruel MWs and doctors anywhere near me again.

I am a nurse and the people who tortured me were my colleagues.

I had my other 3 children at home. On my own, with just my DH and DM with me. It was an overwhelming powerful experience. I had no problems with SS or any other authority, as I lied to them about the births.

BUT, I am a fully qualified nurse and I took full responsibility for my babies and my body.

I would recommend an Independent Midwife. Good luck.

Beesandbutterflies Fri 18-Oct-13 13:03:07

Thank you for these replies, thank you coconut, I think I have some options now, I definitely wouldn't rule out a fb though.

3luckystars Sat 19-Oct-13 16:06:49

But its not just the birth, there is all the pre natal care too. Are you going to avoid all of that too because you hate all midwives?
Don't let this awful terrible thing that happened you, deprive your child of a sibling. Every birth is different, not all of them are the same. Look for a consultant, or a midwife that you trust (you must know in your heart that they are not all the same) and lean on them. Get help for this and you can go on to have a very good experience next time.
If this phobia is interfering with your life this much then you have to get help for it. I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience, I really wish you all the best and hope everything works out for you.

happynappies Sat 19-Oct-13 16:15:04

I read this article recently:

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/14/freebirthing-birth-without-medical-support-safe

No experience myself of freebirthing, but did have a traumatic first birth, considered a doula, then doubted that the doula would really be 'in-tune' with me, then had a much more positive second birth with a very supportive midwife in hospital. Had another two births, which weren't quite as positive, but the thing I learnt was that you can have the type of birth you want in terms of the type of support you need, if you have a very carefully written birth plan. I don't mean that you can predict the future, and avoid intervention etc if an emergency arises, but you can spell everything out - what worries you, what your previous experience was, what support you need, and you can always ask for a different midwife if the one who is supporting you is not helping (assuming that there are sufficient staff to accommodate the change). I know this is not what you asked... I wish I'd been able to experience a home-birth, but my high-risk pregnancies after pph etc, meant that it was out of the question (or I was not willing to go against advice anyway)... Good luck with your research, I hope you find the right answers.

bumpybumps Sun 20-Oct-13 20:45:05

I think a couple of people have said freebirthing is illegal, it's not illegal, it's legal to freebirth, the only part that is illegal is if someone who is unqualified assumes the role of a midwife. Whether this is your husband/partner/mother etc, only a midwife can provide midwife duties. So if you chose to freebirth then you have to take all responsibility for youself and your baby. Obviously different rules apply in an emergency situation where freebirthing wasn't intentional.

I'm so sorry for your experience and the way you were treated, it disgusts me that there are nhs midwives out there who think they know best and aren't prepared to listen to what a women wants for herself. But saying that there are other choices, and there are good caring midwives, (independant or nhs) and I'm sure if you found the right midwife who knew your experience they would want to make your birth right for you according to what you want and how you feel it should be. Good luck.

'Okay, so after my first birth I now am unfortunately dealing with PTSD and a massive phobia of midwives. So considering freebirth.'

This was me. When that is your baseline anything else is a bonus.

What happened instead, eventually, was a very strict birthplan that basically said no midwife is allowed to touch me ever for any reason.

You can say that when any disagreement will result in a free birth.

Dangling 'I don't know if free birthing is illegal or not but it could be very dangerous, for you and your baby.'

Whilst this is certainly true, those of us that had a traumatic time at the hands of hcps feel we are choosing the risks rather than increasing them. I am still convinced that a freebirth would have produced a better outcome for my first baby and me than the fully-attended one we had.

Though I want to make it clear I do not think freebirthing is a good idea, just that it really does appear to be the only available option occasionally.

Even if you get a fantastic birthplan agreed if you don't have the trust that the hcps will adhere to it then it is pointless.

I do have to say however, that if your birth plan is 'strange' you get better quality care, you get to deal with very senior midwifes and at the time of your labour you are assigned the very best/senior midwife in the building/on homebirth watch as no department wants to give the 'risky' patient to someone less competent or experienced.

Bunnylion Mon 21-Oct-13 13:19:58

Another options is a home birth with an nhs midwife but do not allow her in the room until the baby has arrived.

That way you will freebirth but have the midwife there incase of emergency. Your birthing partner will have to help enforce this but it will eliminate the chance of her doing anything to you without consent.

I'd recommend a doula to help protect your space on the day and to also help you come to terms with your previous birth.

I'm sure you have weighed up the risks yourself and don't need people telling you that freebirthing risky. My recent birth had a number of serious complications that were entirely down to the actions of an incompetent midwife. In my situation free birthing would have had a better outcome for me and my baby.

