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Being prepared for home birth? What do I need?

(180 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Mon 02-Dec-13 22:59:39

Also having a hospital bag just in case ... (Dc3, first potential hb)

shirleycat1 Tue 03-Dec-13 14:15:46

Not much really. A couple of cheap shower curtains to put on the floor and put throws/a duvet cover over the top. Biscuits for the midwife.

Think that's a about it.

I've had 2 home births and am planning another (33 weeks pregnant now) and haven't ever bought loads and it's always been amazing!

The midwife brings loads of those sheets to soak up goo and blood and stuff. Music and a bath you already have.

Good luck...

princesscupcakemummyb Tue 03-Dec-13 16:19:48

nothing major just protect your furnishings (sofas) bed floors i had a home birth and tbh it was not messy at all only my waters broke on the sofa unexpected so sofa got wet lol

Shellywelly1973 Tue 03-Dec-13 16:25:20

Im finding choosing a pool hard... any recommendations?

HomeHelpMeGawd Tue 03-Dec-13 16:44:35

A bottle of fizz to have a glass in bed afterwards!

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Tue 03-Dec-13 17:03:48

Shelly - What sort of pool are you after? Do you have the money and space for a rigid one you can set up in advance or are you after an inflatable one (don't need as much space, cheaper, potentially more comfortable, but has to be set up when you need it and not in advance).

cherryademerrymaid Tue 03-Dec-13 17:41:19


I had La Bassine and I loved it. Just enough room to move around in and small enough for me to use it as counter pressure when I needed it. We also had a third party ( a good friend) and I was glad she was there, things got pretty intense at times and knowing she was there for OH was great.

apocketfulofposy Tue 03-Dec-13 17:42:09

i am having my 2nd hb,5th baby

i would say get as much as possible to cover the floor,get what you think you will need,and then get more,during the actual birth it wont be too messy but afterwards,the journey from wherever you give birth to the loo and back again will be messy,we underestimated how much we needed last time.

I am having a birthing pool,last time i hired from the hospital this time ive bought a la bassine one with a liner so i can either sell it on or use it again.

Oils to burn,music,massage oil,things to make you comfy,i have a birthing ball as i find those really helpful in the early bit.

tea/coffee/juice and biscuits for the midwife.

im not sur eif it differs area to area but here you must have one of those angled lamps for the midwife to use to check you after the birth,and a plastic bowl for th placenta and/or any rubbish,and some bin bags to put all the stuff you throw away afterwards.

apocketfulofposy Tue 03-Dec-13 17:43:24

i had birth pool in a box last time,it was great,i cant comment on the one ive got this time but it looks good and was cheaper,i imagine they are pretty similar really,this one is smaller though..

cherryademerrymaid Tue 03-Dec-13 17:44:19

Ice - and straws - makes drinks nice a cold (I got extremely hot - but it was the hottest day of the whole year) and a bendy straw makes drinking easier, especially if someone else is holding it for you.

NeveroddoreveN Tue 03-Dec-13 17:55:55

I wish DD had been compliant! After around 36hrs of labour the MW's got fed up and sent me to hospital sad, so I would say an impatient baby would be good!

WhereIsMyHat Tue 03-Dec-13 17:57:14

Birth pool if using
Sports bottle for water
Plastic sheets (got ours from wickes)
Lots of old towels
Biscuits/ snack for birth attendants
Dressing gown for afterwards
Blanket big enough for you to snuggle under while waiting for the third stage to be over.

I made a postnatal box with pjs, pads, baby clothes, nappies that would have doubled up as my hospital 'bag' had we needed to transfer.

Pool wise, I used a BPIAB first time and would have used it again second but my baby was in a rush so I used it for a post birth bath which was lovely.

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Tue 03-Dec-13 18:05:54

Anglepoise light or similar for stitches
Hotwater bottle for warming babyclothes and blankets

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Dec-13 18:32:37

I'm also finding it hard to choose a birth pool. As I may not have time to fill ? Very fast labours here...

When did you set yours up? It would have to be the living room here but I also have a just 3yo, and 18mo

I'm just getting prepared for home and MLU birth really. I just can't help but feel anxious as I would like a water birth if at home but just not sure I'll have enough time

CheshireDing Tue 03-Dec-13 19:46:24

What home birth with number 1 nearly but had to go in to hospital to have everything restarted as contractions stopped when I got in the pool.

Home birth 8 days ago with number 2, no pool this time just the shower initially but had him in the lounge on a shower curtain and a throw smile

I packed all the usual stuff for baby and I in the hospital bag plus two bottles of lucozade sport drink and a snickers for the energy.

Number two was fast - 4 hours so I found it better that DH spent time with me rather than filling the pool this t I me

Good luck

CheshireDing Tue 03-Dec-13 19:47:20

Sorry first word should have said had not what !

navyeye Tue 03-Dec-13 19:47:22

birthing pool, floor covering, sieve, heart monitor (midwife dropped hers in pool and only reason we got to stay home was because I had one), lucozade tablets, ice, clock and lamp.

I had pool in a box, we inflated it and filled it in about 60 mins. We did have it inflated before hand but took it down at 6am as due for induction at 10am, but went into labour at 8am! Had a 46 hour labour so am v glad I was at home!

navyeye Tue 03-Dec-13 19:47:39

oh and wine and steak for after!

CheshireDing Tue 03-Dec-13 19:49:20

Oh yes and condoms for the monitor so when she puts it on your tummy it's protected from the water

navyeye Tue 03-Dec-13 19:49:20

oh yes towels, bin bags and dressing goown! doh.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Tue 03-Dec-13 19:57:26

Shower curtains for the floor, a new cheap nightie (from Primark or similar) and you need to put the hot water on (for your bath afterwards).

I've had three homebirths and hardly needed anything.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 03-Dec-13 19:57:46

Not having had a HB myself I would however pack a hospital bag just in case of needing to transfer to hospital.

Tens machine?

Pethidine on prescription?

craftysewer Tue 03-Dec-13 20:28:52

I had 2 hb's. My daughters are now 18 & 20. it was handy to have an extra person available as the midwives brought portable gas, but we run out. my friend was able to go and get spares from the hospital leaving my husband with me. Good luck, it was the best experience I ever had, far better than my first daughters birth.

apocketfulofposy Tue 03-Dec-13 20:32:54

all of mine were under 2 hours and we had plenty of time to inflate and fill the pool,think it was about 10 mins to inflate and 20 to fill.

apocketfulofposy Tue 03-Dec-13 20:33:56

i havnt packed a hospital bag,but everything is in one place so if need be dh knows where everything is.I know i wont though.

Have had 2 home births, didn't have a pool.

I found those disposable bed mat things very helpful. Particularly for second baby when my waters were leaking out with each contraction (yuk) and I was plodding upstairs to the loo with a bed map between my legs acting as an impromptu nappy.

We had plastic sheets covered by an old duvet on the floor, also had old towels covering the (new) sofa. Had nice food in the house for during and after, but it turns out that I feel so sick during labour that I didn't really snack much during.

bigbuttons Tue 03-Dec-13 20:49:38

You don't need much, I've had 2 hb. Thos disposable mats are very useful, especially once you are lying in your own bed afterwards and bleeding like a stuck pigshock

Donki Tue 03-Dec-13 20:50:49

A good friend for practical and moral support until the MW turns up... (and after)

WhereIsMyHat Tue 03-Dec-13 20:53:05

If you labour quick, a planned HB is ideal, better than an unplanned one of a road baby.

My first two labours were around 5 hours, the second of which was a wonderful hone birth. My third baby and second home birth was fast, 2 hours from waking, and minutes from the midwife arriving hence missing the pool which wasn't ideal but at the sameime it was fine. My H was half asleep so not the speediest pool filler. He was running back and forth trying to speed up the filling of the pool by using the kettle oblivious to the fact the baby was about to be born. The MW and I were like 'uh, L will you just stop, it's too late, forget it'. I think he was a bit upset that he didn't finish 'his' job,

VenusDeWillendorf Tue 03-Dec-13 20:54:41

You'll need a cooperative baby and pelvis.

Everything you'll have to hand but if your pelvis and your baby's head aren't in step, you'll have to transfer, so pack a bag, and hope for the best.

Don't forget to have childcare booked, not every child wants to see a birth, and you might need granny to sit with them, or bring them for a walk.

The most important thing you need is luck, and plenty of it, but that's true with every birth, wherever it is!

