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Ever decided to give birth without informing labour ward..?

(31 Posts)
Beccabop Tue 19-Jul-11 23:31:40

...I basically felt demoralised last week after my mw appt; homebirths arent the done thing up North apparently and she became increasingly amused at my willingness to keep things as natural as possible.
She wasnt my actual mw - for some reason I havent seen her for weeks, its always a different one everytime.
Im really scared of going into labour and getting a bloody sadist involved trying to hurry the process up and stressing me out. I know there must be some lovely ones but I havent come across one yet thast taken me seriously!!

Which begs my opening question... has anyone made the choice of actually going it alone...?

lia66 Tue 19-Jul-11 23:39:01

you can choose to birth at home at any time, even in labour . Not recommended to go it completely alone.

ninedragons Tue 19-Jul-11 23:50:00

Getting in a snit with a midwife is not sufficient reason to do something that I believe borders on criminally irresponsible. Organise a planned homebirth, or get over whatever is bothering you. Unattended homebirth (freebirth) is dangerous and stupid beyond belief.

Beccabop Wed 20-Jul-11 00:04:17

Criminally irresponsible? Im talking about giving birth, not taking part in a heist.

Ive already planned the homebirth; the relevant people are informed. Just feel put off by the attitude at my surgery.

Hang on ninedragons, what about women for whom the baby is born too quickly for anyone to be there in time? Thats classed as an unattended freebirth, surely.

piprabbit Wed 20-Jul-11 00:09:01

Is this your first baby?
Have you got any medical issues which might meant that you aren't an ideal candidate for a homebirth?
Have you put your request for a homebirth in writing?
Is your DP supportive of your reuest for a homebirth, and how would he feel about supporting you going it alone?

I think it would be better to plan a homebirth rather than opt out of any medical support - freebirthing sounds like a scary way of giving birth to me.

MerylStrop Wed 20-Jul-11 00:13:07

I think you need to speak to the community midwife's office/hospital and find out which midwives do the homebirths and get one of them to come and speak to you. The one's that do homebirths are really into homebirths. The others can bog off be politely smiled to and ignored.

piprabbit Wed 20-Jul-11 00:14:11

I think there is a difference between baby arriving too soon to get help, and making the choice not to request help at all (known as freebirthing).

Which relevant people have you informed, what will their role be in supporting you during childbirth? If they are supporting you then presumably you can ignore the surgery and just contact the relevant people when you go into labour.

ninedragons Wed 20-Jul-11 00:16:30

Your OP suggests you are considering a planned freebirth. It is so obvious that women who deliver quickly are not in the same category that I didn't even bother to make the distinction.

Do you have any idea of the sort of things that can go wrong at birth, both for you and the baby? Wouldn't you rather have somebody present who had the faintest fucking clue what to do?

Beccabop Wed 20-Jul-11 00:17:15

First baby, low risk good pregnancy, homebirth planned and confirmed, dp very supportive and also mildly pissed off with last weeks mw.

I had no idea there was even a term for this! Never heard of freebirthing.

Chances are when it comes to the crunch I'll be straight on the phone and someone lovely will turn up. Id just gotten to a stage where I was really looking forward to the birth then made to feel quite incapable of it without serious medical intervention.

Plus Im 38 weeks tomorrow and fed up..

sigh might have a good cry in a bit get over it that way blush

nakedandangry Wed 20-Jul-11 00:20:46

Is this your first baby? No matter, every labour can be different. I suggest you have a birth plan where you state that speeding up type interventions are a no no - I take it you mean early labour sweeps, waters broken and so on? I would agree with you there.

However, during my first labour the MWs on the ward were utter bastards, but I am forever grateful for the actual delivery MW's who got me through the final 10+ hours, helped me get my son out (ventouse cos I wasn't managing it myself ) and the talented doctor who repaired me at the end.

Really don't try it alone.

piprabbit Wed 20-Jul-11 00:21:22

Don't cry - well unless it'll make you feel better grin.
It sounds like you have everything under control.
Ignore the grumpy MW, and go ahead with your plans. I hope you have a lovely calm homebirth.

