to ask about your home birth?(55 Posts)
Currently 27 weeks with dc3 and 'booked' in for a home birth. I had an unplanned one last time (very fast labour, mw arrived in the nick of time - all very straight forward and didn't need hospital afterwards) and am keen for another one.
Mw supportive, as is DH and this would eliminate the need for finding childcare which would be a nightmare to sort due to personal circumstances.
I wondered, do I need a pool? What will I need to hand? What did you love or hate about yours? What would you have done differently? Just looking to get the best out of my last birth.
I'm less than 10mins away from the hospital and ambulance depot should anything go amiss. I'd appreciate that posters realise that this is what I want to do and I am also well aware that it's not everyone's cup of tea.
You don't need a pool although you might like one. However, bear in mind you might but have time to use one if you have quick births!
There was nothing about my 2 that I hated. I just needed to have towels - midwives drop a box of supplies off in advance.
Try to think where you will labour and make sure things set up for that - eg I wanted something to lean on to deliver on all 4s.
Don't assume you won't need childcare depending on age - I would have struggled to labour with my toddler in the house, and would not have liked him to see/hear me!
Do you have specialist home birth teams?
Also no time for a pool! Get one if you like but be prepared to not even get time to fill it!
Mine was great: no one fussing about me, I could have the lights how I wanted, no VEs, etc. I just moved when and where I wanted to. Didn't hate anything about It except not so keen on actual contraction pain, but there you go!
Would do it again in a heartbeat
Loved it all... You don't need a pool but they are wonderful. Have an alternative in mind if you fancy being on dry land. Setting up a lovely space with fairy lights, aromatherapy and our hypnobirthing affirmations playing was great.
Have a separate area where the midwives can chat quietly and help themselves to food and drink.
They may ask you to have a changing mat and angle poise lamp on the floor with a clean towel, for checking baby.
Don't underestimate how many towels you might need. Get a liner with the pool (easier for your DP to clean up).
Getting in my own bed after the birth was lovely
I had a pool and would definitely recommend it. You can get into any position you want.
Personally I would want other children out of the way but that's up to you. Mine was in bed as it was evening and it worked out perfectly!
Yes to towels, can't think of anything else. Just do it! Good luck.
My dds are 11 and 8, fingers crossed they'd cope if they were in the house when the baby comes. DD1 was 3 when dd2 was born and she was upstairs! She met her sister within 10mins of birth which was lovely. Unless dds are at school we have no one local to have them, nearest person is 25 miles away so not really an option especially if this one will be fast too like both previous labours.
I was looking into the pools but it says they take a whole to fill and from start to delivery it was under 2hrs with dd2 so the pool wouldn't have been filled even with her! I'm not sure if there is a dedicated home birth team but my mw was very supportive and keen when I mentioned it. I'm the only one booked for June so she's hopeful that it will go ahead.
I had a pool but it wasn't ready in time for my first. Didn't bother with my second. Gather lots of old towels to put on sofa/ carpets/ where ever you want to be. My biggest piece of advice would be DON'T LOOK IN THE BOX. The midwives will leave a big box of equipment at your house when you are around 37 weeks. There is some scary stuff in there you don't need to know about. Just leave it alone in blissful ignorance.
Hope it goes well for you
I rented a pool both times and didn't even get it inflated!
That's what I'm concerned about, and it's quite alot of money to end up not using the pool.
I've mentioned it to a few friends and all I seem to have got are horror stories so.its nice to hear of nice home births!
I'm not a pool fan as it doesn't feel very natural to me. Mine went fine - although a bit complex - one twin arrived quickly with my independent midwives present, second one went on a go slow and I chose to have him in hospital 7 hours later - in a different London borough even! But both nice natural births and we got back home from the hospital by the evening. Twin 1 was a visitor to the hospital whilst his twin was born the same day. It all felt quite controlled and safe and happy. The older children chose not to be present which is a p ity but was their choice.
We planned a home birth but when found it was twins changed to a hospital which would allow my own midwives to do the birth in the hospital (but the first twin came too quickly at home - it was not a problem - it was the nicest birth, the one at home (and I had 3 other children)).
I was standing up and that worked fine. We ran out of plastic sheeting etc and one midwife had to go off to get even more gas and air but that was purely because I had two separate labours one for each twin (normally twins come almost right after each other but one of mind just wasn't ready to be born that day so we had to hasten him on in the hospital). I had never even read about two separate labours and you might have to go through one have the firs and then start all the way over again for the second twin.
