Home or the hospital

(87 Posts)
jessnoble Sat 21-Dec-13 18:25:29

I was just wondering, what are peoples opinion on giving birth at home or in a hospital e.g. advantages/ disadvantages

It would be a great help smile

StarlightMcKingsThree Sat 21-Dec-13 21:56:10

Hospitals are for sick people.

WidowWadman Sat 21-Dec-13 21:57:45

Hospitals are also great when things go wrong, which cannot always be anticipated.

StarlightMcKingsThree Sat 21-Dec-13 22:02:33

Though hospitals often are the cause of things going wrong, by interfering with the natural physiological process of birth and applying arbitrary policy and processes.

brettgirl2 Sun 22-Dec-13 06:27:02

My experience:
Better care from the midwives
More relaxing environment
Cleaner than hospital
Own space to bond with baby, no postnatal ward hell
You are at home already, no painful waddle to the car
Partner more relaxed, pool for him to maintain, tea to make

More pain relief
No need to transfer
If there is medical need paeds etc.

You will get lots of people saying 'I'd have died at home'...... which is impossible to prove either way. However, the midwives come out earlier (ime), they get a proper feel for progress and therefore imo are more likely to identify earlier when things aren't right. They are very careful and have tight procedures for eventualities like pph/ baby not breathing.

In my case I would have been transferred with my first as her heartrate was dipping at times (hospital birth anyway) and second I chose to have at home with no problems.

Turnipsandsproutswithtinselon Sun 22-Dec-13 06:36:49

I wouldn't go for a home birth personally because I am truly shit at giving birth (prem baby and then emcs with a stay in intensive care) but I think home births are great for those that can have them.
Also if you decide to have a home birth you may very well end up in hospital, so as with all things birth plan relates - do the research, form a preference, and then accept that you have to take what fate hands you fgrin

TheBrotherHoodOfSteel Sun 22-Dec-13 06:44:49

1 hospital birth - labour lasted 15 1/2 hours and had oxytocin in the end to speed up. Couldn't do what I wanted. Strapped to bed for monitoring. Felt incredibly stressed. No real reason to have interfered as baby was in no rush and in no danger.
2 planned home births - labours lasted under 6 hours. No pain relief needed. No problems. Moved about freely. Births were very easy. Babies very happy. Loved every second of it! grin

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 07:01:19

I don't think hospitals should be demonised, they're not always bad! I had DD2 in hospital, had her in 40mins after arrival, in the water pool, lovely midwife, no pain relief. We went home 4.5 hrs later. Went home to a lovely clean bed with clean sheets and woke up next morning to show DD1 her new baby sister. grin

msmiggins Sun 22-Dec-13 07:28:44

lolalotta I completely agree. I have had two hospital births and they were lovely. Staff were very supportive, delivery suits were comfortable, really good atmosphere. Midwives gave me massage, we played music, lots of clean linen and frsh towels on hand. Even my Oh was given lots of support.
It's not always easy to stick to a birth plan, the idea of no pain relief is difficult to plan-especially for a first time mother- but the truth is birth is extremely painful and can be traumatic.
Many women may want the option of pethidine or epidural-but you won't know that until you are in labour. It won't be an option at home. Travelling to hospital in the intense stages of labour would not be pleasant.

My very normal pregnancy and labour- using only gas an air -resulted in my first being born not breathing, midwives could not resucitate, but peadiatric crash team was there within seconds- rushed my son to specialist care and equipment- and was given life saving treatment that saved his life. He was treated and within hours was pink and healthy- with thankfully no lasting damage.

I dread to think what the outcome would have been at home. Events can turn within seconds duiring a birth, and I'm afraid my comfort comes secondary to my child's welfare.

msmiggins Sun 22-Dec-13 07:33:07

lolalotta- just wanted to add your birth sounds very much like my second- in hospital at 9am, active labour. I gave birth kneeling on the floor at 11am, immediate skin contact and breastfeeding at my leisure, a shower with lots of clean fluffy towels, all the mess taken care of, and home at 3pm same day. A very positive experience.

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 11:13:55

I'm glad there are others who have found hospital a positive experience too. I never particularly planned on no pain relief (I had gas and air and pethidine with my first) it's just the way it unfolded that day. It was a comfort for me to know there are whole teams of professionals on hand if need be.