Beccabop Wed 20-Jul-11 00:22:00

Meryl - I believe my community mw's are all "in one pot" as it were, certainly havent been told otherwise, just that hb's are very rare in my area!

pip - oh its all booked with the community mw's, all in place. Im still waiting for them to come and visit with their hb kit.

dragons - yes I do have the faintest fucking clue, it was rammed into me graphically by the last mw.

Beccabop Wed 20-Jul-11 00:26:40

nakedandangry youre right, I should bloody well open my mouth shouldnt I. This probably wont be a problem when it all kicks off blush

thursday Wed 20-Jul-11 01:27:28

i understand how utterly demoralising it is to have a harbinger of doom MW who seems determined to prove you are incapable of giving birth. i was all planned for a HB last time, right up to about 40 weeks, they got me in the end though and my bottle went and i agreed to go into hospital. it's a good job too, she predicted i'd have a prolapsed cord and my baby would die on the way to hospital (10 miles) i thought she was over egging a small possibility to put me off, but i did have a prolapsed cord, in hospital and my baby was poorly but alive.

i'm still pro HB and not trying to say dont go for it in any way, but really really dont go it alone because you never know how it will go for you. i'm sure you're just sounding off though and not really considering endangering yourself and your baby xxx

Secondtimelucky Wed 20-Jul-11 08:30:38

I had an unplanned unattended birth with DD2 - though my doula was there so at least there was someone who'd seen more than one (forceps, hospital) birth!

Mine was a great experience, but only because that bit happened so fast and so instinctively that I wasn't scared. I certainly wouldn't recommend planning it! In fact, when my midwife arrived afterwards we had a chat about how we couldn't understand anyone doing this deliberately!

Bear in mind that, even leaving aside the medical issues, if you haven't planned a homebirth, wait and then call, what you will get sent is an ambulance. Two ambulances will turn up at your house (one for you, one for the baby) and up to four paramedics will rush into your house. They are not necessarily experts in placentas, stitching, etc (mine kept muttering about how he 'hadn't done the course'). I was very relieved when the midwife got there, but I don't know if sending out the midwife is always what happens (we'd called her before the baby arrived, she just didn't make it). I presume if you are booked for a homebirth and its accidental they would.

Focus on planning your homebirth. If you feel that the midwives are not on side, could you consider a doula to support and advocate for you? Trainees can be very cheap if cost is an issue, and there's a hardship fund. The doula can also help you work out when to call the midwives, so you are less likely to call them out to early and experience pressure to move things along if you have a long early labour.

qwepoi Wed 20-Jul-11 08:40:06

This is probably very un-mn but please remember that the safety of your baby comes first. He or she won't give a damn where they are born!

WriterofDreams Wed 20-Jul-11 08:57:37

I'm not sure how true this is but thought I'd warn you anyway. The wife of a friend of mine has had two freebirths without any complications. However, her husband told me that if he had stated to anybody that he delivered the baby (he helped in both) then that would be a crime. I'm not sure what the name of the crime is but basically only health professionals can plan to deliver a baby and if a non-professional does so then they're criminally liable for any damage done to the baby. Obviously if a person has to deliver a baby in an emergency that's a totally different thing, the law only applies to someone who plans in advance to deliver a baby without professional help. This is obviously to prevent people misrepresenting themselves as professionals but it also applies in freebirthing cases in order to prevent partners of women taking on the role of midwife. If you do go for a freebirth (which it seems you don't intend to do) then be sure that your DP doesn't claim any part in the process.

owlbooty Wed 20-Jul-11 08:59:14

I know where you are coming from - a big part of having the home birth you want is having a MW who you know is supportive so you can be relaxed and feel confident in them. I know I am lucky in that the MWs on my community team (and in my area in general) are very pro-home birth and seem genuinely delighted when they see it written on my notes. It is such a shame that it's not the same where you are.

