Advanced search

Refused a waterbirth!

(88 Posts)
alicemama Thu 20-Oct-05 14:14:09

Hi girls,
well just had a midwife call round today after a home assesment yesterday for my homebirth and after monthes of planning I've just been told that I can't use my pool at all, as there is only 1 midwife trained in waterbirths.

I'm absolutely furious! I've talked about my home waterbirth to every midwife I've seen at every antenatel appointmentt and not once has anyone even hinted that this might not be possible.

I'm 36+3 and waited to order my pool from made in water until monday this week and it arrived yesterday and now the following day I'm told I can't use it. As you can imagine I had plenty to say to the midwife who is now going back to her supervisor to discuss it again taking into account that I've already received and paid for my pool! But she's off on annual leave now so won't find out til at least Monday and I know what the answer will be.

Not sure what to do now as I've been planning this for months and had my heart set on using the pool for labour and delivery! HELP!!!!

netter Fri 28-Oct-05 23:42:32

Hmmm, I gave birth in Walsall Manor and guess what, the pool wasn't available/no trained midwife on shift.

Am definatley not surprised to hear this is Sandwell hospital though.

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 13:39:52

Well tbh if when the time comes and I don't want to get out, I'm not going to. Even my midwife has said there's nothing they can do about it.

Hopefully guidelines should come tomorrow or monday...I just can't believe that I know more about waterbirth from watching tv than the midwives do!

QueenVictoria Fri 28-Oct-05 12:18:49

This makes me sooooo angry!

I hope you get what you want Alicemamma.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Oct-05 11:32:56

Out of interest, how would they plan on getting you out for delivery if you refused??

mears Fri 28-Oct-05 11:31:12

AM - I am glad there has been progress but I am horrified that you have been asked to agree to get out the water for delivery.

I have been at many waterbirths and yes, women sometimes do come out. My experience has been more the opposite - women go in the water and say that they plan to get out but when the time comes they do not WANT to.

It is very much instinctive. At our unit often women have not thought of labouring in the pool when they come in then decide to try it.

When we first started. the request had to come from the woman. We had about 3 waterbirths a year.

Then we changed our policy and offered the pool to women who came into hospital in labour (normal pregnancy).

Last year we had 100 waterbirths.

You will feel much better about it all once you read the guidelines.

The SOM will support the midwives if the are nervous about you delivering in water - she will not tell you that you must come out. If she does, she should reconsider who shge is there for!

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 08:29:13

I have thought about that, I rang walsall manor and altho they do have a birthing pool in their delivery suite, they wouldn't support a home water birth either. I them rang b'ham womens hospital who do support home water births but typically I live to far away for them to cover me.

I do feel a lot about things now my hormones have calmed down since wednesday. I'm def labouring in my pool and have agreed to get out to deliver which I've heard a lot of women do anyway. I was just so upset about being bullied by that midwife. It was like the only answer she wanted was me to back down and she was going to keep on pushing me til I backed down. But that was why my own midwife ended the "discussion" and once outside told the other midwife to back off.
So hopefully that should be the end of it now, I'll just have to wait til d-day comes!

franke Fri 28-Oct-05 08:21:06

Can you not change hospitals AM? You have a strong case I reckon.

alicemama Fri 28-Oct-05 08:09:22

Thats a great tip..I'll have to get dh to hunt one out.

I live in west bromwich and come under Sandwell General & District Hospital altho I wish I'd booked in under Walsall Manor now as it has a lot better reputation and a higher star rating.

netter Fri 28-Oct-05 00:12:52

My midwife asked dh if he could go and get a condom so that she could put it over her sonicaid.

(Ever tried to find the condoms when you havn't used one for 9 months!!!!)

So yes, just get the condoms ready alicemamma. Where are you by the way as some of the places you have mentioned seems fairly close.

alicemama Thu 27-Oct-05 21:49:41

I also have a 2 1/2yr old but she is a very good girl for me so I'm not too worried about her.

When I go into labour she'll go round grandma & grandad's who only live 5 mins away. She loves spending time with them and I normally have to drag her home.

Been looking thru my delivery pack, didn't realise how much stuff there is! Suddenly feeling very real now there's only 2 1/2weeks to go!

tessasmum Thu 27-Oct-05 21:04:30

AM - at least it sounds as though you have someone from the midwifery team on your side.

I'll be keeping everything crossed that you and the baby can hold on for a week.
Think you have done incredibly well to keep fighting, I'm due about the same time (at home hopefully but no water this time) and have a 2 1/2 year old in tow. Not sure if I would have found the strengh, could barely make it to the park this afternoon

grannygoose Thu 27-Oct-05 17:29:28

This might sound odd, but I am sure I read in Sheila Kritzinger's "Birth your way" that you could put the doppler into a condom to use underwater if necessary. I just cant find the page now...

alicemama Thu 27-Oct-05 16:47:23

Thanks mears for clearing that up for me, I've never heard that before. I've also ordered a copy of those guidelines, thanks for the link

I've just had my own midwife brip my delivery pack round and she's apologised for the behaviour of the other midwife that came yesterday. She even admitted that the midwifes behaviour was intimidating and bullying. She went to her SOM this morning and basically told them that I know what I'm doing, I'm not going to put myself or my baby at risk and they should just leave things as they labouring in the pool and getting out to deliver.

Feeling much better now and just praying that I don't go into labour next week as my midwife is on holiday and the evil midwife from yesterday in on call.

Just waiting to speak to the sure start midwife on monday who might be able to get a waterproof sonicaid for me to use.