WhereIsMyHat Tue 03-Dec-13 21:27:25

Positive post there Venus fsmile

spiderlight Tue 03-Dec-13 22:08:40

I had a Made in Water birth pool and it was fab. Make sure your hot tank has the capacity to fill it though - we discovered that ours didn't (DS was early and arrived the day after the pool, so we'd not had a chance for a test run with it). We didn't have enough hot water to fill it despite poor lovely DH spending the entire day boiling pans on the hob like a 1950s husband, so I got to wallow around in it for pain relief (which was bliss) but I had to get out to push and deliver DS on dry land. Also make sure your taps will connect to the connector, unless you have a handy friend who won't mind driving round all the hardware stores in town with a photo of your kitchen tap on his phone (thank you Greg! grin).

Other than that, you just need a few cheap shower curtains and old dark towels (we ran out and ended up using dog towels blush), maybe an exercise ball to bounce on, a good stash of snacky food, cake for the midwives and a sense of humour! I loved it - best decision I ever made, and it gave us so many stories to tell DS. (I suspect the midwives still tell the tale of DH trying to put me on the phone to a cold caller from the bank at 7cm dilated as well....)

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Dec-13 22:21:35

Dd1 was 3 hours start to finish. Dd2 was 1 hour to the exact minute. shock

10:53pm waters broke in bed
Instant contractions every five mins
11:25ish got to hospital
11:35 on bed started pushing after trying to hold her in so dp didn't miss it
11:53pm born unknown back to back but great labour. Just fast!

Dp arrived about 30mins after

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Dec-13 22:22:30

Where did you give birth if no pool (for those who haven't said)

MrsDeVere Tue 03-Dec-13 22:33:58

Loads more towels than you think.

I went through tons. I bought a lot of cheap white ones from Tesco.

I used them for ages afterwards for various things.

I used Homebase fabric, plastic backed dust sheets for the bed. The fabric top stopped them being sweaty to sleep on. I put one on a few days before my EDD just in case and then used the second one after the birth for a week.

I had a flat surface set up near a power point in case baby needed resuscitation.
I took the shade of a skinny standard lamp and kept that handy in case the MW needed more light for stitching or anything fiddly.

I have had two HB with DCs 4&5 and they were great.

I had pethidene ready in case I needed it but I didn't end up using it.
Also had pain relief for after the birth.

MrsDeVere Tue 03-Dec-13 22:34:36

I had both mine on my bed.
I didn't fancy doing it downstairs.

spiderlight Tue 03-Dec-13 22:42:43

Living room floor, on al fours leaning against the birth ball.

Mumzy Tue 03-Dec-13 22:53:54

Cheap soft shower curtain to protect bed/sofa. If you think you'll need pethidine you need to discuss it with your GP well beforehand as it's a controlled drug and they have strict guidelines on its storage and disposal. Otherwise selection of snacks/ drinks. Tens machine was useful, baby grow, blanket and a nappy.

Mumzy Tue 03-Dec-13 22:58:44

Oh! And a selection of takeaway menus to order yourselves a meal afterwards. Was absolutely starving for all of them wink

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 03-Dec-13 23:06:37

I was told angle poise lamp for stitches and to make the bed with clean sheets, then put on a plastic fitted sheet, then sheets on top so that afterwards you can just whip off the top two layers and get into bed. Plenty of food and drink so you don't need to go out.

CookiecutterShark Tue 03-Dec-13 23:17:09

Shower curtains and towels. I didn't have a birth pool with either of mine. DD was born at the foot of the bed - I was kneeling and leaning forward onto the bed. DS was born on the bed - he was pretty fast so I lay down in an effort to slow it down. Didn't help much, but I remember thinking I had to do the opposite of what they say in the classes so he wouldn't arrive before the midwives (or my sister who was booked to watch DD and stuck on the M6...) If I had another I'd have another HB without a second thought.

NoBusinessLikeSnowBusiness Tue 03-Dec-13 23:53:34

What do you need? Not to go into labour at 31 weeks grin. Best laid plans and all that....

Good luck. I'm always envious of those who get to do it. With the speed of your previous ones, I'd say some delivery training for your OH too!

Shaky Wed 04-Dec-13 00:34:49

I did a homebirth just last week (midwife). It was absolutely awesome. All fours, leaning against the sofa. No mess, no drama, just a fantastic birth of a beautiful baby that breast fed within minutes of skin to skin contact.

All you really need is a hospital bag, just in case, a supportive partner, child care for other siblings and experienced, confident midwives.

Where I work, you don't even have to store the equipment in your house. We have a homebirth van with everything in, we bring everything to you when you are in labour and we take it all away again afterwards.

Good luck with your labour and birth, I hope all goes well for you. I'm excited for you. Midwives love home births especially in daylight hours smile

Bogeyface Wed 04-Dec-13 02:07:04

An amazing midwife.

Mine said, when I was struggling "Can you keep the noise down? I cant hear the telly for this racket!" It was really funny and calmed me down no end!

Practically though, the only thing I forgot was that the beautifully made up crib wasnt a hell of a lot of use when they needed to wrap the baby in something easily washable! I should have put out another set of sheets for her to go in as soon as she was born and I didnt. My 5 eldest had all been born in hospital so that had always been their side of things.

My eldest took 8 hours in hospital, they got shorter and shorter until #5 was an induction and start to finish was 3 hours. #6 was at home and 14 hours (short cord and wrapped around her neck, she was bungee jumping!) and it was by far the nicest labour of the lot. Calm (ish), relaxed (ish!), my own tea, my own bath, my own bed.

It will be wonderful, enjoy! smile

PS, I didnt have a birth pool either, no room. I gave birth on the sofa in the living room and it was far more comfortable than being in bed as I had been with the others.

Bogeyface Wed 04-Dec-13 02:11:50

I should also say that I had an epidural with all of the others, which caused major birth trauma for after one of them. My story is actually in one of Shelia Kitzingers books. I went through the home birth on gas and air and was fine. It is true that the more relaxed you are the less it hurts. It was my home, I was in charge and that made a huge difference. I wasnt being told what to do by a hospital midwife on her turf (as nice as my midwives have always been), they followed my protocol and not the other way around.

I worked in intensive care neonatal unit, so wouldn't have a home birth if you paid me! Iv seen too many things that go wrong, sorry to put a damper on things but just my views, I wish you all the best flowers

MrsDeVere Wed 04-Dec-13 08:40:19

Well you would
working in nicu.
how many of those babies were born at home?

I worked in A&E and the only pregnancies I saw were early miscarriages.

Hardly a balanced view.

cherryademerrymaid Wed 04-Dec-13 08:46:01

Honey - I'm sure you saw some very sad things. Do you know how many of those babies were in intensive care as a result of:

1) A condition that was already present in utero


2) Due to mistakes made by the hospital staff

3)As a result of a homebirth going wrong?

Do you have knowledge about birth statistics in the UK? Or are you, as you say, completely basing your opinion on working in a NICU? Where you will definitely come across nothing but ill babies, which is a small-ish cross section of the whole picture of birth experiences, thus skewing your views?

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 04-Dec-13 08:47:09

Thata is like an extreme version of the fact that midwives often choose homebirths and stand alone MLUs and doctors want the exact opposite.

Statistically, home birth is just as safe for non first births (and it is still very safe for first timers)

cherryademerrymaid Wed 04-Dec-13 08:49:01

Oops...forgot something there

4) Born prematurely

5) had a mother who was identified as hiving high risk factors?

JanePurdy Wed 04-Dec-13 08:57:14

Haven't read the thread so someone has probably already said this - but put the pool up in advance! If you have the space leave it up but if not at least you've done a trial run to check everything works. I had a pool in a box thing, & when I went into labour & we started trying to get it up we discovered we didn't have the right part! So my mum had to go to her house to find a connector meanwhile DP starting blowing it up by lung power - I was pushing by the time it was fully inflated.

cherryademerrymaid Wed 04-Dec-13 09:01:52


VenusDeWillendorf Wed 04-Dec-13 10:38:48

Sorry if I sounded a bit negative, I didn't mean to.

I had a hb planned and prepared for etc, and had to transfer, so, you know, best laid plans of mice and men.......

Don't get too hung up on the home aspect of the birth.
The birth of a babe is unpredictable, and I wish you both the best of luck.

Geneticsbunny Wed 04-Dec-13 11:14:28

If you want music, plan seem ahead of time or you may end up listening to French rap (thanks radio 6)!

apocketfulofposy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:24:44

Just out of interest what does everyone,or what is medically classed as,a quick labour and birth?