I hope that you do get a really good, supportive MW when the time comes - you may well find that the one who comes to do your home booking is a bit more clued in and less negative. I really hope so! If not I would definitely raise it with the supervisor of MWs. Home birth is relatively rare but will only get rarer if MWs who don't support it get the chance to put people off trying. Good luck!

emsies Wed 20-Jul-11 09:38:30

I think it would be very irresponsible to plan to free-birth (telling no one). A trained mw can intervene if the cord is tied around the neck, baby not breathing at birth, or any number of potential issues which a mw can deal with fine but you probably couldn't.

I really would just tell them you are going to birth at home and expect someone to come to you. You can just stick to this. Normally a mw that comes out to a hb won't interfere at all - you can put them in a different room with coffee and a biscuit and they won't intervene unless you want them too!! But it is definitely definitely worth having one on hand for your baby's sake.

nannyl Wed 20-Jul-11 09:40:07

Where up north are you?

Im in Yorkshire, planning a home-birth and they are supported and positvely encouraged up here.... more so than in many other areas apparently.

Non midwives (ie husband / next door neighbour etc ) can legally help at birth... they just cant legally plan to be the person doing the helping.

How pregnant are you? Keep talking about your planned homebirth at all future appts, and when in labour call maternity ward and insist they send someone.
They have a duty of care to send someone, and you can NOT be forced to go to hospital

MerylStrop Wed 20-Jul-11 09:41:02

I don't think Becca is really planning on a freebirth, but needs to RANT (fair enough) at the midwife's lack of support and enthusiasm.

Rant away. She may have been slightly amused if you were a bit full on with the natural stuff. You don't have to accept any intervention at all, but the best thing to do is to approach the birth with the attitude that whilst you'd prefer not to have any pain relief/sweeps etc you may decide at the time that it is what you want. Don't become trapped by your own project iyswim.

trio38 Wed 20-Jul-11 10:08:22

Deliberately giving birth without a suitable medical person present is illegal in my understanding...

nunnie Wed 20-Jul-11 11:08:47

In Britain, it is perfectly legal to plan to give birth alone. However, it is illegal for an unqualified husband, partner or friend to assist at that birth.

It is not something I would plan to do.

OP haveyou tried contacting the hospital and speaking to a homebirth midwife, they are possibly and hopefully a little more supportive of your choice and you might be able to contact them in the future regarding your birth.

I live up North and homebirth isn't something I want to do, and I don't know many people that have but that is because I infact don't know many people really. I didn't realise it was an area thing though if I am honest, my Consultant said I could have one with baby number 2 and I hadn't even shown an interest in having one maybe they just wanted rid of me wink

Try not to worry, you are 38 weeks and probably very fed up now.

Good luck with the birth.

susiesheep2 Wed 20-Jul-11 11:09:54

Its not illegal to give birth alone, its illegal to plan for an unqualified person to assist.

However, OP - Im from up north too - don't be put off by this midwife, I had disaproving tones right though my first planned HB, the midwifes on the day however where wonderful, very supportive and in no way intervention happy like they are at hospitals. One VE on their arrival, and that was it, they never even suggested anything else. I really couldnt have done it without them, the emotional support, just holding you, keeping you calm, telling you there nots long, and breathing with you is immeasureable and very humbling afterwards, I never met these people before in my life, but i owe them everying smile

As for any disaproving midwifes at antenatal, just smile sweetly as said above and confirm you would prefer no interventions, and make it clear you are not an irrational person and have no wish to put yourself or your baby in danger should an emergency develop. I think this is all they want to hear.

Good luck smile

squiggleywiggler Wed 20-Jul-11 11:48:29

beccabop I totally understand your frustration and the feeling that maybe noone would be better than an unsupportive midwife. I think people are being unnecessarily harsh on here! But in my mind the course of action isn't an unattended birth but to get a better support team around you.

Physiologically you don't want to feel stressed during labour either because you don't have any trained help or because the midwives aren't supportive.

As secondtimelucky says a doula can help you in this so would be worth thinking about. See www.doula.org.uk for more details and www.hackneydoula.co.uk To be clear you do still need a midwife, Doula UK doulas will not attend planned freebirths.

I would also suggest talking to the Supervisor of MWs at your hospital - it's her job to work with the staff to make sure you are properly supported. If you explain what has happened and how you are feeling she should be able to reassure you and ensure you have appropriate care in place.

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