Once again, thank you so much for all of your support..cyber flowers & chocs to you all

franke Thu 27-Oct-05 12:16:51

Alicemama - I've just seen this again - this is just awful. Would it be time to try plan B - get in touch with a different hospital and see if they will support you in the birth you want? I know that you absolutely shouldn't have to do this, but in the next couple of weeks you need to feel supported not bullied. I'm fuming on your behalf.

Cooperoo Thu 27-Oct-05 12:05:01

Wow Mears you shock me with how often the heartrate should be monitored and for how long. I now actually do not doubt that this was done for me but I was so much in my 'bubble' concentrating I obviously didn't notice. It is fab to have you on here to offer a professional pespective!
AM - Just to reiterate the SOM who came to see me was definately on my side to try and achieve the kind of birth I wanted. I wish I had tracked her down sooner in my case so get on to them at your hospital. Really Good Luck.

tessasmum Wed 26-Oct-05 22:33:29

AM - I'm so sorry that you are having to go through all this now and can't believe the bullying tactics that are being employed. There is great advice on here already that I can't really add to but I wanted to let you know that my thoughts (and righteous fury!) are with you.
Hope you have the strengh to keep fighting, keep the chocolate levels up!

mears Wed 26-Oct-05 21:06:50

click on the order guidelines link

mears Wed 26-Oct-05 21:05:30

alicemama - please find out who the Supervisor of Midwives (SOM) is at the hospital (there will be more than one). He/she is not the Head of Midwifery but is responsible for ensuring that midwives have the ability to care for women safely and in a manner of their choosing!

I am a SOM at my hospital. When we had a home waterbirth request recently, we made sure the midwives got a training seminar on the subject. There is absolutely no excuse for midwives not be be able to do this - they can get access to plenty of literature and they should be able to contact other units for advice.

The SOM will support you in your request and support the midwives . An underwater doppler should be bought for use because it is better than disrupting the flow of labour by asking you to lift your bump out the water.

The heartbeat should be listened to every 15 minutes after each contraction for 1 full minute in the first stage of labour. In the second stage it should be listened to after each contraction for 1 full minute.

I am sure I posted a link to midwifery guidelines earlier in the post. Send away for them - they are not expensive and they are very good. It means you will be armed with all the info you need about waterbirth.

Cooperoo Wed 26-Oct-05 18:36:33

Oh NO!! How dare they!! I am very on your behalf. Get everything in writing. I had a few (unrelated) issues surrounding the birth of my second child and complained and had the supervisor of midwives and her boss come to my home. They were very sympathetic but the important thing was that they put EVERYTHING in writing to me in a letter detailing the points made and what action they were to take. I was definately not monitored after every contraction when I had my waterbirth with dd1 two and a half years ago. That is utter crap. You could just be in a bath FFS. I am so angry on your behalf. They are taking your choices away and have no right to. I really hope you have the strength to get this resolved. Good Luck

despair Wed 26-Oct-05 17:50:57


I feel very angry on your behalf. Pls look after yourselves. I am having difficulty with my midwife myself and recognise this bullying type behaviour. However, as others have already said, this is about YOU AND YOUR BABY they are there to help you and you are not there for them. If they are incompetent/rude/poorly trained you need to get another midwife. If you don't trust your midwife you are much more likely to end up with medical intervention, C-section, assisted delivery etc. Definitely try to get a doula to stand up on your behalf! Also, be careful with heart rate monitoring, latest research suggests that women who undergo a lot of monitoring are much more likely to end up with a C-section, because the baby might be in distress. However, unless there is a clear issue with meconium it is quite difficult to assess from heart rate monitoring alone whether the baby is in distress or not. I have decided that I will decline heart rate monitoring/vaginal examinations/giving birth against hospital timelimits given that every woman is different and given that no body has been able to give me any evidence that the outcome for mother and baby are better of all these interventions. To me it seems all a power issues with midwives and doctors wanting to run the show and feeling that they are sidelined if they haven't got a piece of equipment or paper in their hand. Good luck! And I really think that you should try to get another midwife, you don't want to end up with that bitch, this is disgraceful after all the tax we are paying for the NHS!

All the best.

hunkerpumpkin Wed 26-Oct-05 17:14:48

I'd say you won't know what they can do unless you ring them - might be nothing, might just be some tips, might be a full-scale hitman organisation

Ask the midwives you saw today to put in writing all they said though - definitely.

And have a nice cup of tea and a sit down with a biscuit too - you deserve it

muma3 Wed 26-Oct-05 17:13:47

dont let them, it is your baby your body and YOUR choice , i dont wish any harm to you or your darling unborn but if you were to go into labour and refuse to go hosp what will they do then ????
get in the pool and they will have to look after you wont they!!!!!!
aaaaawwwwwww GOOD LUCK and keep calm i can see you getting what you want you are determined and im sure they will come round xxxxxxxx

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 17:12:49

NO they don't have a pool or plans for one, so thats their excuse for not having trained midwives.

I was thinking of ringing aims back but I'm not really sure what they can do to help?

hunkerpumpkin Wed 26-Oct-05 17:10:10

AM, it's pretty common behaviour from what I've read - have AIMS been back in touch with you?

Just thought - the hospital doesn't have a birthing pool or plans for one, does it?

alicemama Wed 26-Oct-05 17:08:45

I know that when the actual time comes I might not to use the pool anyway but I want that to be my choice, not theirs.
Its also the way they are going about this...I feel lied to, manipulated and bullied.

I know nobody here actually knows me but I'm not the kind of person that cries easily, especially in front of other people but thats how bad this is all getting to me....Perhaps they're just trying to stress me out that much that my bp goes sky high and I end up in hospital anyway

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now