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 11:17:44

I will admit though it was a bit of a hobble from the delivery suite to the car when it was time to go home... wink

LaVolcan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:30:17

I wish that someone had told me to consider the actual standard of care I would receive rather than the theoretical care.

So in a hospital which might have wonderful facilities you could be completely let down by a shortage of staff, and be treated as though you were on a conveyor belt, or worse, the staff might not know if a problem was developing because no one was around to pay you sufficient attention.

On the other hand a home birth with a community midwife who prefers offering ante and post natal care, and hasn't delivered a baby in years, with the best will in the world, is not as likely to offer the same level of support as one who enjoys home births and does them often.

Squitten Sun 22-Dec-13 20:33:09

DC1 was a planned section. With DC2, I chose to VBAC in the hospital because it felt safer to be near the doctors and the drugs since I didn't know what to expect. Had a very straightforward and pleasant experience.

With DC3, I opted for a homebirth. Had all my care at my house with the same midwife from start to finish. She was lovely and it was great to have someone I knew well attend the birth. The birth itself was much the same as hospital for me (straightforward, no pain relief) but it was nice to be in my own home, which was much more comfortable, with my own stuff, etc. Could just flop into bed afterwards with baby and eat a massive breakfast. The kids could see baby, etc. It was just lovely and I'd recommend it

Skogkat Sun 22-Dec-13 21:26:07

I have had one hospital birth, one home birth and one C-section. Hospital and home birth were both very pleasant. I loved home birth in that it felt much easier and safer in the moment, but my hospital birth was definitely actually safer - it went wrong but DS was immediately treated, quicker than would otherwise have been possible, as we had no warning that anything was wrong and the birth was normal in itself. Also, I liked being in a maternity ward and being able to talk about my worries to people in the same boat to me, in person, at a much closer time than any pregnancy group meeting would have allowed, for example. So after that, if a vsginal birth is possible, I would opt for a hospital birth.

mercibucket Sun 22-Dec-13 21:45:53

home is fab grin

statistically both are equally safe (slightly higher risk for hb for first time mums) although anecdotally the only woman i know whose baby died sad in labour, was in hospital on a machine to monitor heartbeat. just noone actually looked at it sad

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 06:51:29

I too have personal experience of a baby dying at home during a routine birth. Safety over comfort for me.

lolalotta Mon 23-Dec-13 12:51:02

Oh msmiggins, that's so sad! I'm so sorry! hmm

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 13:56:59

lolalotta- oh, not me, but my best friend. Sorry I didn't intend to mislead.

My friend's 3rd baby was born at home ( her 3rd home birth) all was well until the baby developed breathing difficulties seconds after birth. The midwife tried to rescuscitate without success- and an amublance was called.
Paramedics couldn't save the baby and the midwife became hysterical, shouted at my friend " This is why I hate home births!" before running out of the house slamming the door loudly as she left.
My friend has been in tatters since the death of this baby and blames herself 100%.
Although she will never know if the outcome would have been different in hospital she feels that at least the baby would have been goiven the best chance of survival with specialist peadiatric care which was not available at home.

lolalotta Mon 23-Dec-13 18:25:13

Sorry msmiggins fir misunderstanding, how very sad for your friend. That has scared me right off home births!

LaVolcan Mon 23-Dec-13 18:38:30

But then, I have known three people who have lost babies in hospital. Does this mean that hospital is not safe? In one case it definitely just seemed to be one of those things which couldn't have been avoided wherever the birth happened. In the other two - well, I wouldn't like to say definitely, but to my way of thinking, it did sound as though staffing issues were partly to blame - as in mercibucket's example. Did it put people of the hospital - in the first case, no. In one of the other cases, most definitely - the woman refused to go back there. (The third case, I lost touch with.)

mercibucket Mon 23-Dec-13 19:00:34


yes, I notice that my example of a death in hospital didn't put posters off hospital birth. actually it is statistically as safe in either location, but I do think people will blame the mother if hb and the midwife if hospital birth.

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 19:17:59

But in those tragic circumstances at least if you had a hospital birth you would know that everything that could possibly have been done for that baby was done.

If my friend had given birth in hspital and the baby was given expert care then although she would still have the tragedy of her dead baby, but she wouldn't be living with the guilt of feeling that she allowed this to happen.
Not a day passes that she doesn't regret puting her own comfort above that of her baby's safety.