My first 2 were 2 hours and an hour and a half,but my last 2 were 4 hours,it seemed like such a long time to me,buton here i always hear people say 4 hours,wow thats wuick this one will be dleivered on the kitchen floor!

Im sure its not medically classed as a fast labour unless its inder an hour isnt it?IM sure theres a name for it aswell.

apocketfulofposy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:25:13

Should of proof read that!

apocketfulofposy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:26:23

Ah google is my friend!

Precipitate labour is a rapid delivery which is classed as anything under 2 hours!

JanePurdy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:31:21

I don't think you were too negative Venus. I planned a homebirth for DC1 - ended up transferring after 18 hrs & having a forceps delivery at 26hrs. I planned a homebirth for DC2, who arrived in 3.5 hrs by the side of the empty pool. Who knows why they were so different (apart from 1st/2nd child thing) - nothing is certain.

We had my mum over to be on duty for DC1, but I went into labour at 8pm after tucking DC1 up in bed so didn't matter.

youretoastmildred Wed 04-Dec-13 12:03:19

Good luck - how exciting!

I am sure you will be very well organised but my Top Tip is to tell your DP what you have done and where everything is. I had a hospital bag ready with things for me and the baby but when I was being transferred to hospital to be repaired, the mws told dp what to bring and he dutifully started running about trying to find things that couldn't be found because I had packed them already (my voice was very faint, perhaps). Also I had prepared a million rolls in case of having to go to hospital, dp didn't know about those either and was starving waiting all night and half the morning in the hospital with dd1 while they worked on me.

I loved both of my dd's births, the one thing I regret is that I have never seen a placenta. the mws asked if I wanted it and I said no, now I wish I had asked to see it because I doubt I will get another opportunity!

Juliet123456 Wed 04-Dec-13 12:13:36

Ours were due in hospital once we knew it was twins but one came first at home. The midwife said she must remember for next time to bring a long more protective sheets and stuff to clear up as we ended up with one labour at home and then working towards the second one (who came in hospital). However if you only have one I imagine you will have enough floor coverings, plastic etc . There can be an awful lot of mess. Have a good plastic sheet over the bed.

We didn't really need much at all. I think the midwife gave us a list to buy which was things like an empty plastic bucket.

Also take loads of photographs. I never thought we took enough although one midwife took a few of the baby actually emerging which is my favourite shot (although the children think it's disgusting).

ShoeWhore Wed 04-Dec-13 12:17:12

I was totally unprepared as ds came a bit early (luckily just a couple of hours after reaching the min threshold for a hb grin ) All I had ready was a groundsheet and a nightie for me.

It was all fine although the mw did wrap him up in my best towel grin But it recovered.

The mws were absolutely brilliant at getting rid of all the mess as well.

gourd Wed 04-Dec-13 12:38:51

Not much though it’s nice to have the baby’s clothes and nappy ready to put on (I had ours in a bag in case had to go to hospital). We hired an inflatable pool but if you aren’t doing that you just need shower curtains for floor ( I was in the pool when my waters broke so never used them). I did have a 4 hour long relaxing music playlist on my ipod but didn’t really use it - only (vaguely) heard 30 minutes of it anyway, as LO arrived very quickly. I guess you could make a nice playlist for yourself for listening to at home (or in a hospital).
I used my dressing gown immediately after the birth, then just got dressed in the clothes I’d had on about 45 minutes previously – I guess having your clothes where you can easily put them on help but that’s about it really.. The whole point of being at home to give birth is that you don’t really need anything extra – as it’s all there in your home with you.

gourd Wed 04-Dec-13 12:44:56

We put the pool up as soon as midwife arrived at our house (and checked me and said I was ready to get in). It took 15 minutes to inflate and fill it. I got in and LO was born 30 minutes later. If you are goign to hire a pool I think you need to investigate the types of pools and what will work in your home (measure up etc) beforehand but we chose a quick inflatable one and have combi boiler and pretty good water pressure in our area, so there was no need to have it sitting around taking up space beforehand. It was only £80 to hire for a possible 4 weeks, which isnt bad really. They delivered it 6 days before she was born and took it away the next day after we called to say it had been used and was no longer needed. It took about 30 mins to empty into the outside drain by the back door, but it does that by itself - comes with pump so you dont need to sit there watching it..

gourd Wed 04-Dec-13 13:18:08

I did buy a shower curtain which was not used and was still in the original packaging when I gave it to a charity shop aftewards, and I also bought a small shaving mirror (for midwife to use to see baby's head in the pool) but I dont remember geting anything else in especially. Unless you count the bacon (unheard of in our house) and some nice deli bakery bread that I used to make (and eat) a really tasty bacon and egg buttie between contractions. I had this idea that it would take a really long time so so thought I'd better eat something substantial whilst I could!

I had a hb with dc1 (dc2 and hb2 due in Feb) and it was lovely. The requests from my mw were:
Sheets and towels - a quick wipe up for baby and more to lay on the floor as path to bathroom afterwards

Lamp - for post birth inspection and possible stitches (didn't need stitches - phew!)

Biscuits for MW - they said they might be there a long time and they get peckish! As it happens I laboured over lunch time and the mw's ate their packed lunches on my bed. Which is lucky as I had tucked in to the biscuits in the morning and there was only one left....

I also got a shower curtain to go under my bed sheet. I gave birth on all fours on my bed, dangling on the foot rail and slumped over my birthing ball.

I had all of mine and babies stuff packed in to a hold all in case of hospital transfer but it was useful for my best friend who ended up being my emergency birthing partner (dh missed the birth - my fault!) - it was all on hand for her. I will do the same again as dh hopeless at finding ANYTHING.

Someone will also need to know how to use the heating. The MW requested mine to be put on and baby clothes on the radiator when ds was imminent. I refused to tell anyone how to use the boiler because I was boiling and it would be tantamount to torturing me blush. Luckily my bff is the practical type and worked out how to do it despite my best efforts to scupper their evil plans. DH doesn't have a clue.....

Seff Wed 04-Dec-13 15:28:09

Some good suggestions here. Having the heating on is something I hadn't thought of. I'm due in March, so heating will more than likely be off by then but our radiators have valves on so in theory I could turn them all down except one which could be used for baby clothes.

I was very hot in labour last time, although I had been hotter than usual throughout pregnancy, so on my list for my home birth is a spray bottle with cold water so DH can make himself useful cooling me down with that smile

Our local cheapy shop has some shower curtains for a pound each, so will get a few of those too.

misskatamari Wed 04-Dec-13 16:03:12

I'm planning a hb with dc1 so really glad to have found this thread. Will be making a list of things to buy! smile

Charleymouse Wed 04-Dec-13 16:13:05

Littleray you can always hop in the bath as opposed to a pool especially if labour is quick.

HB1 Laboured and gave birth on toilet, no mess.

HB2 laboured on toilet and sofa and gave birth on the sofa on a couple of towels.

I videoed the HB2 birth (from a distance) and DD2 and I watch it together sometimes she thinks it it smashing. Make sure you have your camera at the ready.

I made no mess and what little there was the MWs cleared up really quickly.

A loaf of bread for toast and some big comfy knickers for afterwards.

Good luck. Pack your bag as well in case you transfer and if you dont then everything is to hand for your DH and MW to get maternity pads, baby clothes, nappies etc

BoffinMum Wed 04-Dec-13 18:19:15

Do the deed in a birthing pool and sit back afterwards while everyone else tidies and spring cleans your house as a love offering. (I have to have a baby to get them to clean to that standard around here).

seff ds was born in a very warm march and still the mw's wanted the heating in for him.

I had frozen flannels on my head and neck which was bliss smile definitely a perk of hb!

billybear Wed 04-Dec-13 18:26:24

my oh was just reading this piece over my shoulder he wants to know what is sieve for

BoffinMum Wed 04-Dec-13 18:28:56

Remember when assessing risk to avoid lumping all the categories below into the same statistical block, as the levels of risk are very different.

Planned and unplanned homebirths
Home births within an hour's ambulance transfer with those beyond an hour's ambulance transfer
Unattended homebirths (i.e. no medical professional present) vs homebirths with 1 or 2 midwives in attendance
Premature homebirths vs homebirths between 37-42 weeks

and so on.

For well educated and healthy mothers reasonably near good hospitals the outcomes are pretty much comparable statistically.

I wouldn't do it on Orkney though, or if I had a serious medical condition, or if I felt panicky.

BoffinMum Wed 04-Dec-13 18:29:27

to scoop out the poo of course

BoffinMum Wed 04-Dec-13 18:29:46


There will be a floater, I promise.

