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Experience of Homebirth and higher than average BMI

(4 Posts)
architien Thu 16-Dec-10 16:58:17

Hello Ladies,

I was wondering if anybody had any experience of childbirth at home (i'm a handful of minutes to the hospital) higher than average BMI but everything else perfectly healthy?

I'm only looking for real life experience and not opinions alone. This is a sensitive hotbed topic so just sharing real experience is what I'm looking for.

Could you let me know your reflections on your experience in order to help me? If you prefer to not put your experience up I'd be just thrilled to hear from you by private message.

Thank you for reading!

LLKH Fri 17-Dec-10 10:33:07

I could have written a similar post to yours a few months ago. Now, I'm glad to be answering your post. I was a little into the "overweight" BMI which is, in my opinion, a stupid measurement. Everything else was perfectly fine so the homebirth midwives just kept monitoring me as they would any woman.

My daughter was born at home on 4 December and it was a lovely experience as much as labour can be lovely. My waters broke at noon and my contractions started soon after. I dealt with them by sitting on our sofa and breathing through. We called the midwife when they seemed close. She had a quick look, said I was only 3 cm, and recommended a bath and paracetamol for the pain. They worked quite well for me and only an hour or so later we called her again. When she returned, I was 9 cm and labouring on our stairs. This was a comfortable position for me if not for DH who had to contort himself in comical fashion to feed me satsumas.

It wasn't long before I was back up in our bedroom leaning on our bed and pushing hard. I thought at one point that I had at least two pushes left before the baby came, but I went with my body and she shot out like a rocket startling the midwife. DH and I had previously decided that he would be the one to tell me what sex the baby was so once she was out and yowling, I heard his voice telling me she was a girl.

She'd come out so fast she snapped her umbilical cord so I had an injection to get the placenta out. While I was waiting for that, the midwife had a look to see about stitches. I didn't need any, I just had mild grazing.

The whole thing took a little under 12 hours, but I think that was the combination of being in my own relaxed environment (I laboured in every room in our house), the undivided attention of a skilled midwife whom I trusted and my DH's encouragement.

The environment of the home helped me, I think, because I felt that I could make as much noise as I wanted. I grunted, groaned, and moaned throughout labour and it really helped me learn to manage the contractions as they came. I also liked being able to move about anywhere I wanted and everywhere being somewhere familiar.

My midwife was also wonderful because she saw that what was best for me was to let me get on with it, and say encouraging things every so often. She did bring me gas and air near the end when I wanted it, but I hardly used it. I just liked knowing it was there.

And, of course, my lovely DH didn't feel useless as there was plenty for him to do. As I said, he fed me satsumas on the stairs. He also put glasses of water in every room for me to drink if I wanted them, and, naturally, kept encouraging me as well.

For me, size wasn't an issue as I was, overall, pretty healthy. I had a very good experience of homebirth. Hope this is the sort of tale you were after.

freddy05 Fri 17-Dec-10 20:10:46

I have a much larger than average BMI but i was determined to have a home birth and my midwife was very supportive of that. All tests were clear all through the pregnancy and my BP was never up so they were happy for me to go ahead.

DD was five days over due. I woke up at 8 saturday morning and felt uncomfortable, more than usual, we went to do the shopping because we had no food and by the time we were leaving the shop I thought I should speak to someone so I rang the community team and a midwife came to check me. She came about 11 and said I wasn't in labour and suggested a bath and paracetamol and getting on with my day. I had a shower then I had lunch while lying on the sofa wondering how painful not being in labour should be. at 3 I had a bath and decided that I might not be in labour but it wasn't far off so I called my parents to come to look after DD but due to communication errors and the fact they live two hours away they didn't arrive til 7pm.

I rang the hospital at 6 to ask for someonelse to come and check on me because I thought things were happening but because I'd seen someone at 11 they were in no rush and it was 7.10 when she arrived. I was led on the sofa in a kind of sleeping state all day but just before everyone arrived I got up to have a wash and a wee. I was examined at 7.15 and was 6cm, we had no equipment because they thought I wasn't in labour!! My waters went at 7.45 and my daughter was in my arms at 8.01. All the equipment and the homebirth team arrived at 8.05.

Was a lovely birth for me but as you can probably tell the high BMI didn't bother anyone enough for them to actually make sure we had the equipment or that I had a midwife around for very long. For me obviously I don't know what giving birth with a normal bmi is like but compared with my hospital birth for number one I have to say my homebirth was a dream.

CleanHankie Sat 18-Dec-10 22:36:58

I too have a high BMI. Our NHS trust has a policy that those with high BMI's should have an extra scan. Think it was at 30ish weeks. Had a normal pregnancy, BP was actually sightly lower than should be, but still had to have the extra scan. All medical staff agreed it was a waste of time. My MW booked me in for a homebirth without even mentioning my weight could cause issues. To be fair this was for DC2 and the first had been no problem.

Ended up going into labour Christmas Eve early evening. Called the hospital at 9pm-ish ( who recomnded a bath to ensure it was true contractions. Waters broke as I got out of the bath 40mins later so having called the hospital a midwife was dispatched to me as contractions were now 4 mins apart. She arrived 11pm ish and just had enough time to get her equipment out of the car, take my BP and montior Baby's heartbeat before I announced I was pushing. 3 pushes later, DD2 arrived a minute after midnight. Not sure how long the midwife stayed but was gone by 2pm, presumably to deal with even more babies as our hospital had a higher number of births than usual last Christmas smile.

Having a high BMI was never an issue with my pregnancy, other than the extra scan, which was routine. It's nice to have midwives who judge you on how your pregnancy has gone rather than put you in a box of having a high risk birth due to your weight.

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