LaVolcan Mon 23-Dec-13 19:32:44

But in those tragic circumstances at least if you had a hospital birth you would know that everything that could possibly have been done for that baby was done.

I think that is the assumption that people make, but could you really say it was so in mercibucket's example? Banging someone on a monitor but then not having someone to look at it, is just an illusion of giving care, and does not seem like an example of doing everything possible. OK then when something has gone wrong everyone runs around and looks busy and start pulling out the stops, but isn't that shutting the stable door when the horse has bolted?

My impression of my HB midwife was that she was more on the ball than the mostly nice hospital midwives, and also had vastly more years experience. So for me, the HB was definitely the safer one.

atomicYuleLoghurt Mon 23-Dec-13 19:39:55

I've had three hospital births. All were different and all were good. One was very slow and two were less than an hour. I had a dedicated midwife and an en suite for all which would not have been the case at home! I didn't have to clean up anything. I didn't have to get in as n ambulance to get to the surgery I needed after the first. I didn't have to worry because paed came running for dd2 when she needed them.
They begged me to have a home birth for my 3rd as we knew it would be short but I refused.

Only complaint I H as vé is how blimmin' hot it is in there.

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 19:44:33

LaVolcan are you suggesting then that acute emergency care is better accessed at home than in a hospital?

Before women had the luxury of childbirh in hospital many women and babies died.

Home births are more dangerous than hospital births. I don't understand why women would want totake these chances.

TheRaniOfYawn Mon 23-Dec-13 20:01:17

If you are have already had a baby before and have had a straightforward pregnancy, home is actually safer than hospital for both mother and baby.

So in theory, people are taking needless risks by having hospital births if they fall into that category. But nobody ever seems to disapprove of those second time mothers birthing in hospitalsmile smile

LaVolcan Mon 23-Dec-13 20:04:31

No,msmiggins - I am not saying that acute emergency care is better accessed at home. What I am suggesting is that sometimes the one to one midwifery in a home birth can anticipate problems so that help can be obtained before the acute emergency care becomes necessary. I am also quite happy to state that acute emergency care depends on the staff being available.

I don't think we should get bogged down with one case, because we weren't there and don't know the circumstances, but I do note that you mention how the midwife said she didn't like home births. Maybe she wasn't the best person to have been attending your friend? Who knows whether someone committed to them would have anticipated a problem or dealt with it better? It's impossible to say.

Statistically, as mercibucket says, for multiparous women, it is as safe for the baby to be born at home as in hospital. For a multiparous woman's own health, it seems to be safer, there is less morbitidy for her, with a home birth.

drivinghomexmas Mon 23-Dec-13 20:36:38

I had two very positive births at the midwife led unit of my local hospital. Fantastic care both times (I know I am very lucky). When it came to DC3 all of the midwives suggested a home birth and in the end as I had had such good experiences in the midwife led bit, I went back there. On paper it should have been very straightforward. However, it wasn't and DC3 went into distress and it all got serious very quickly. We were fine in the end and were well looked after, but I suppose the point I'm making is that something which should be fine doesn't always go to plan. Even for a third timer like me. Good luck whatever you decide.

princesscupcakemummyb Mon 23-Dec-13 21:55:14

ive experianced both home and hospital births x2 where hospital

advantages of hospital birth
*your in safe hands if theirs a emergancy

disadvantages of hosp birth i found are

*midwives where very busy both times
*didnt get much one on one care
*postnatal wards where awful
*couldnt wait to leave discharge took hours
*being away from my other child
*lack of decent food but that is me being picky on that 1

my (1) homebirth

pregnancy care was amazing i got all my mw appointments at home
had the same small team of midwives throughout
plenty of one on one care
postnatal care was excellent
i loved every moment of it all
i was advised if i needed to transfer during labour the mw would remain with me
i got to stay close to my other children
homebirth was much nicer then hospital getting in my own bed after birth



bottom line is homebirth would be my top choice again hope that helps

brettgirl2 Tue 24-Dec-13 14:08:54

Mrs miggins homebirths years ago:
- Without electric lighting
- no phone in the house
- no hot water/ heating
- no scans so placenta could be in the way, twins could be arriving, lots of possible complications which would now be picked up
- Midwives were often unqualified, always if you go back far enough
- If you were poor up until 1948 you gave birth at home regardless of the risk (which due to lack of scans they couldn't even assess accurately)

So perfectly reasonable to compare that to a low risk modern homebirth and conclude hospitals are safer hmm

LaVolcan Tue 24-Dec-13 14:56:18

brettgirl2 - quite so, although we have had qualified midwives for more than 100 years. Whether everyone could avail themselves of them is something I don't know about, but I suspect not, because you had to pay.