JanePurdy Wed 04-Dec-13 19:29:17

BoffinMum are you saying Orkney for a reason or did you pick it as a sample Scottish Island? On the main Orkney Island there is a maternity unit so actually I would homebirth there.

Re: biscuits etc - my mum made me a cuppa after my waters went & the midwives were on the way & pointed out we only had 1 tea bag left! I wailed 'I can't have a homebirth without tea!' & ended up getting my neighbour to come round with teabags for us as I didn't want to be left alone while mum went to the shop.

Seff Wed 04-Dec-13 20:17:28

Oooh frozen flannels, need to remember that one too!

I think you were born with all the bits you need grin

Someone to catch helps though!

BoffinMum Wed 04-Dec-13 22:08:19

I meant Orkney in the sense that it is remote and exotic in my limited Sassenach mind. wink I didn't know it actually has things like maternity unit <gasp> <idiot emoticon>

girlynut Thu 05-Dec-13 13:28:09

At my HB I had -
A pool in a box
M&S nibbles
Michael McIntyre DVD
Calming music
Birthing ball
Clean towels
Couple of shower curtains
Maternity mats
Bottle of water with Rescue Remedy
Sensible friend to tell the hospital to fuck off when they had no midwives available!!

Lucylouby Thu 05-Dec-13 13:51:22

Someone on standby to look after older dc. I never even thought of this when I had dc2 at home and everything was fine. When I had dc3, I had a list as long as my arm of people to phone if I needed emergency care and I ended up having my neighbour in the kitchen as we may have had to transfer (meconium in waters). We didn't have to go as the labour was so quick and everything was fine, but the mw called the ambulance as back up and it was on the drive way waiting should we have needed it. My mw were so supportive, I had absolute faith in them and their ability to safely deliver my baby. Lots of stuff to protect furniture, eg shower curtains/disposable bed mats etc. get someone else to attach them securely before you get going. Mine ended up moving, their was goo everywhere, meaning we had no sofa the next day as the cushion covers were all in the machine.
I used he hospital bag as somewhere to keep everything we needed in one place. Afterwards DH brought the bag down and it had clean underwear/pjs/pads/hair brush in and all the baby's stuff, nappy/vest/baby gro/nice blanket, the camera ws there ready which was handy.
Lots of towels. When I had dc2 we only used my best cream towel (by mistake, but which washed clean) but with dc3 we got through the whole pile.
Something nice for a snack afterwards.

milkybarsrus Thu 05-Dec-13 20:50:20

I had a planned hb, but needed a transfer to hospital (retained placenta). Please, make sure you have all that you need for you and baby for one night. That includes meds and any necessary paperwork. Anything that you feel makes you comfortable. I had just given birth to a nine pounder and had to be carried down the stairs in my Victorian terrace house, then out in front of a traffic jam complete with bus passengers and neighbours starring as I was put in the ambulance. I looked a sweaty, blood stained wreck! But, I never regretted having a home birth even after all that!

Aboxofmaltesers Thu 05-Dec-13 22:26:04

Honestly, 1 x cheap shower curtain.

2 homebirths here, and that was the only thing I had prepared smile

BoffinMum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:27:53

A roll of bubble wrap, of the kind that is sold for insulating greenhouses, is brilliant. It covers your carpets and you don't slip on it, and if you have any left over it will wrap all your Ebay sale stuff!

BoffinMum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:34:01

I'd also stock up on old towels. You'll need at least half a dozen.

BoffinMum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:34:57

Oh yes, and paracetemol for after pains. They do some called Pameton (I think) which have an anti-overdose formulation.

TaraKnowles Fri 06-Dec-13 00:32:51

After my son was born at home the midwives said he was too cold, and needed a hat.

It was a planned hb and I wasn't considering taking him outside for a while, so my poor old dh had to go up to the loft to find a baby hat. Sniggering all the time to himself about his new baby.

This was in the summer in south east England so I would say a hat.

I have never had a hb on my bed, I like my bed to be freshly made for baby and me to get into and snuggle. I gave birth in the living room and the spare bedroom. No mess, the midwives were amazing at getting rid of it, they will do that when you go for your first pee or shower or bath in your own home.

The midwives were grand. My dh sent a bouquet of flowers to them at their hospitals and one of them sent us a card back saying it had been a pleasure and a priviledge to see us have our baby.

For one of my hbs my mum spent the night in case our eldest woke up. She didn't, but my mum kept popping in to see how things were going, I completely understand that she couldn't be banished to a room in a small flat and listen without wanting to get involved, but she was putting me off my stroke. The other one I swear she sat listening to radio four in her car outside until she heard a baby cry, my eldest played with my middle one downstairs whilst I gave birth. It was so sweet when my dh took the baby downstairs and our middle one said, 'hello baby' they've been so close, and of course both my dc could visit me post natally at home in bed.

Another thing that is so...proud of where you live, snobby or proud of where you gave birth. My dc who was born in hospital has London on her passport as her place of birth, my hb dc have the exact location of their births.

Best wishes for you and your new baby

JanePurdy Fri 06-Dec-13 07:31:30

There isn't a maternity unit in our council anymore so when we went to register the birth the registrar loved it smile although our London hospital born DC has her borough on her passport, not just London.

Seff Fri 06-Dec-13 08:08:21

I'm not sure what's going to happen with DD while I have the baby. Hopefully it will be in the middle of the night and she'll sleep through the whole thing. Family are 20/30 minutes away, we have some friends who could take her on short notice.

Although she will be coming up 4, I may watch some home birth videos with her nearer the time and gauge her reaction. I may feel comfortable with her being with us.

Play it by ear, I guess.

santandhishappybandofelves Fri 06-Dec-13 11:08:30

I didnt have a birthing pool, gave birth stood up- twice, had disposable puppy mats (the midwives here don't bring them), had very little actually.

I love my bed, so DH had strict instructions to change all the sheets etc and put new bedding on, which he did while I was slowly walking (placenta attached) to my room.

had a new fluffly towel for the baby, what else - nothing, I didn't have a hospital bag or anything just in case, also Honey statistically, home birth is far safer than another form, believe in yourself and your baby - if something is going to go wrong, it will probably happen wherever you are.

santandhishappybandofelves Fri 06-Dec-13 11:10:41

and some one for other DCs, mine wont let me do anything in peace (not even sleep), so the idea of them climbing all over me in labour was not appealling.

apocketfulofposy Fri 06-Dec-13 11:15:25

my kids are desperate to watch!

They are only 5, 4 and 3 though (also have a 1 yr old but i dont think that would work out very well hes into everything)last time i went into labour after a sweep at about 6pm,so we put them to bed (this was just over a year ago) and by about 8pm i was in proper labour (as in not able to do anything else but BE in labour) and my daughter who was 2 and a half at the time kept coming downstairs and talking to me in between contractions.

I think once i got into transition my husband managed to get her to watch dora in bed and she fell asleep and ds was born not long after at 10pm!

She still remembers and and keeps asking the midwife (same one i had last time and who delivered baby)if she can stay and "watch the baby pop out" the mw said she gets lots of toddlers watching and its not usually a problem,especially if the mum is quite quiet and calm in labour (which i have been with them all except the first)

homebirthingtotallyrocks Fri 06-Dec-13 11:18:18

ah home birth smile - totally rocks - here are my 2 meeting their baby brother post birth here Ive name changed for this obviously.

Spiritedwolf Fri 06-Dec-13 11:56:24

Not sure about Santa getting the credit for all your hard work totallyrocks ! But that was lovely, thank you for sharing.

Just researching for next time, I don't know whether to have a home birth or to use our fantastic local Midwife led unit. But at least I've got two great options. grin

Good job on the name change totallyrocks as I have met you (once) irl and we have a mutual friend smile

CCally Fri 06-Dec-13 13:07:34

I had DD2 at home, although not really planned as labour was only 50 mins. She was born on the bathroom floor, and we didn't even have any towels in there as I had been in a tidying mood the night before and put everything in the wash. Anyway apart from a mobile with speaker phone - should you need to call anyone...midwife, emergency services etc smile I'd say not a lot. However being at home means that you've got all your things to hand if you do need anything, and in my experience other people in he house esp husbands are good at running to get things as and when needed as it's a nice practical job. I'm almost a fan of the HB thing now, but we're not planning on any more!

misskatamari Fri 06-Dec-13 13:13:35

Awwww so sweet Totallyrocks! smile

Boiing Fri 06-Dec-13 14:03:00

You don't need much, but there's lots of things that are useful if you have them handy...