Beesandbutterflies Mon 21-Oct-13 13:40:39

Hi, thank you for your replies and understanding.
I think my best option is the 'freebirth' at home with midwife is a different part of the house. I'd probably put a lock on the door and have my dh and doula as bodyguards. My dh is devastated about what happened last time, esp as he'd told the mw no. :-( anyway he'll be on full alert this time.
My bp says no one is to touch me. If I can not get my extensive bp and a suitable mw agreed or I don't trust them then I'll try to find an independent.
Only if that fails then ill freebirth.

Beesandbutterflies Mon 21-Oct-13 14:30:00

with a new som obviously!

I think the problem was they 'humoured' my plan knowing that they could push me into anything at the time hmmhmm

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Tue 22-Oct-13 21:53:48

^ Free birthing^

Free or unassisted birth (often referred to as ‘free birthing’) means a woman giving birth without medical or professional help. (‘Free birthing’ should not be confused with ‘natural childbirth’ or with a birth attended by a self-employed, often known as an independent midwife).

‘Free birthing’ is legal as long as the birth is not attended or the responsibility for care is not assumed or undertaken by an ‘unqualified individual’. An ‘unqualified individual’ is a person who is not a registered doctor or midwife but acts in that capacity during birth. The woman assumes full responsibility for her child’s birth, but she may and can have her partner, a relative or a friend present in a supportive role If a woman chooses not to contact or engage a midwife it is her right to do so.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Tue 22-Oct-13 22:00:56

If you do decide to go the free birth option or if you can't get a home brth midwive to you maybe just have someone call EMS as soon as you start pushing. They won't be able to move you but will be there to help if you need it.

TobyLerone Wed 23-Oct-13 07:44:51

OP, I really can't stress enough how important it is that you try to deal with this through counselling/therapy before you get pregnant again.

It's all well and good planning a homebirth with lots of stipulations, but if (heaven forbid) something goes wrong and you have to transfer to hospital, you won't be prepared for that.
Sometimes complications are picked up before birth and there is a very real danger to you and/or your baby, so you are strongly advised (I don't believe they can force you) to have your baby in hospital. Sometimes a CS is the only way the baby can be born (placenta praevia, fibroids blocking the cervix, transverse lie).

Obviously everyone hopes these things won't happen, but there is a very real risk that they could. How would you deal with that?

Bees, you don't need to get your BP approved unless you are asking them specifically to DO something (like welcome your whole yoga class to watch in a hospital or have a birth pool filled upon your arrival).

At home you can do whatever you want regardless of approval, so a sensible midwife will approve but point out her concerns for you to think about.

I had a MLU after a traumatic first and though the midwife was agreeable to my suggestions she also said 'for as long as I feel comfortable with it'. There was no such statement at my homebirth. Her comfort was neither here nor there.

eurochick Wed 23-Oct-13 08:56:28

I'm sorry you've had this experience. Please get some therapy before you try to get pregnant again.

From experience I know that it can help enormously. I have medical anxiety relating to GA- being rendered unconscious while people do things to me hugely freaks me out. It doesn't help that I react badly to the drugs and have a horrible time when I come round. I was facing repeated instances of this for fertility treatment (they knock you out to collect the eggs). After the second very traumatic time I had private hypnotherapy. She works with a lot of athletes on facing fears of a different kind. I was pretty sceptical but it was very effective. I was able to go into the third round of treatment feeling like I could deal with it, without chest-clenching anxiety in the lead up to it. I'd never had any mind of therapy before so I was surprised how effective I found it.

I think doing this alongside your home birth plan will help you to manage the feelings of distress you have based on your last experience.

TooTryHard Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:01

I am (hopefully) having a home birth and have met my midwife several times now. They are a team of only four or five and I think if I were to have concerns I would have met them all in the comfort of my home.

The midwife has pretty much said she expects to turn up, not do much, do the paperwork and go home again.

Would it be worth you (or your DH if you can't do it) phoning your local home birth team to talk this through with them?

FTRscreamingInTerror Thu 24-Oct-13 20:53:30

I had PTSD after having my DS and my advice would be have treatment for that before you try for number 2.
Even free birthing I can't imagine it would be a calming experience while you are still suffering the trauma of your previous birth.
I took me 3 years to even discuss having another baby with DH and then another 18 months before we started trying, unfortunately DH works away so that has disrupted things somewhat.
Get yourself well first and then think about another one

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 21:28:04

does anyone know if the midwives who meet you at home also work in the hospital? Because my homebirth midwife (for my UK birth) followed me to hospital when it became apparent a Hb wasn't happening... And she was amazing. Just genuinely SO good. And when other people got involved she basically just ignored them if they tried to push me to do anything I didn't want to do. Not sure how it worked with the normal "hospital midwives" or if there is a difference? She actually came to visit me at home and tell me how sorry she was that my birth plan went out the window (NOT HER FAULT I MIGHT ADD!) Dc1 was a traumatic birth but I wasn't traumatized iyswim.

Dc2 was a straight forward birth (in hospital in the states with docs and nurses) where nothing I said was listened to at all and my bodily integrity was completely ignored. And I was left crying about it for a year.