You could also add, that richer women used expensive nursing homes to give birth in. It probably didn't go wrong because they were generally better fed and healthier, and not as overworked. IMO the idea grew up because of these factors that institutional births were safer.

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 15:20:06

I have had two hospital births and one home birth.

Even though the home birth was the longest at 43 hours and hardest of the three it was the only one I managed to do totally pain relief three. I was able to move round as I pleased I was more comfy I was able to bath when I wanted and at no point did it feel unsafe as I was monitored earlier and more thoroughly.

The first hospital birth (24hours)I was strapped to a bed and ended up having a quarter dose of pethadine and about twenty minutes of gas and air. When I wanted to go pain relief free.

Second was a hospital(12 hours) and although I was allowed to move more freely I still wasn't as relaxed as at home and had about twenty minutes of gas and air.

If I were to give birth tomorrow I'd choose a home birth easily. It never felt unsafe there was constantly a mw there where in hospital I was left alone for 6 hours at one point during which anything could have happened.

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 15:21:37

My home birth was my third btw in case my post is confusing on that.

msmiggins Tue 24-Dec-13 15:26:08

I managed to do totally pain relief free births in hospital. I was able to move round as I pleased I was more comfy I was able to bath when I wanted and at no point did it feel unsafe as I was monitored earlier and more thoroughly.
I was happy also to have paediatricians on hand within seconds to save my baby's life.

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 15:42:41

But as you've never experienced a home birth Mrs miggings you can hardly compare.

brettgirl2 Tue 24-Dec-13 15:49:44

Yes quite, I'm sure the monitoring was much better than your average 1930s home birth wink

msmiggins Tue 24-Dec-13 16:22:43

No I haven't experienced a home birth but I have experienced two very comfortable supported hospital births.
Despite "better monitoring" my first birth resulted in a baby born with unexpected life threatening difficulties- the midwives quickly alerted the pediatric crash team who were there within seconds giving my son the best expert critical care, specialist equipment in an adjacent room, medications, and within an hour my baby was returned to me pink, healthy and with no lasting damage. The midwife team were visibly relieved.
You can talk about statistics, choice and risk, but i am very glad I didn't have a home birth.
The outcome may have been very different if I had my son at home.

msmiggins Tue 24-Dec-13 16:58:34

But as you've never experienced a home birth Mrs miggings you can hardly compare.

But as you have never had a birth where the edge of your baby's life was on the line how can you compare?

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 17:08:32

They fetch resuscitation equipment to the house.

WidowWadman Tue 24-Dec-13 17:12:53

"and hardest of the three it was the only one I managed to do totally pain relief three."

Why is that even seen as desirable?

msmiggins Tue 24-Dec-13 17:20:48

They fetch resuscitation equipment to the house.

Big deal- how can that compare to a specialist pediatric crash team? Community midwives dont have the knowledge,, expertise or training to provide critical care.

msmiggins Tue 24-Dec-13 17:22:18

* WidowWadman

"and hardest of the three it was the only one I managed to do totally pain relief three."

Why is that even seen as desirable?*

Totally agree.

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 17:23:12

Because pain relief is more likely to lead to interventions which make it more likely something 'll go wrong with either mum or baby plus it was good that even n a hard birth I felt in control and relaxed enough to enjoy my birth and not need pain relief in order to get through. Of course there are reasons by it is desirable.

selfdestructivelady Tue 24-Dec-13 17:29:33

There are also advantages to having relief of course.

LaVolcan Tue 24-Dec-13 18:07:56

I thought that all pain relief went through to the baby, and that unbeknown to many epidurals contain narcotics?

It's OK to say for example, that if pethidine is given too late, an antidote can be given, but is that the best start for the baby to have?