Lots of towels! Dressing gown for if you get chilly. I used a shower curtain to protect the floor and everything went right through it - it mopped up fine but be careful yours is properly waterproof! Cushions to lean / kneel on.

Incontinence mats from boots are brilliant (they're the same as maternity mats but much bigger and cheaper). The midwife will bring some but mine had nearly run out so it was lucky I had some more.

A sugary drink, like apple juice, for energy. Not orange juice as it often makes labouring women vomit.

A few snacks. A torch was useful for us so midwife could see what was going on - our lights are quite dim.

I had a birth ball and this was useful,

I would pack a hospital bag even if your husband knows where things are. I had a hospital bag but had to transfer after for a few stiches, and my normally organised husband managed to ignore the bag I'd packed and instad bring a pile of baby clothes and nappies (?!). I was the only woman there with no shower gel, underwear or toothbrush! Make sure you include snakcs eg cereal bars and a book, I was kept waiting for 12 hours just to have a few stiches and there's only so many baby photos you can take. If you don't need it great.

I hung a curtain around an area of the living room so it felt more private. And a birth pool is awesome, helps with backache, but your husband will have to clean it!

Have fun - home birth's great!

ananikifo Fri 06-Dec-13 22:07:55

I had three shower curtains from poundland and the tarp from the birthing pool kit and I wish I had more. I didn't take up that much space but I think I would have been more comfortable to move around afterwards if it was all covered. Also it would be very hard to have too many towels.

I wish I had a tens machine, an antiemetic and codeine. I had only paracetamol on hand and wasn't prepared for the pain and nausea. (My hb was my first birth.)

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sat 07-Dec-13 08:37:04

Lots of good suggestions here.

I had a home water birth four weeks ago. The trickiest thing was that I had organised everything, but it was DH or the mws finding things.

Having everything easily findable is just as important as having them in the first place - so he won't bring the white Egyptian cotton towels instead of the navy ones when the mw asks for another towel... shock hmm

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sat 07-Dec-13 08:44:46

Oh and in a similar vein, a list for DH of what you'd need if transferring, so he can go "pants, pads, pyjamas, babygro, nappies" and not have to think while he is panicking.

MoominMammasHandbag Sat 07-Dec-13 20:27:43

I had DS2 in our spare room. I put a really good mattress protector on the bed and lots of incontinence mats from our local pharmacists. I has a tens machine and a couple of really good lamps for task lighting. We had the desk in the room set up with changing mat, towels, blankets etc for the midwife to check over the baby when he was born.
My three eldest, 12, 10 and 7 came home from school while I was in labour, had a bit of a chat with me, then went downstairs to watch TV. They had pasta and sauce, made by DH in 10 minutes, for tea, and DS was born at about 5.30.
It was really lovely getting into my own, clean shower, then back into my own lovely clean bed.
I had 4 midwives there at one point when they were changing shift, three when DS was actually born because one wanted to stay. I have never had more than one there with my other there's births. And the midwife said that I had given my daughters the gift of knowing that childbirth could be a simple, unscary, natural process. How nice of her. grin

littleraysofsunshine Sat 07-Dec-13 23:03:34

What about those if you who had extra super fast labours? How do you prepare? Especially if you were planning home water birth?

I have 7 weeks left.. And that of course an approximate timescale.
Going by last dd, (1hr start to baby in arms) should I even contemplate getting to MLU? 10/15mins away or just fully prepare to home birth?

Lucylouby Sat 07-Dec-13 23:52:06

My 2nd dc, but first hb, was 90 mins, start to finish. My best advice is to phone for a mw immediately. I phoned my mum first, she lived 2.5 hours away and i wanted her to be there. i then phoned the mw, she only just made it in time as she lived just under an hour away.
I had a pool, but it only had a couple of inches of water in it and I realised it was going to be to quick, so ditched that idea.
IMO you are better of with a planned home birth than giving birth in the car by the side of the road, so you are doing the right thing. Read up about birthing and make sure your dp knows what he is doing. Have a local neighbour/friend on standby in case you need help.
Dc3 labour was 3 hours so it doesn't always follow that they get quicker, but you are wise to plan for a quick labour. The pool wasn't ready for that birth either though.

apocketfulofposy Sun 08-Dec-13 00:13:39

The pool only took about half an hour to inflate and fill so that would be enough time for most,and dont always assume it will be even quicker this time,mine have actually got longer!not in a bad way,i just think the more oyu have the more sensitive your body is to contractions and you just know earlier,my first two were and hour and a half but my second 2 were 4 hours.Its good to be prepared though as you never know this one could be faster!

homebirthingtotallyrocks Sun 08-Dec-13 16:19:10

Another vote for planned home birth rather than risking a road side one. When I had dd (bba) there was a lady who gave birth in the street in the snow with people walking past (according to midwife).

You don't need a pool, I had 2 HB and no birthing pool. Bath and shower worked for me.

I used the puppy pads as they were cheaper.

littleraysofsunshine Sun 08-Dec-13 16:42:37

The past couple of days I've had more discharge and shooting pains down there. I assume it's because baby's head is low but I hope it's not too early! Still got 7 weeks!

principalitygirl Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:13

I reckon a well positioned baby is a must! Get on all fours lots between now and the birth and check out the spinning babies website. Good luck! x

littleraysofsunshine Sun 08-Dec-13 22:00:46

My last girl was in perfect position two days before birth then came out back to back! I didn't realise though!

seafoodudon Sun 08-Dec-13 22:08:07

Probably a silly question - but did people go for old towels that they would chuck away after or find that the blood and, well, you know, washed off towels ok? I am wondering about buying some white ones that I can then bleach - but seems silly to buy new towels if they won't ever get properly clean/DH will be too grossed out to use them ever anyway.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 08-Dec-13 22:09:25

I was in the pool so not masses of blood, but our accidentally used good beige towels washed fine. Key is a cold wash first.

ananikifo Sun 08-Dec-13 22:33:00

We washed the towels and they were fine. DH probably used an Oxy stain removing powder in the wash, along with a bio detergent.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 23:30:26

My mw and many friends and MNers agree that third babies are tricksy. They stop and start and false alarm for hours/days. But once they're coming they're not slow. Fourth (etc) babies apparently behave better - I shall not be testing that part of the theory.

DC2 was 12h start to finish, but that was 11h "hmm that's uncomfortable, I'll have a lie-down" and only one hour of "ow" of which only four contractions of pushing.

DC3 false started for over a week angry then was five hours of "oof", an hour of "ow" and maybe twenty minutes of pushing. More civilised.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 23:32:28

One of our white towels had to be binned as it got dropped in the pool shortly after delivery and wasn't retrieved until an hour or so later. Most of the, erm, staining stuff comes out after the baby.

All the others survived: you couldn't tell which had been bled on once they'd been washed (pn cool).

apocketfulofposy Mon 09-Dec-13 09:24:58

I dont believe the third babies are tricky thing,its just one of those stupid things people say that has no actual proof! smile

I have 4 and am on number 5 and theyve all been exactly the same except i knew iw as in labour earlier with 3 and 4,so about 4 hours tot he first twos 2 hours.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 09-Dec-13 09:38:11

Third babies better not be tricky, the first two were enough bother without them getting more unpredictable <gives bump a hard stare>

littleraysofsunshine Mon 09-Dec-13 09:41:30

I think in my case I am just anxious as dd1 was great but then pph two hours after. Dd2 was like a rocket an back to back. I didn't realise until after as I found hers easier.. And no pph. But just always got the thought at the back of my mind that it could happen again. As could the B2B scenario.. And just what if it is even faster! Or if I go the opposite and have a really long hard labour ending in instruments or something.

Positive thinking....... I try lol

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 09-Dec-13 10:36:14

I read somewhere that the odds of instrumental delivery fall a lot if you've had previous vaginal births. Can't find it right now, but I am sure i've seen it. I do know that I was at no greater risk than any other second time mother of instrumental with DD2 even though DD1 was forceps. Does that help a bit?

Donki Mon 09-Dec-13 11:57:36

If you can soak bloodstained items in SALTY water before a cool wash. Blood comes ou much easier that way.

seafoodudon Mon 09-Dec-13 21:21:55

Thanks for the towel tips - much appreciated!