How HCP treat you is just so important and the ironic thing was is I was having a home birth because I was petrified about going to hospital after having a really horrible experience with a nurse (not birth related).

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 21:28:38

She was NHS just to add,

TooTryHard Thu 24-Oct-13 21:55:05

I think mine are solely out of the hospital but I don't know if they'd transfer in with me if needed. Presumably they would because they wouldn't just hand you over to paramedics.

ishouldbecleaning Sat 26-Oct-13 21:26:10

Beesandbutterflies - 9 years ago I was left with PTSD and PNP after a very traumatic, no pain relief, (they refused to give me any), no consent, failed ventouse, keibler forceps, forced my mum to pin me to the bed by my shoulders, could not control my screaming, son had elbow at the side of his head, was back to back, they rotated as they dragged him out, I cannot go into more detail that even now, 9 years later, it caused me severe mental health issues and my son is pretty much blind due to the forceps. Couldnt even go past that hospital on the bus without vomiting or being triggered in some way As the maternity ward was on the front of it. Was demolished last year.

I have since had 2 girls. At a different hospital. Still local but other end of the city. Despite problems with 2nd pregnancy due to damage caused in 1st delivery and DD1 was induced early I managed to have a nice labour and birth. Communicate with the staff. I was very clear. They were very understanding. I did have a panic attack during labour with DD1 which led me to use Natal Hypno

ishouldbecleaning Sat 26-Oct-13 21:27:26

therapy (stupid phone) with DD2. Believe me I still nailed that gas and air but it kept me *calm which was the ultimate goal. Try it.

I really, really know how you feel.

Liara Sat 26-Oct-13 21:38:34

I know someone who freebirthed.

She had no previous bad experience, and had an independent midwife who was available to come whenever she chose, who she trusted completely. She just didn't want anyone around for the actual birth.

She called the mw after the baby was born, though, as she had strong afterpains and was worried about the placenta coming out. The mw came and helped with that and nothing else. If she hadn't had a sympathetic, understanding mw at that stage she might have had to go into hospital, so she was very glad to have her.

I have had two home births with an im and she was wonderful. We built a relationship during the pgs and so she was very in tune with my needs for the actual births. She was in the room but totally unobtrusive for ds1, in fact I have no memory of her being there, my field of perception seemed to end at the edge of the birth pool!

For the second birth her, dh, my sis and I were happily chatting away and trying to get the birth pool to a sensible temperature with hot kettles (we had filled it with cold water by mistake) until about 3 minutes before I gave birth. I then got into the pool, had one contraction and out shot the baby. The total sum of her intervention was to boil some kettles and say 'catch!'.

I think having a birth pool can be very helpful in terms of setting a boundary where you are the one in control. Mine was quite big, so if I was sitting in the middle no one could have reached me very easily!

Notmyidea Sat 26-Oct-13 22:01:43

I considered it after I was mistreated during my first birth. I officially planned a homebirth, had antenatal care and was prepared to call too late for the midwife to get there. In the end I wasn't happy with how things were going, called her out and ended up with a cs for a complex presentation.

please complain about how you were treated. Finding the strength to do that is a big part of the healing process and helps protect other women. I still have occasional flashbacks 13 years on.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Sun 27-Oct-13 01:19:52

I think having a birth pool can be very helpful in terms of setting a boundary where you are the one in control. Mine was quite big, so if I was sitting in the middle no one could have reached me very easily!

What a good idea! The midwife is pretty unlikely to jump in with you!

SoonToBeSix Sun 27-Oct-13 01:50:30

Bees I really think you should go for counselling, I had a horrible birth experience with dd2 due to an awful midwife so do understand. However the trauma of awful birth experience could never compare to the trauma of losing your baby if your freebirth went wrong.

Beesandbutterflies Sun 27-Oct-13 07:20:50

Thank you for your contributions, good ideas about the pool, however it panics me that at some stage I have to get out of the pool and they'll be there hmm
I think an im seems the way forward but I'm worried about cost, can anyone whose used one give me a rough idea so I can think about saving smile also I'd really like my doula again

I have continued to lurk on this thread and my heart goes out to you, Bees, and anybody else who's had horrendous birth experiences sad.

You seem to be putting much thought and emotional energy in to the planning of any future labour and delivery which is only sensible. I just cannot help but wonder whether at some point you might direct some of that effort into addressing your trauma?
As another poster has pointed out, you can plan all you want, things can change and the last thing you want is to feel really panicky and out of control of event if things don't go to plan IYSWIM?

There are unused birth pools on ebay every now and then - from people who'd planned to labour/deliver in their pool but never made it in for what ever reason (I didn't - v fast labour and delivery in hospital, but was a really good experience).

I so hope you find a way to be a survivor from your experience and have the deliver you hope for in the end x.

My birth plan stated that if water was medically contra-indicated I would still be using the birth pool though unfilled.

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