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Tue 24-Dec-13 18:54:55

I've had a bad hospital birth, a nice homebirth, an awful homebirth, and a good hospital birth. All four were 'natural' (it's very medically risky for me to have an epidural), one resulted in me almost dying and ending up in an high dependency postnatal ward.

Nothing about it had to do with the location at all, it all had to do with the people involved. That's a far harder factor to control though.

LaVolcan Tue 24-Dec-13 20:24:16

Nothing about it had to do with the location at all,

That's how I feel TheSporkfor - I think we took a wrong turning in maternity care by concentrating on the place when instead we should have been concentrating on the number and quality of attendants.

yes gospitals are good if things go wrong, but in hospital, everything is more medicalised, meaning you're less at ease and things more likely to go wrong.
even if things do go wrong at home, you'll get to the hospital in plenty of time.

I would do home everytime - more in control, you're in your own comfort zone, you don't have to go anywhere (I miles of A road at rush hour? no thanks!) you can eat and drink whatever you want whenever you want and you can send people off to make tea when they piss you off.
and it's easier to keep mumsnet updated grin

atomic, I had a dedicated midwife throughout (incidentally, this relies on your length of labour because hospitalnor home they're only allowed to be on duty for a certain lengthvof time).
I didn't have an ensuite, but my toilet was my own and I didn't have to worry. when I transferred in after the birth I was very conscious of the fact it wasn'tvmy own toilet, andvindeed, once I was on the ward it was a bloody long hobble to the very shared toilet.
I also didn't have to clean anything - midwives sorted all that out, even as far as washing my sjeets and changing the bed.

I can't help but be very cynical when I read about interventions and monitoring being a good thing. there's no guarantee that your baby was better off because a team of consultants/drs/regs/midwives/nurses/xrash support flocked around you

my home birth, I was pushing for nearly three hours.
my baby was monitored as well as it could be with a mobile machine. I wasn't hooked to a machine and I was able to wander roynd.
my midwives didn't jump around worrying that they'd "have to" get the baby out quickit was very relaxed the whole time and lots of positions etc were tried before they decided that intervention was needed. my dd had her hand up to ger face, was too wide because of it and got wedged. I had an episiotomy, but the mw numbed the area and still gave me extra chances to push before they cut. I gave birth with a team of st John's ambulance outside the bedroom door just in case.
my baby's geartbeat wasn't moniterable for aboit ten minutes because of how far down she was wedged.

if I had been in hospital, I would have been pressured into eatlier intervention. and it's very unlikely they would have suggested to try pushing or even the cut without going straight for ventouse.
that's why I found it safer - no pressure or stress or panic, just lots of "let's try this now"
dd wasn't in danger and was quickly set right once out. she had her cord all sorts of wrapped around her, but the mws are trained in how to make sure it's removed and make sure breathing is established.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Wed 25-Dec-13 00:10:12

In my second homebirth, I was made to feel very uneasy and the very unsupportive midwives made it clear that they were expecting things to go wrong unless I did thing exactly as they wanted - seriously, they walked in the door and their first words to me was checking that I was having the postbirth injection as soon as possible. I was left alone repeatedly while they chatted in the next room. There was no one I could complain to - those two were it - and in the end their way of doing things almost killed me - she yanked on the cord until a chunk came out while I was screaming in agony. I didn't even get to know my child was a girl until almost 15 minutes after she was born because one midwife took her out of the room with my husband while the other pushed down on my stomach. I bled horribly - obviously - while waiting to go into OR I got to hear about how it was all because me, my disabilities, and having them glee about how I would require an epidural (can't have one medically, which the doctor when it came in made quite clear). And these were homebirth community midwives who also did antenatal care (one had seen me a couple times during the pregnancy).

At the hospital birth that followed, they disagreed with my idea, tried to hug me into changing my mind and yet still followed through with my wishes. I went in and out of second stage for hours - it first started at about 6 and he was born shortly before midnight, my DS was malpositioned, and they took all my concerns seriously (my birth plan was essentially I'm scared out of my mind, here are my medical concerns, here are what I need here to feel safe), and gently pushed towards what I wanted even when I was panicking and wanted everything else - seriously, three time natural births with medical reasons not to do anything else trying to get everything in fear and they calmly spoke through it without making me feel a fool. Even when the emergency button went for his stuck shoulder, they spoke with me the entire time, and each and every one of those half a dozen women congratulated me when he was in my arms - something the homebirth pair never bothered with. When they had to come back in to help me with PPH half hour later - after they allowed me to have a natural third stage and gave me the injection after the placenta came out which they disagreed with, not one blamed it on me in my presence (and my bleeding was a lot less this way, which was recognised). I felt like they were there for me all the way through even when panicking in a very bad transition.