Lucylouby Mon 09-Dec-13 21:35:38

Dc3 was a lot bigger than the other two. My mw thought if she had been my first I would have struggled to get her out naturally due to her size, but as she was no3, everything was already stretched and able to cope. When I look back over all three births, number three was the most painful and most intense. All births are different and you won't know what kind of labour you are going to get until you are in the middle of it.
My labour with dc3 was a bit stop start for days before hand though.contractions would start, last about an hour, then stop for a couple of days, then some more, then stop. I'd be thinking everything was starting only for it all to stop as quickly as it started.
My sofa was completely covered in blood and it all came out, (machine washable covers) we are sitting on it now and you would never know.

PedantMarina Mon 09-Dec-13 22:12:09

Errrm, patient and/or deaf neighbours?

>runs and ducks<

Seriously, OP, dead jealous. Wish home birth had even been an option for me. Best of luck!

Susan643 Tue 10-Dec-13 04:19:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Catsize Tue 10-Dec-13 06:28:55

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for posting. This has helped boost my confidence after a pretty traumatic induction with DC1, for whom we had planned a homebirth. Has knocked my confidence for DC2 somewhat, but not long to decide, as due in Feb. Keep fearing baby will get stuck, which the rational part of me knows is a bit bonkers, given I pushed out a 10lb baby 17 days overdue and after three day induction with hardly any food.

patagonia09 Tue 10-Dec-13 11:13:10

Also, birthpoolinabox.
Veteran of an 81.5 hour labour here, at home, all in the pool. I think I would have died without it. It was a bit gruelling but worth it - when you get to the end it's the most amazing experience ever and I would hate to do it any other way. (Having said that, s**t happens, so try to be psychologically prepared for the fact that you might end up in hosp anyway).
Also: energy / glucose sweets. And a cup with a straw. LUcozade.
Don't understand this thing about condoms and hear monitors - my MW had no trouble with hers. Maybe it was a special one.
Don't forget the birthpool in a box.
Make sure you fill it in advance as it's quite slow and fiddly.

Lucylouby Tue 10-Dec-13 12:22:13

pedantmarina my neighbour was in my kitchen through out my third labour, ready to stay with older dc if we had to transfer. She made the mw tea I think. Her husband never heard a thing next door though, and he was the other side of the wall throughout it all.
With dc2 they didn't even know he had been born until they saw him in the garden a couple of days later, so it can't have been that noisy an experience. smile

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Tue 10-Dec-13 12:29:00

Catsize - you had a vaginal delivery at the end of the induction? I had a spontaneous onset of labour with DD1, but then ended up with every intervention going - mega doses on the drip, epidural, forceps. I was told that, so long as I had a 'proven cervix', I had no more risk of any of these things second time than any other second time mother. They were right.

The only slight issue was that I had about an 8 hour intense latent phase (leaning over mooing like a cow), equivalent to the point with DD1 where I was still 36 hours away from a baby. But the active phase was well under an hour, so DD2 arrived 5 minutes before the midwife (and 30 seconds before the paramedic). This time I am under strict instructions to call them when the contractions are intense, even if they aren't regular. I want to too - I bloody love gas and air and felt really cheated last time grin

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Tue 10-Dec-13 12:30:06

Oh, and I was quite loud but the neighbours didn't hear - it was overnight, they were upstairs and I was downstairs. They did however hear the arrival of the paramedic at 6.30 am blush. Stupid man had his siren on on a deserted back street.

JanePurdy Tue 10-Dec-13 15:04:35

catsize I had a failed homebirth with dd1, ended up with syntoncinin (sp?), epidural & forceps. I was really anxious that my planned homebirth with dd2 would be a failure too but the midwives were always clear that having had a vaginal delivery was 'enough'. & I did have a successful homebirth with dd2 smile

theenchantedhood Tue 10-Dec-13 20:22:01

A few towels if you think you are having a poo in your bathroom at home but it turns out to be your babies head - stand and deliver! Thought I had plenty of time - ha ha!
The cord went white and my daughter was put straight on to my boob.. The paramedics turned up in shock - midwife about 40 mins later....
It really was amazing and she has been hyper since then (now two and a half!)

bealos Tue 10-Dec-13 21:04:25

I had:
- a roaring fire
- a partner answering my whims - "massage me! tweak my nipples! leave me alone!"
- absolute belief that my body could do this and total surrender to the power of labour
- those indispensable disposable mats to catch the, er, juices
- quiet, calm and dark
- classical music and hypnobirthing CD (was, ahem, the first time I'd listened to it all the way through but was still helpful)

An amazing experience in all. Totally expulsive birth (no pushing). I ended up birthing before the midwife arrived as I didn't realise how far gone I was!

Completely different to my first difficult, induced hospital birth.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Tue 10-Dec-13 21:07:11

Bealos - Tweak your nipples. Eeeeeeew. The thought of anyone touching my nipples during pregnancy, let alone labour, actually made me wince. Each to their own I guess! grin

bealos Tue 10-Dec-13 21:15:27

@penguins - all I'm saying is that is TOTALLY WORKED! Fires up the oxytocin, cranking up the contractions. Was not like saucy or anything.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Tue 10-Dec-13 21:20:10

I would need gas and air to let anyone anywhere near them! grin

littleraysofsunshine Tue 10-Dec-13 22:10:01

How do you know when the cord needs cutting after birth if MW hasn't arrived?? And the time scale for delivering the placenta?

I need the injection for this labour (advised for it as I had pph with dd1) dd2 had it and came out no probs.

I didn't have it with dd1 but I do remember delivering it, it was "ragged" completely different to dd2's... And it was about two hours after giving birth that I pph. So who knows ... Just wondered about the cord clamp, cutting, and delivering of afterbirth if no one is present

misskatamari Tue 10-Dec-13 22:18:31

There's no rush at all with the cord - in fact a lot of people now go for delayed cord clamping as the baby actually has about 1/3 of it's blood still in the placenta at birth and if you delay clamping until it stops pulsating the baby gets the rest of this oxygenated blood.

The cord slowly closes up with a jelly like substance called whartons jelly (I think) and it's fine to leave baby attached whilst the placenta is delivered (if it is done without the injection - if injection is given to deliver the placenta then the cord is clamped so the drugs don't get into baby I think).

misskatamari Tue 10-Dec-13 22:23:15

For placenta delivery I think with injection it happens pretty quickly and the mw helps to pull it out. Not sure what would happen with no mw as they would be the ones to give the injection so if they weren't there you would be having a natural delivery I guess.

I think this is supposed to take about 30 mins - 1 hour (and if you can get baby to latch on that can help placenta delivery as it stimulates oxytocin which encourages contractions). I think the nhs don't like to leave the placenta undelivered for longer than an hour - but hopefully mw would be there by then anyway and could give the injection if it still hadn't delivered.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Tue 10-Dec-13 22:25:00

You don't do anything!

<Disclaimer: the following is based on policy in my London area where I had my BBA daughter, it may vary>

Assuming you are not on a remote island, a paramedic will be with you very fast if you have a BBA. You are high priority. They carry all necessary equipment to cut the cord.

At least in my area, they do not, and cannot, administer the injection. All they can do is watch, wait and transfer if there are concerns about blood loss.

The MW, however, can administer the injection even if she misses the birth. They prefer not to, but may on a risk/benefit analysis, in my case that happened as it hadn't shifted in nearly an hour and was showing no signs.

The worst thing you can do in this situation is mess about trying to cut the cord without knowing what you are doing, or (far, far, worse) do anything to 'encourage' the placenta. There is masses of time for it to be dealt with. And if there is excessive blood loss, there is an ambulance on its way!

Have you had a look at Dirty Duncan and Shiny Shultz presentations of placentas? It's basically whether they come out with all the yuck wrapped inside or not. That might explain why they looked very different? Random link from google here

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Tue 10-Dec-13 22:29:22

We left the cord pulsating until it stopped of its own accord. I passed the placenta (without active management, ie as would have happened if no medical staff had been there) after only thirteen minutes.

My baby was slow to breathe independently - it didn't matter a bit because he was still on cord blood while we were all encouraging him to get going.

If you are alone, you can clamp the cord but don't cut it. A piece of string or ribbon will be enough to stop any flow. Or use a kitchen clip like you'd use to seal a bag of crisps or something, so long as it's clean.

Catsize Tue 10-Dec-13 22:49:54

Thanks penguins and jane. Feeling better. I know that DC2 will be DCfinal, so would love to try to have a homebirth. Really sad it didn't happen last time. If I chicken out at the eleventh hour, I know I can transfer. Fingers crossed, but not legs. wink
Anyone done it with a toddler wandering around?