I had 1 last year we had the box delivered as he was dc6 and with dc5 I only just managed to get to hospital in time ( i live 10 mins away in a car) in an ambulance with the blues and twos going. The only thing I used was a shower curtain. I had a weird feeling and decided to nap on sofa that night and had an urge to put a shower curtain on sofa. As soon as I climbed on waters went called midwives and birthing partner. He appeared a few hours later. The midwives checked us both and filled out their paperwork.
All my previous where born in the hospital and I have to say I felt more relaxed and only needed a bit of gas and air just before I was ready to push. I'm not having anymore but if I did I'd insist on a home birth again. It was especially nice the other dcs meeting their new brother not long after he was born. My older ones woke when they heard his first cry.
Have a changing mat ready with nappy, outfit, coat for baby ready in case you need to pop over to the hospital. Keep your hospital bag packed just in case you have a wobble and change your mind. I needed to transfer for stitches as they were a bit awkward for midwife to do. Warn the neighbours if parking is an issue so they know there maybe a midwife blocking them in. Be prepared for people telling you you're mad/ putting your baby at risk. Smile sweetly and ignore.
Having my babies at home was a decision I will never regret.
All of mine were planned home births, no pool.
We had plastic sheets from B&Q or similar.
Lots of old towels.
Angle poise lamp.
One was born in the bedroom at my Mum's house, one in our bedroom at home and one in the living room.
All pretty straightforward. The 2nd midwife didn't arrive in time for No.2 but it was fine so she didn't even bother calling her for No.3!
At my mum's she kept us supplied with hot drinks for all (2 midwives + a student) and fresh cake after the arrival! The other 2 labours were quick but DH did make the midwife some toast at one point.
Best bit? Getting into my own shower, having a cup of tea and being in my own bed
I had a home birth with DC3 and it was great, very relaxed and straightforward. I didn't have a pool, I didn't fancy it so didn't bother. The midwife brought gas & air and that was all I needed.
Like you I was very close to hospital and ambulance, and I'd had two normal births before so I was comfortable about having a home birth. I had loads of old towels on hand, plus a beanbag so I could prop myself up over the couch and an old cot mattress to kneel on. Some plastic dust sheets you can get from a DIY store were handy too, though actually there was no mess at all. I chose to be in the sitting room as it was lovely and warm in front of the fire.
I liked being in control and in familiar surroundings, and being able to get into my own shower & bed afterwards and eat what I wanted was lovely.
I did arrange childcare as I didn't want the DC around when I gave birth. A close friend was on call to take them to her house for a few hours. Mine were very young - if they'd been older I'd have been OK with them being there.
I honestly don't think I'd have done anything differently.
I didn't have a pool for either of my home births. I hadn't wanted to be in one with DS1 so didn't expect to want one at home. I had old bedding that I didn't mind potentially getting ruined, and plastic sheeting (the kind you get in b&q for decorating). I tend to want labour to be fuss free and just to be left alone so I didn't really need anything else.
DS2's birth was a dream. I lost my shit during DS3's though I don't know why- I was just so, so angry with everyone except dh. If I could do it again I'd leave calling the midwives until much later, although given the short length of my labours (all under 3 hours, although I called the midwives before labour started with ds3 to tell them my waters had gone and given my history they said they'd come soon) that would probably have meant giving birth before anyone arrived!
The midwives need space and surfaces for their kit and want a good light in case of stitching. They appreciate tea With ds3 they also wanted the heating on high, which thinking about it probably contributed to my anger as I like a coolish house at the best of times!
Best thing about home birth is it's your environment and you can do what you like, within reason. Hospital is all hot and bright and noisy and busy and on someone else's schedule, home is home
I tried for a home birth but had to rush in half way through to hospital which was a shame. I would seek childcare for your older children (sleepover with school friends?) even if you are having a homebirth. If you need to transfer in, you won't want to be ringing around for childcare then. Many attempted homebirths end up with babies being delivered in hospital so you should really factor this in. Hope it works out for you!
If you get La Bassine it only takes 45 mins to fill with a combi boiler, including inflation time. If money is tight I'd get a cheapie 2nd hand one but with a new liner. But even if you don't get to use it their resale value on eBay is v.good.
All the births I've been present with siblings there too, they've loved it!
Check out the homebirth reference website OP, for lots of positive homebirth stories. There's also a Homebirthers and Hopefuls Facebook page. Fill your head with positive expectation!