The whole 'homebirth means caring listening midwives' is a load of bollocks and fills me with rage - I desperately wanted to believe that after my first bad hospital birth and the system that allowed overworked midwives with unchecked biases to be alone with vulnerable women and almost killed me, I had to a manual removal, three blood transfusions, and so much more just to get me back. It isn't the location, it's staff that cares, are trained to care properly, and are supported by the system to do so regardless of location or their personal preferences.

msmiggins Wed 25-Dec-13 08:25:17

Spork I so agree- community midwives are a very mixed bunch and it's a huge lottery as to the care with a home birth.

I did enquire about a home birth with my second child- my midwife said "Ok you have a legal righht to that, but don;t blame me if it all goes wrong"

I have already illustrated the account of my friend's baby dying during a home birth and the hysterical reaction of the midwife.
I had another friend who attempted a homebirth and the midwife was truly wicked, including heaving her whole body weight on the woman's fundus trying to accelerate labour. Eventually ending in the crash team scooping up the mess.

Many community midwives will only attend one or two home births in a 10 year period, their skills are often lacking and they are ill equipped.

LaVolcan Wed 25-Dec-13 08:56:13

It's a huge lottery as to the care with any birth! Unless maybe you're flagged early on as high risk?

msmiggins Wed 25-Dec-13 09:21:46

But the statistics are hugely skewed anyway- women who elect a home birth are low risk anyway, usually affluent and educated- these demographics although poorly understood are implicated in birth outcomes.
Women who have multiples, breech, pre eclampsia, diabetes, obesity etc are not good candidates for home birth anyway so of course all those having a home birth will have a greater chance of a good outcome.
THe statistics don't even measure those women who are transferred during labour to hospital due to difficulties- these are then classed as hospital births- and unfortunately have statistically a worse outome of any situation.

Birth can be dangerous, I totally understand the ideas about escalation of intervention but hospitals midwives are aware of this too.

ilovesmurfs Wed 25-Dec-13 09:27:29

msmiggins thyas not true the statistics take into accoutn all those factors.

msmiggins Wed 25-Dec-13 10:24:22

It's not possible to eradicate all the bias.

Women who give birth at home are low risk anyway.

but that's the whole point mrsm!
the statistics comparing homebirth to hospital birth compared like-for-like.
they compared low-risk pregnancies and they took into account all outcomes.

you cab have hysterical mws in hospital too.
one of our very own lovely mners has a child with erbs palzy because the hysterical person in charge of her birth pulled wrong.

of course it's down to the staff you end up with and that can't be changed.
my mws were lovely (apart from the one who had obviously had a fag before she came on shift and I hated that)
they were great and let me be in control while advising me and ensuring my safety (and the baby's)

LaVolcan Wed 25-Dec-13 13:31:19

Some high risk women also have home births, sometimes to avoid the risks they encountered in hospital. The stats don't take account of these, simply because there are relatively few, so valid home vs hospital comparisons can't be made.

LaVolcan Wed 25-Dec-13 13:37:06

THe statistics don't even measure those women who are transferred during labour to hospital due to difficulties- these are then classed as hospital births

Not so, msmiggins, not with recent UK studies, which is why e.g. you find stats will show that some home births ended in a CS.

Bunbaker Wed 25-Dec-13 13:48:19

The issue is that home births will always sound better because all the high risk ones take place in hospital, so you can't always compare like for like.

I was high risk and had fabulous care in hospital. DD wouldn't feed and I had loads of breastfeeding support. If I had had her at home DD would have been bottle fed right from the beginning. The hospital were great and wouldn't let us home until I had managed to successfully breastfeed. I wasn't in any hurry to go home because I felt safe in hospital and had any number of midwifes available whenever I wanted one.

but you don't know that bunbaker you could have had just as much bfing support at home - the mws attending the birth, bfing supporters also visit if you ask.

ilovesmurfs Wed 25-Dec-13 16:07:38

I got crap bfeeding advice in hospital. Much better support once at home from a bfeeding counsellor.