BoffinMum Tue 10-Dec-13 22:57:57

I am another one who would leave the cord well alone unless Armageddon had happened (if it does, boil 2 pieces of string and some scissors for 10 minutes, then cool and use to knot in two places tightly around the middle of the cord, once cord has stopped pulsating, then cut with sterilised scissors between the two knots).

JanePurdy Tue 10-Dec-13 23:05:57

catsize I went into labour after I'd tucked dd1 up in bed (& waved DP off for his night shift hmm). She was just 3. My mum came over to be on duty for her but in the event dd2 was born by 11pm & dd1 slept through me bellowing below her. It was very easy! Is there someone - family, friend - who could be on call for dc1?

Catsize Wed 11-Dec-13 08:34:16

We have a neighbour on stand-by, and I am sure there are others who could step in, but was just wondering if it would actually be nicer just to have him at home, with stand-by on stand-by in case of transfer to hospital. but maybe the pregnancy hormones are making me lose all sense and reason

WhereIsMyHat Wed 11-Dec-13 10:13:22

If you have a BBA don't do anything with the cord, leave it, if your placenta comes then just leave it attached until a HCPS arrives. It's fine,some leave them attached purposely, google lotus birth.

Cat size, I always think that planning for a home birth and changing you mind at the last minute is far preferable to planning hospital and then changing your mind as that is impossible in most hospitals. You can change your mind at any time, before labour, during or even after.

JanePurdy Wed 11-Dec-13 10:56:55

catsize what I would do (which doesn't mean is the right thing for you!) is have a loose arrangement that means if when it comes to it you want your toddler to go somewhere else/you have to transfer to hospital that can happen, but that if you are comfortable & happy he can just stay at home. That's basically what I had my mum here for, so that DP could be my support & I knew that my mum would deal with whatever DD1 needed.

homebirthingtotallyrocks Wed 11-Dec-13 12:13:24

Bba here cord round neck - Dh removed cord and we didn't cut it left placenta to self deliver - subsequent labour I deliberately waited for placenta room deliver and cord to stop pulsing.

The more natural the better in my view.

JanePurdy Wed 11-Dec-13 13:16:17

what does BBA stand for?

spiderlight Wed 11-Dec-13 14:01:58

Born before arrival, I think: baby born before midwives/medical help arrived.

JanePurdy Wed 11-Dec-13 14:15:54

I would have said unattended childbirth - UC - for that. Maybe that is an American-ism.

My mum had 3 home births, the 3rd one was born before anyone could get there. My dad's a doctor thought so don't know if it counts as being born before arrival?!

patagonia09 Wed 11-Dec-13 16:04:41

I don't understand why MWs tell you to have a home birth if they think you're going to be super fast (i.e. if DC1 was out like a shot). This assumes you're going to be at home pretty much continuously from about 7 months on. If you're one of those 1 hour start-to-finish people, I'd forget HB and start making all sorts of contingency plans for a middle-of-the-supermarket birth / on-the-bus-birth / etc.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Wed 11-Dec-13 16:08:43

Jane - I think 'unattended birth' carries some connotations here that you've planned it that way. Probably not officially, but in terms of how the term is perceived. Certainly my MW's were keen to call it a BBA.

littleraysofsunshine Wed 11-Dec-13 22:37:45

So as my previous labour was advised active management of the placenta, and if I give birth without anyone (mw)there, would it just be best to latch baby on and let it pass naturally or clamp or?

I am having a big talk with mw on Monday (34wk check) about preparation for home birth and also in the event of transferring. What to do with dds 1&2, how to relax dp about it all too lolwink

Shellywelly1973 Wed 11-Dec-13 23:08:35

I've been coming & going from this thread.- great advice!

I was wondering why paramedics would attend? Is it the mw that informs them or did people call them?

What would happen if the mother was on her own?


misskatamari Thu 12-Dec-13 06:58:59

Littleray - I would say it would be best to leave it and try to get baby latched on, or have skin to skin contact if not, and wait for the mw.

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 14:25:53

If you are on your own, your body will magically tell you to do the something like the following. Crouch or kneel down near the floor having put down a big old towel or blanket in the action zone, the cleaner the better. Deliver baby gently into your own hands - don't pull, take your time. When baby is out, gently bring him or her up to your chest and put something around both of you so you can keep warm. Have a go at checking airways and double checking some breathing is going on while baby pinks up. Snuffle around baby a bit and attempt to feed. Half an hour later give or take, the placenta will start making its way into the world. Just birth it and stay in one place as warm as possible until help arrives. Never ever attempt to pull out the placenta as that's how to have a haemorrhage. Just birth it gently.

If something is wrong, such as bad positioning, you will sense it and your body may well move position almost of its own accord so you can make a better go of the birth. Go with your instinct at all times.

Hopefully help will arrive before you feel compelled to eat the placenta LOL! grin

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 14:28:04

Shall I submit these to the MN recipe page?!

Yum yum

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 12-Dec-13 14:31:56

Littleray - Do you live miles from anywhere? Because generally you call 999 and tell them that the baby is coming and the midwife won't make it and they will be there like a shot. I'd be surprised honestly if you had much time to worry about any of it. In my case, I was still in shock that the baby had arrived as the paradmedics bumbled through the door. If you do get to that point, leave the baby attached and await further instructions. Assuming you have your DH with you, despatch will keep him on the phone with them until they hand over to the paramedics, so you wouldn't be making decisions on your own anyway. smile

Shelly - You need to have called them. I suppose maybe the midwife might if you happened to be on the phone to her as it all happened and for some reason couldn't call 999. But generally, how would she know to send them?

Boffin also makes a very good point. The way to haemorrhage is to panic and pull the cord. Don't do that and you're already doing well!

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 15:33:10

I think the main thing is to remember that most, if not all, the births you will have seen will have been on TV and everyone will have been in panic mode for the sake of the drama. In actual fact, women left to their own devices usually just pootle along and do it all fairly steadily. You would be amazed. At the end of the day we are just mammals and we actually do know how to do this. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is easy, or even sensible, but obviously it is do-able or there wouldn't be a human race tbh.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 12-Dec-13 20:13:02

Boffinmum Ive delivered 5 babies on dc6!

I meant I will probably be on my own when im in labour but I don't want the mw to come earlier then need be. If im on my own will they do things differently?

I wouldn't call 999 unless I was really concerned... paramedics invading my nice quiet birth! Horrible thought! Main risk for me is post partum haemorrhage, in that incidence I would have to call 999.

Has anyone experienced a pph at home?

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 12-Dec-13 20:16:32

Do you mean on your own as in 'empty house' Shelly? I presume that the only thing that would affect is that, if you did need to call 999, you would be an even more urgent case for them.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 12-Dec-13 21:16:40

Hopefully, if this baby turns I intend on having a home water birth. Hopefully like 4 of my 5 dc baby will appear at night so the older dc will be asleep.

If its day time exdp will have the dc.

I don't want him at the birth. No friends locally & can't afford or really want a doula. Im not worried about being on my own but obviously its not the 'norm'.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 12-Dec-13 21:23:29

But presumably you'll call the midwife at some point, so it's mostly if things move faster than you expect?

I think the big thing would be to have a fully charged mobile with the midwife on speed dial so you can call her as soon as you need her, remembering to allow time for her to get there (and find out in advance how long that usually is!).

But if you realise she isn't going to make it, or if things happen suddenly, you call 999 and explain as best you can. They will send someone. Try and ensure that the front door is on the latch.

I agree that you want the MW if at all possible. Paramedic was, shall we say, less than ideal. Though he stormed in 2 minutes after the birth.

littleraysofsunshine Thu 12-Dec-13 21:43:37

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Boffinmum thanks for the post below, I felt that way with both my girls, but more so dd2 ( my body knowing what to do) even though I didn't know she was back to back, I attempted to birth her leaning up on the bed but I just knew I wasn't comfortable birthing that way. So I was laid on my side/back ish.. And she came easy.

I know from my last two that when the head is crowning (let's face it-we all know that change in pain from painful contractions to -- oh my god burns burns BURNs lol) so I know to slow down and breathe. But would I need to do that before crowning or just start when I feel that change?

I sound so daft asking these things when I've done it twice before!

I am going through my birth plan Monday so will speak to midwife then.