I didn't have pain relief last time but it's good to know you can get gas and air! I had dd2 whilst squatting over a low table and I think gravity did it's work there - comparing it to dd1 where I was confined to a bed (not by mw I just couldn't get back down after I got on!) it was just a much better experience and I slept through alot of early labour so I'd love for that to happen again!
I had a pool (they are available free in my area for home births) but was too lazy to fill it in the end. My personal preference is to be mobile in labour - as soon as I stand still I itch all over! So the pool wasnt really for me. I would probably get one next time (if there is one) just in case I fancied it at the time.
I didnt dislike anything about my home birth, except that I didnt have any shower curtains etc so my rug was ruined and there are (tiny) blood stains on my parquet.
Another one here who never managed to get the pool inflated. In hindsight you'd be best to have it inflated before you need it as it takes a while to sort out, but then you'd just have a massive pool in the way. Wouldn't bother with a pool personally next time, ended up in the bath which was amazing.
I was able to hire a TENS machine from local maternity unit which was worth its weight in gold. Made all the difference to my labour and was less than £50 to hire for a few week. Remember getting really angry when they wouldn't let me wear it in the bath, but then the water took all the pain away like it was some sort of miracle.
I never got a pack delivered as others have described, midwives bought everything with them when they came.
I'd recommend getting a waterproof bed sheet if you don't have one already, M&S do a great one that doesn't make weird noises and is very comfy. One less thing to worry about when you're tucked up in bed with your newborn and spouting all manner of bodily fluids! My midwives bought loads of small waterproof sheets and left me with some but still felt my own was worth having.
Oh and if you have show cushions then I'd hide these...my midwives bought my best show cushions out to put under my knees when giving birth on all fours, and even in my demented state I had enough energy to be annoyed by it...
We had a pool, it may have taken an hour or so but it depends on your equipment - a pump to blow it up if inflatable (and you can't have it up for a while beforehand) and a good hose is essential - ours failed so DH filled it with buckets. It just about got filled on time in two hours. We didn't have much room but there are options to have a pre filled and heated pool delivered and built, you just hire them and they are ready whenever.
I got to use the pool for about 20 minutes but it probably was worth it. It probably did ease the pain and contain the mess. Although the midwife will deliver pads to protect the furniture and you'll need towels and blankets. Midwife may store other bits for a few weeks.
DC2 was born at night after a long latent phase - the proper labour kicked off just as DC1 was tucked up in bed. Getting to bed in our home was lovely.
Thanks for the tips. I'll make sure and get DH to get lots of plastic sheeting to protect floors/carpets.
I had a planned hb with dd1 and planning on having dd2 at home (39w5 currently)
I had a pool last time but it wasn't hot enough fast enough. I gave birth on a shower curtain with some cushions/pillows around me which was nice Ds who was 2 woke up just before she arrived but I had my mum on call who lives a couple of streets away so she ran round and kept he busy in his room.
I've got a pool again this time round but no idea if I will bother to inflate it, shower curtains for the floor and planning to give birth in the livingroom so I can lean on the sofa/birth ball if I want too. Mum and mil are on call for if we need them due to children being awake mum still lives only a few streets away and mil is 5minutes in the car away.
About the price of birth pools, I've brought a brand new second hand one (lady ended up in hospital being induced) so I paid £80 plus postage and would be able to sell it for around that price again if I don't use it, if I do use it I can still sell it for around £40 so it's not that bad really.
I loved having my own shower and bed to get into, In fact I was in the shower so long the midwifes shouted up to check I was ok where as at the hospital I was fast enough I could of got a gold medal for speed in and out.
I've had 3 home births (first time was in hospital). I had pools for all three but only had time to use it the first and last time, second home birth/ DC3 came too quickly and it wasn't full enough. It was amazing for a very spacious post birth bath though.
Having some space for midwives stuff is important, I keep the essentials in a bag/ case just in case of transfer to hospital. Some plastic sheets from any shop that sells decorating stuff, great for covering the sofa or bed.
I have a BPIAB sitting under my stairs that I would happily pass onto you of you are interested. It's would need a sterile in order for you to use it. If so, drop me a PM.
Just to add, my older children were in bed for the births of DC3 and DC4. They both arrived at night, my MIL was call if we needed her. If I'd needed to transfer I'd have gone solo until MIL could get there and my husband could then join me.
We also have neighbours who offered to help should the need arise.
All was fine though.
With my last baby my waters broke in the early hours but I didn't labour until the evening which made getting the pool ready really easy as we knew labour was likely to start very soon.
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