It all varies, I had good births in hospital, four of them anyway, crap post natal care,,so glad to be able to discharge after four hours.

Bunbaker Wed 25-Dec-13 16:33:26

"but you don't know that bunbaker you could have had just as much bfing support at home"

If you have a home birth does the midwife stay with you day and night for several days? DD just would not latch on and I needed someone straight away every time I tried to feed DD. When she was a couple of days old she went drowsy and her blood sugar plummeted because she wouldn't feed. I was jolly glad we were still in hospital. She finally learned how to latch on when she was 4 days old.

RedToothBrush Wed 25-Dec-13 17:21:51

msmiggins Wed 25-Dec-13 10:24:22
It's not possible to eradicate all the bias.

I actually disagree with this. I think you can have an unbiased view if you start to listen to what a particular woman thinks is most important when it comes to her impeding birth.

There are women who are calm, low risk and generally want as natural birth as possible.

There are women who are more anxious, not necessarily high risk, but might be more at risk and are largely indifferent to the birth they want.

I think it is wrong to ignore this and to try and push women done one path or another without being a) honest about their chances of success or b) being over zealous about the absolute need for hospital care.

I don't think that stating X is 'best' is necessarily the best approach to have. The approach does not cater for the multitude of the enormous range of variables out there.

A woman who is listened to, respect and informed and has an intervention heavy birth, could have a 'better' birth than a woman who has a traumatic birth at home where she isn't in control and isn't consulted about decisions in her care.

The current stats reflect not only a potential risk, but also lack of skills within the profession and that certain groups of women might be actively choosing one service over another or are preventing certain services. I think it is possible to spot patterns where this is happening; even without full disclosure of certain information, if you are savy.

The point is more that there are groups that are actively choosing the bias rather than the fact it might be difficult to eliminate. And thats the real question we should be looking at. Why?

Bias can be eliminated, but the strength of character it requires to do so makes that exceptionally difficulty. Its always just easily to ignore information or to disassociate yourself from it in someway.

NoComet Wed 25-Dec-13 17:51:25


LaVolcan Wed 25-Dec-13 21:01:33

If you have a home birth does the midwife stay with you day and night for several days?

No, but in which hospital does a midwife stay with you day and night? Or even an hour? The postnatal wards are the worst staffed, so you could easily go 8 hours without seeing anyone.

Bunbaker Wed 25-Dec-13 23:10:39

"No, but in which hospital does a midwife stay with you day and night? Or even an hour? The postnatal wards are the worst staffed, so you could easily go 8 hours without seeing anyone."

When I had DD 13 years ago every time I wanted to feed her and she wouldn't latch on I pressed the buzzer and one came straight away to help get her latched on. I wouldn't have been able to do that at home.

NoComet Thu 26-Dec-13 00:48:36

No you get left in peace by the time the baby is three hours old.

That's the whole point if a home birth.

You get to establish BF with no one watching and no one judging, it's utter bliss.

msmiggins Thu 26-Dec-13 08:15:30

"You get to establish BF with no one watching and no one judging, it's utter bliss."

I was able to establish breastfeeding with my first with a very relaxed supportive, unjudgemental, encouraging, knowledgable, midwife in hospital.

Second time around I was home from hospital before my DD had her first proper feed.

Establishing breastfeeding alone at home is not such a "natural" situation, in fact quite Westerized manufactured situation.
If you look at cultures where home birth ( and breastfeeding) is the norm a new mother will have several elder experienced women around her to give support and encoragement while she estabishes breastfeeding.
It's not normally a solo pursuit.

Bunbaker Thu 26-Dec-13 08:43:19

Thank you msmiggins. The fact is that without the support of the midwives at the hospital who were at my beck and call whenever I needed them I would not have been able to establish breastfeeding at all.

"You get to establish BF with no one watching and no one judging, it's utter bliss."

Well bully for you.You are lucky that you found it easy. My baby didn't want to feed and wouldn't latch on. She would have been bottle fed pretty much straight away without the ongoing help over several days I received at the hospital.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 14:40:40

I found it awful trying to bf in hospital every me showed me a different way. Each one saying I was doing it wrongwhen ds was latched on correct with no pain (as I now know after bf 3 babies for a total of 7 years experience) I had the woman in the bed opposite bragging her baby was feeding for a hour when mine was only feeding for ten minutes. The way the mws showed me was causing me pain and they wouldn't let me home till I fed their way and being only 17 I didn't feel strong enough to just tell them to fuck off.