Also indecisive about who is attending the birth (if given the choice by baby's speed) but hopefully dp (works in the days) so hopefully have a night baby again! And sil has been at last two but I haven't seen her much this pregnancy so not sure ? Or maybe it just might be handy for dp to have support too as he seems pretty uneasy as he missed the last birth so hasn't seen me in labour since 2010.. And that he witnessed the fainting/haemorrhage/cannula/being poked and prodded by male consultant and me crying my eyes out.... So I understand his nervous streak.

Wow I do ramble shock ever so sorry

littleraysofsunshine Thu 12-Dec-13 21:45:20

Birth is so unpredictable I know, I just want to have some kind of idea how I plan on doing it. As in, if I do stay at home where will I give birth as I don't think its worth getting a birth pool now? Last labour was 1hr so shall I bother???

littleraysofsunshine Thu 12-Dec-13 21:53:59

So when delivery is done, plus placenta. If you don't need to be transferred, what happens? All baby checks? Your checks? Etc how long before they leave you to it?

I bet that's the most overwhelming thing after is that you just go back to being at home.. Just with your added new baby lol

Also asking this as with dd1 I was fine up until two hours After (this is when the pph happened) so sps worry is that when everyone has gone home, what if something goes wrong. Do I call mw again or just 999?

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 21:55:37

Don't muck about guys. If you have the option of having a mw or paramedics ffs get them in. They can always sit in the corner while you get on with it. But it is not funny having an unexpected complication with nobody there, just because you had some soppy idea about the perfect birth.

My neighbour had a PPH at home but luckily a teaching hospital was only 10 minutes away. MW probably saved her life.

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 21:58:12

With HB pool is good as you can use it in the days/weeks leading up to the birth if you want to.

After a straightforward birth, they do a few checks, make you a cuppa, tuck you in bed or on the sofa, check you again, and leave you for about 8 hours before the next visit.

JanePurdy Thu 12-Dec-13 22:02:46

littlerayofsunshine I reckon the midwives stayed with us for about 3 hours after DD2 was born. They may have left me a bit earlier than they would have done as DP is a doctor & people tend to think he can manage anything medical with his own family, not sure.

If you have a PPH after the midwives have left I would call 999.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 12-Dec-13 22:03:17

Yes Boffin, totally agree. I was just trying to convey that a calm midwife is nicer than a panicked paramedic, even if you'd rather not have the midwife there earlier than necessary!

I would guess that it was about 3 hours before everyone left with DD2. As I mentioned, I went slow, slow, quick, so MW arrived just after paramedic, who arrived just after baby. Obviously, normally you would hopefully have two midwives, whereas my one had a lot to do (they didn't bother to send for a second as one paramedic team stayed to help out).

So it took an hour or so to shift the placenta. Then stitches and generally checking me. She knew DD2 was breathing fine, etc and was periodically with me and with DH/DD1. When I was finally sorted, they did the weighing, etc on DD2, made sure we were happy with feeding, helped tidy up a bit, sat for ages filling in all the paperwork and then headed off.

I am sure if you have had a previous PPH they will stay until they are happy there is no repeat. Ask what to do if you get concerning bleeding afterwards, but if in any doubt at all call 999.

Shaky Thu 12-Dec-13 23:24:13

May I just add, as a community midwife, when you think you are in labour, please phone the labour ward to let them know.

Where I work, the woman phones labour ward, they make take a verbal history and ask if you feel ready for the midwife to attend to you. They will then contact the midwife on call to come to your house. If you feel that you are coping ok and do not require any assistance at that time they will let the midwife know that you are in early labour and advise you to call them back when you feel things are progressing.

If it sounds like you are in established labour, having regular, strong contractions lasting about 60 seconds they will probably advise that a community midwife does come out to assess how things are going.

I labour progresses faster than anticipated, please phone labour ward first, they will have one person calling the community midwife and another calling 999. Bear in mind, if it is during the night the community midwife will be in bed. She needs to get up, dressed, vvvv quick brush of teeth, yawn and jump in the car to get to you. This happens in approx 3.67 minutes (it's amazing how a midwife can get from deep sleep to 60 mph on the motorway when need be).

It is likely that the ambulance will get to you first, on account of them not being in bed and having flashing blue lights and sirens. They will deliver baby, if he/she had not already been born. Keep you warm, dry and safe, monitoring your vital signs until the midwife arrives.

The midwife will-

-assess you, for your well being.
- manage the 3rd stage if not already over
- check and weigh the baby
- check the placenta
- help you to breastfeed
- do your vital signs
- help you to the bath, if you wish.
- complete a bloody mountain of paper work.
- clear up any mess
- make sure you and baby are both fine before answering any questions prior to leaving.
- she will the proceed to labour ward to dispose of the placenta, (according to the wishes of the mother, dispose of clinical waste, complete another mountain of paperwork.
- and will generally return later in the day to make sue mother and baby are both ok,

I apologise for the longest post ever and probable many typos within it.

I hope it helps you.

This post is so long I bet it doesn't load

Shaky Thu 12-Dec-13 23:24:59

Oh yay, it did grin

BoffinMum Thu 12-Dec-13 23:35:03

Ta for that, Shaky!

Lucylouby Fri 13-Dec-13 07:28:56

shelly my mw called an ambulance for dc3 because there was meconium in the waters. It could have been a problem, so it is their policy to call in case as there is a higher chance of problems. If dc hadn't come out so quickly we would have had to transfer. As it was everything was fine, but they were there just in case. When I had dc2, the first midwife only just got there in time, she was gone within 2 hours. It was like clockwork and really easy.
As for the pph, I had one with dc1, possibly due to some of the interventions I had, I've read this can make you more likely to have a pph, but I had no problems with the other two. If you ever need medical help in the event of an emergency, phone 999. It's what they are there for.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Fri 13-Dec-13 08:51:33

Thank you for that Shaky. I'm hesitant to say this because you are the expert and I"m not, but can I add something?

If you have a history of very fast, or irregular, labours, try and ensure that this is in your notes in advance and make sure to mention it on the phone. They may normally suggest "having regular, strong contractions lasting about 60 seconds" as an indication that they should come out, but that's only a guide if they don't have other information. For example:

- I have been told to ask for the MW to come out when I am having intense contractions, even if they are not regular and vary in length. I have had that pattern right up to delivery in both previous labours (including when on the drip) and waiting for 'regular' is the underlying reason I ended up with a BBA second time.

- My friend has had two labours of under an hour. They are coming out at the first twinge. If they wait for regular, strong contractions, chances are they will miss it!

littleraysofsunshine Fri 13-Dec-13 09:01:52

In my second labour my waters broke at 10:53pm, I went to toilet to check, ten downstairs and the intense contractions started thick an fast then. I rang MLU who I couldn't get hold of (I was on my own as do was away) dd upstairs in bed so I though shit! Rang my dad, (who turned up as I was leaving with BIL) rang MLU again and they said to come in. Even though I was very chilled and quiet I just knew...

Got to hospital at around 11:30pm,
No observations just got into nightie and started pushing even though I wanted dp to try and make it!

So I think if waters are my first sign I will ring then again. But I'm not sure if my waters aren't the first thing to go.

My dd1 just literally started as I stood up off the birthing ball I happened to be sat on (on mumsnet lol) and waters were the last thing..

littleraysofsunshine Fri 13-Dec-13 09:02:28

Oh second dd was hour exact. Dd1..4ish hours

Shaky Fri 13-Dec-13 19:21:57

Penguins yes, I agree. If you have had very fast labours in the past, it perfectly reasonable to ask for the midwife to come out to you as soon as you think you are in labour.

littleraysofsunshine Sat 14-Dec-13 22:06:46

If you have dc's already, how did it go with the about if no childcare was arranged? Or if they were in bed, did you wake them? I generally remember in my last two labours that I was pretty calm, but let out about two swear words when the head was crowning lol I really would love a cool, calm birth at home... No idea what's happening now as I've posted on another thread about my BH's.. And I may have a risk of preterm labour not definite. But may. Just can't bring myself to have the test as I just feel like I'm provoking fate confused

PenguinsDontEatStollen Sat 14-Dec-13 22:09:15

In my case DD1 was asleep upstairs. DH resettled her once or twice when I got loud and woke her, but I was very quiet at the end and she woke up in the morning to a new sister.

I saw your other thread. Have my fingers crossed for you. x

littleraysofsunshine Fri 27-Dec-13 22:59:14

Still here. Baby pushing down lots but four more weeks to go...

I just can't seem to get organised /mentally prepared. I still can't feel 100% on home birth sad

littleraysofsunshine Sun 05-Jan-14 22:03:13

Midwife has now said she prefers if I get to the MLU as I had the bleed with dd1.

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