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Has anyone had a home birth for a first baby?

(190 Posts)
HBStowe Thu 11-Apr-19 06:56:21

And if so, what was it like?

I don’t know if IABU to even consider this...

(Also not actually pregnant yet, just trying! So have no idea how I will feel when actually pregnant)

Dreamingofkfc Thu 11-Apr-19 07:03:11

Yes. It was great. Fairly long labour but I had good support and was very comfortable in my own surroundings.

Scottishgirl85 Thu 11-Apr-19 07:05:08

No experience of home birth but I have 2 children. Honestly, I wouldn't risk it in a million years, especially for your first. You'll have people telling you it worked for them, but you have no idea how your baby or your body will cope in labour. It's a huge unnecessary risk in my opinion. It also depends a lot on how far you live from hospital. I wouldn't even think about it just now, you may have a higher risk pregnancy and not be eligible anyway.

Yerroblemom1923 Thu 11-Apr-19 07:06:23

Yes, v swift. Midwives only just made it. Highly recommend it if you're healthy and low-risk then go for it. I did a lot of reading and research and felt fully prepared. My thinking was that I wasn't ill, I was just having a baby, so why would I be in hospital?

NaToth Thu 11-Apr-19 07:06:24

I did, back in the day. Very straightforward.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 11-Apr-19 07:07:56

I did, wonderful experience. I had all of mine at home in the end.

HBStowe Thu 11-Apr-19 07:21:24

Thanks everyone! It’s good to hear some positive experiences (but also totally understand the concerns some have!).

Statistically there is only a very slightly increased risk associated with it for a first birth and I think I am maybe willing to take that risk because the other benefits seem so significant in comparison. I live very close to hospital (12 minute drive for me) so if I did need a transfer I think it would be fine.

Might all be a moot point of course! There’s no obvious reason why I would be high risk for a pregnancy but of course anything could happen so it might come to nothing.

Jackshouse Thu 11-Apr-19 07:25:11

No but I’m looking at this time but I have decided against it (vbac) but you can change your mind, well up to the baby’s head appearing, and go to hospital.

Bicnod Thu 11-Apr-19 07:26:28

I had my first and second in a midwifery led unit and my third at home. I loved my home birth but even with hindsight I would still have had my first in the MLU, close to hospital. The risks associated with home birth are pretty much zero IF you've already had a successful uncomplicated delivery, but you have no way of knowing if that will be the case with your first. Not worth the risk imho. Do you have a MLU near you? Might be a good compromise for a first birth?

OwlBeThere Thu 11-Apr-19 07:29:29

Yes, it was amazing. Calm and lovely but long. I was in active labour for 20 hours but I was coping well and so was the baby so there was no talk of doing anything other than wait. I had 3 of my 4 at home, the 3rd in hospital due to being premature (my waters broke at a routine appointment at 28 weeks).

FenellaMaxwell Thu 11-Apr-19 07:31:08

I was low risk and still had a massive PPH. I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital. For that reason, I think I would go for a medical setting for a first birth that could be followed by a home birth for subsequent births if the first one goes well.

RicStar Thu 11-Apr-19 07:35:30

Really don't think this is something you can / should consider in the abstract. You don't know 1. If you will get pregnant. 2. How that will be. 3. What your midwife service will really be like locally. Imo you should avoid putting any pressure on your self that ttc / pregnancy / birth will be a certain way. In my area midwife services are under extreme pressure - the likelihood of any actual choice for a first birth is a mirage but it might be different for you. Sorry for not answering the question op.

mindutopia Thu 11-Apr-19 07:42:18

Yes, it was wonderful (had my 2nd at home as well). Both quite straightforward. But I do absolutely believe that being at home saved us a lot of trauma and possible birth injuries. I had a lengthy 2nd stage (pushing). All fine, we were closely monitored and no distress from either of us (she was just back to back and needed time to turn before she came out). But we went over the ‘allowed’ time to push with a first baby before they move to intervention. They would have transferred me in if we went on much longer but as all was fine, they let me get on with it and she was born without all fuss. But I would have found an instrumental delivery really traumatic (especially one that obviously was totally unnecessary). My friends baby sustained facial and head injuries from forceps right around the same time due to slow progress.

So the point is that you never know what will happen on the day. But gratefully for me, being at home meant I was relaxed and it bought me a bit more time when I needed it, and because of that I had a lovely birth.

I’ve had 2 home births now. 2nd was even easier than the first, midwives came about 50 minutes before he was born, we had a cup of tea after, my dd got to meet her brother about 2 minutes after he was born. It was wonderful.

Look for some online home birth support groups (Facebook). You’ll find lots of women having their first babies at home. You may also have a local home birth or positive birth group.

Rememberallball Thu 11-Apr-19 07:56:49

I live in a small Cornish market town and am expecting my first (and second) and, because of the lack of hospitals/birthing centres (1 hospital plus 2 birthing centres - 1 with no night time capacity) in the county with 1 other hospital over the border in Devon for those in the east of the county they actively promote home birth for low risk pregnancies here. I won’t be as I’m automatically consultant led (age, twins, family history of eclampsia) so will be hospital birth pathway but they do a lot to promote home birth as a viable option to many women even for first baby.