There was a constant stream of male visitors making me feel uncomfortable having my baps out. Mws were constantly man handling my breasts without consent making me sore. In the end I bf the way they wanted me to while holding back tears just to be discharged.

Then at home I was able to sit down quietly on my own and figure out what felt right.

At my homebirth the mws stayed till I showed them a good latch and said if I hadn't I'd have had the option to transfer in. When a breast pad got stuck to my nipple after a day or two I pulled it off and took a chunk of skin with it I was offered a nd counsellor within hours. It all depends on the person just because someone finds peace and quiet easier to learn to nd doesn't mean they had a easy time.

It all depends on the staff involved so it doesn't really factor in besides you can transfer or have the me stay for a bit if you find bf hard

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 14:42:15

Sorry my phone changed bf to nd a few times.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 14:42:51

And mw to me.

Bunbaker Thu 26-Dec-13 14:53:51

"It all depends on the staff involved"

Exactly. But when you have a baby that simply isn't interested in feeding and then goes all floppy because the blood sugar drops I found hospital a better place for me.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 14:57:39

But you would have been able to transfer in if that was the case I don't see the problem confused and moving in with a young baby is preferable to me than going to hospital while in labor.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 14:59:27

The drive the bumps I had all back to back babies and sitting or lying was unbearable being in the car was horrendous on my two hospital births I would much rather calmly make my way there post birth.

starlight1234 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:06:43

I think it depends on what you want...I had to have Hospital birth because I was induced due to a blood condition...I would of given birth in hospital anyway..for me I felt reassured the emergency equipment and staff were around...

I had a newly qualified MW deliver my son...she was very supportive ..I was far more relaxed at hospital...

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 26-Dec-13 15:06:58

'It's a huge lottery as to the care with any birth! Unless maybe you're flagged early on as high risk?'

There are things you can do to increase your chances of better care though. Having a slightly unconventional birth plan makes it more likely you'll get a more experience midwife for example.

Having a homebirth means you get more 1:1 observation and potential risks are flagged earlier.

Bunbaker Thu 26-Dec-13 15:14:53

"But you would have been able to transfer in if that was the case"

But I wouldn't have realised at home as I knew absolutely nothing about babies. I just thought DD wanted to sleep. If I had been at home I would have waited 24 hours for the midwife to visit the next day.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 15:18:32

I had a phone nnumber for the ward and the me stayed a couple of hours to check how feeding was going so the mw would not have left if the baby wasn't feeding and if you had concerns you could of called and they come back out.

NaturalBaby Thu 26-Dec-13 15:19:43

It depends on where the mother to be feels safest - for me it was home every time. I wasn't sick, I had no risks, I didn't need to be in hospital and was only a few minutes away so the MW assured me I would receive treatment as quickly as women on the labour ward if I needed it.

I also wanted to be completely alone - to labour, give birth and establish bf. I knew where help and support was if/when I needed it and I didn't want to presume that I would need medical intervention.

Bunbaker Thu 26-Dec-13 15:50:03

"I had a phone nnumber for the ward and the me stayed a couple of hours to check how feeding was going so the mw would not have left if the baby wasn't feeding and if you had concerns you could of called and they come back out."

In that case the mw would have stayed for 4 days.

selfdestructivelady Thu 26-Dec-13 16:27:57

No when feeding was not established you would have been admitted.

Bunbaker Thu 26-Dec-13 16:51:06

Ah right.

LaVolcan Thu 26-Dec-13 16:55:12

There are things you can do to increase your chances of better care though. Having a slightly unconventional birth plan makes it more likely you'll get a more experience midwife for example.

I think that this is something you often don't realise with your first one, especially if you don't know anyone who has had a baby recently. I believed what I was told, which was about an idealised system, which wasn't how it worked in real life.

Second time round, I learnt that there were other options, which would have been far better for me, including homebirth which I went for the second time and MLUs, which I would have probably chosen for the first. I wasn't really all that interested in hearing about how wonderful the CLU was for women who had health conditions which didn't affect me.

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