PurpleDaisies Thu 11-Apr-19 08:02:17

My thinking was that I wasn't ill, I was just having a baby, so why would I be in hospital?

“Just having a baby” comes with risks. Things can go very, very wrong very quickly. I’ve been around too many complicated births to recommend this for a first baby.

OwlBeThere Thu 11-Apr-19 08:15:16

@scottishgirl85 I don’t really understand why you’d reply to this as you have, by your own admission, no experience of home birth. The facts are that home birth in a low risk pregnancy is very safe. Any issues can be transferred in to hospital quickly.

alwaysreadthelabel Thu 11-Apr-19 08:24:53

My first I had at hospital. My second at home. I had a PPH with my second and lost 6.5 pints of blood. Could not be foreseen. It was touch and go for me for a while but I still don't regret my home birth. The actual birth was a lovely, relaxing experience.

RiddleyW Thu 11-Apr-19 08:27:10

I did and loved it. I live about 3 minutes from a hospital so that was a nice comfort. Would hugely recommend.

Smarshian Thu 11-Apr-19 08:29:33

I had a hospital birth first time with some intervention and a home birth second time.
People who haven’t had a home birth and proclaim it to be too risky generally haven’t looked into it enough.
There is a very slight increase in risk in an otherwise low risk pregnancy, however, if there are any issues on the day you will be taken into hospital immediately. With my first I planned a hospital birth, but even if I hadn’t I would have been taken in early on as her heart rate was dropping during contractions. I was taken to the consultant led area at this point but then just monitored there. They didn’t actually do anything differently until about 2 hours later when she was struggling to come out (big baby).
At home I had 2 midwives with me and it was a wonderful experience!

teyem Thu 11-Apr-19 08:35:17

Yes, I did. The birth itself was fine but it was a bit of a comedy of errors with midwife turning up unable to bring the gas and air from the car because it was too heavy but unwilling to let DH go and fetch it himself, meaning they both had to go and get it from down the road where she had been able to park - leaving me labouring on
my bed at a very advanced stage all alone in my house only to find that the cannister was empty. Thankfully a second midwife arrived later on with actual gas and air and the relief was epic.

I had the second two in hospital with the gas and air plumbed in on tap.

Prettyvase Thu 11-Apr-19 08:40:18

Yes all my 5 were home water births ( you can buy water birth kits online that double up as a splash pool grin)

I wanted a beautiful lovely experience with lavender oil drops in the warm water, candles, soothing meditation music playing and to be able to look out over our beautiful garden from the window.

The first birth was a long labour but the baby was not in distress so I knew it would happen eventually!

Was a bit disconcerting to see how often the midwives were looking at their watches and wanting to give me an episiotomy to "speed things up".

I wouldn't let them!! Basically you do need to do a fair bit of research into labour to prepare yourself and to know what to expect or when to stand your ground.

Some home led midwives are better than others.

I had one midwife who attended 4/5 of my baby nirths and I got her a bottle of champagne. She was worth her weight in gold, I totally respected and trusted her.

Birth is a shockingly gory process but if your partner is up for it, helping with back massages and is hands on and useful, you have a supportive midwife you can trust and you have done your research then I don't honestly think you could have a more wonderful and positive way to bring a baby into the world.

Search home/water birth stories online: reading these were my 9 month long obsession 😂

reetgood Thu 11-Apr-19 08:47:31

Almost ;) I transferred to hospital after 30 hours and because of various reasons ended up with a c-section after 36 hours (mostly that he was surprise breech and I was knackered although they gave me the option to continue). I’m sharing because it was a really positive experience- handover between homebirth and hospital team, respected my preferences, etc. You can change your mind if you opt for homebirth, particularly if you live in easy reach of a hospital (I have two near me). There’s always naysayers on threads like this - as a grown person you are perfectly capable of assessing risk and making a choice based on fact and knowing yourself rather than anecdata. My area has a homebirth group and it was after attending a meeting that my partner felt comfortable in saying yes to supporting me with a homebirth. Hearing people’s birth stories was really helpful (including one that wasn’t entirely positive!). A lot is about not being attached to any particular outcome. Make plans and be prepared for them to change.

Prettyvase Thu 11-Apr-19 09:15:28

I agree about the naysayers. There are some women or their partners who are terrified by the thought of things going wrong and not being in a medical setting.

If you are well educated and positive minded, in good physical and mental health with a normal BMI and have had a straight forward pregnancy but also open-minded if things don't go according to plan then a home birth setting can be the safest and least stressful option and a most wonderful way to have your precious baby.

Chippychipsforme Thu 11-Apr-19 09:20:32

No. My husband veteod the idea immediately on the amount of blood, gunk, liquid and poo that comes out.

HBStowe Thu 11-Apr-19 09:25:20

thank you so much everyone, really helpful input!

It’s great to hear that even those who were ultimately transferred still felt it had been a good experience / was worth it, it shows there is still value in the experience even if the baby is ultimately born in hospital.

I’m also really worried about instrumental delivery. My SIL has recently had a very poor birth experience largely due to what she now thinks were needless instrumental interventions. I would really like to avoid that if possible.

I am also very sold on the whole water bath / lavender oil / whale music / candles aspect 😂 obviously not at the expense of wellbeing, but if all is going well and safely and that’s an option I would definitely want it.

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