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homebirth talk - what would you want to know?

(24 Posts)
GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 29-Jul-11 21:18:56

I've been asked by my midwives to take part in a homebirth session tomorrow, am expecting my second baby and had a homebirth the first time. In the weeks/months after DS was born we ended up giving a fair few talks but that was almost 3 years ago now...trying to jog my memory about it all, but if you were/are considering a homebirth, what would you want to know about from someone who's done it, rather than the technical/medical info from MW?

DH is coming too, he was massively anti HB when I first suggested it and is now a bigger advocate than me...

Secondtimelucky Fri 29-Jul-11 21:50:29

Our main practical concerns were around how to set up the room, what to do about older children, what you provided for midwives (tea, biscuits, etc). Oh, and neighbours. People always worry about neighbours.

falasportugues Fri 29-Jul-11 22:51:34

why would you worry about the neighbours?

Secondtimelucky Sat 30-Jul-11 07:59:32

Terraced house, or flat, or whatever. People do worry about waking them up in the middle of the night/disturbing them if they are making a lot of noise. It comes up on these boards a lot.

Flisspaps Sat 30-Jul-11 08:37:41

I'd like the MWs to point out that no-one can ALLOW you to have a homebirth, they can only advise but ultimately the decision lies with the mother. ]

In fact, you could mention that. I think information for DH would have been helpful from a birth partner's perspective, he said he was happy for me to have one but I don't think he ever really 'felt' it!

nannyl Sat 30-Jul-11 08:38:28

Personally i have not given the neighbours a second thought.

Im planning a home birth because i feel its the best and safest option for myself and my baby. If neighbours dont like it then they are going to have to lump it im afraid, and i havent and wont factor it into my equation!

So long as baby stays in 3 more weeks, ill be all set for my homebirth in 3 weeks time.

Things ive wondered about are how many plastic sheets / towels etc etc
things midwife may want / need (food etc)
are there any things i havent thought of?

JenniL1977 Sat 30-Jul-11 08:50:19

The mw's keep talking to me about building a nest for mine - I don't know what they mean!
I had questions about how many plastic sheets and protecting the ubiquitous cream carpets smile
I'm not sure if it would be appropriate, but maybe something on how to deal with your (well-meaning) friends and family who look at you in shock when you mention hb and then call you brave and/or mental (can you tell I'm getting a bit sick of defending my decision?!)

nannyl Sat 30-Jul-11 08:59:52

Oh i hadnt thought of that Jenni.

Yes everyone who looks at you and tells you how selfish / stupid / inconsidertae (to baby) you are for having baby at home.

Personally when people choose to tell me how dangerouse / stupid I am etc (especially for the 1st baby) i respond equally bluntly with "Have you actually researched home birth at all? 'No'.... and then tell them how its safer, both myself and baby are less likely to DIE by being born at home, which IMO is the most crucial point, but add in the likely hood of higher apgar score, less likely to have an infection, or need intervention, or tear" which usually shuts them up!

If im really pissed off with their attitude, i'll continue about the history of birth, and why so many births are now in hospital, and add in lots of other stuff too, but if they are happy to shut up / back down etc after paragraph 1, then so am i!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 30-Jul-11 09:03:51

I've had the same nanny and jenni

but safely delivered my first baby at home, am on course to do the same for my second and you only need to watch programmes like the recent panoramo to know it is not only in the best interests of you and your baby, but safer, more likely to need less intervention etc etc to have a baby at home.

flisspaps, I totally take your point but I think the session is being held for people interested in having a homebirth in the first place, and I've always been keen to stress that at the end of the end it's up to the mother, wherever she feels safest is probably the bets place for her to be

Thanks for the responses, been good to get my head back in gear for it

Secondtimelucky Sat 30-Jul-11 09:45:27

Nannyl - I think you're missing my point about the neighbours. I'm not suggesting anyone should think about their neighbours, or be put off by it. Good for you that you haven't given it a second thought. But there have been lots of threads on here over the months and years about people who would love a homebirth but worry that their house is too small, or that you can't do it in a flat, or that they will make a racket and upset the neighbours. At a homebirth talk, for encouraging people who are thinking about choosing that option, I was just suggesting that it might be worth covering off that concern.

thefirstMrsDeVere Sat 30-Jul-11 09:52:44

They do. They always talk about the neighbours.
My neighbours have said 'but what about the neighbours?' So I said 'did you hear me when I was in labour with DCs 4 & 5?

And they say



Flisspaps Sat 30-Jul-11 10:48:54

Girl Yes, but even people who are interested don't realise that the place of birth is their choice, not something they are to be allowed or prohibited from by medical professionals. Certainly it was only something I found out via MN and - there was no information at all coming from anyone I actually spoke to.

I had one midwife ask me 'What's WRONG with hospital' when I was about 30 weeks, so it doesn't help to reinforce the point smile Another told me they would have to see what my iron level was before I would be 'allowed' a homebirth.

JenniL1977 Sat 30-Jul-11 11:23:28

Flisspaps one of my midwives tried the iron thing last week with me, she got a flea in her ear for her trouble smile
Nannyl my DH's uncle is head of an NHS Trust and is "terribly worried" about me having a hb. A few well chosen links emailed to him and he appears to have changed his mind. But I, as a retail manager with an Arts degree, don't think I should be having to educate someone so senior in a Trust who's been practising medicine for 30 years!

Cutelittlecatlover Sat 30-Jul-11 11:23:50

I would want to know how long it usually takes to get the mws to come out, at what point I should call them and some reassurance that they don't expect you to wait until the last possible minute or keep fobbing you off etc. I had a very fast labour first time round and was made to feel like a nuisance for calling labour ward and its made me very bitter scared!

nannyl Sat 30-Jul-11 11:55:55

Yes, people do worry about their neighbours.
In terms of giving birth i don't!

Agree that "we" shouldn't have to educate, other nhs staff, but I guess people who work for nhs can't be expected to know everything about everything medical.

I am planning my home birth in terraced house, where toilet is on a different floor to where I will be giving birth. Certainly not huge, and I have a mini birth pool as regular wouldn't fit. None of which has made me think I shouldn't home birth.... but that's just me.

Agree, tell people how these issues don't matter and u dont need a massive detached house to have a home birth. Just running water electric, and heating if winter.

Secondtimelucky Sat 30-Jul-11 12:00:21

Oh yes, heating. Slightly off topic, but on a practical note, checking the heating is working and that you can give easy instructions about how to turn it on is a good plan! At 4am is can be pretty cold for a newborn, even in summer. Likewise for you if you're getting out of the pool to deliver the placenta and not wearing very much!

thefirstMrsDeVere Sat 30-Jul-11 12:05:24

That makes me think of another thing.

Homebirth doesnt = waterbirth. I know lots of people do have home water births but I found that most people assumed that I would be having one.

Nothing against them but it didnt appeal to me. People really did look a bit perplexed when I said I wasnt having one.

Secondtimelucky Sat 30-Jul-11 12:08:53

Oh absolutely. Sorry, I was meant to be indicating that with my 'if', but I realise now it read as if I was referring to staying in a pool or getting out.

thefirstMrsDeVere Sat 30-Jul-11 12:12:47

No no dont be sorry! It the mention of birth pools just reminded me thats all smile

Secondtimelucky Sat 30-Jul-11 12:17:37

Thanks. I totally agree re pools though. I wanted one, but a friend who is a midwife had two homebirths and was insistent she didn't want a pool. People thought that was odd, and I really didn't understand why. It's a bit like asking why you didn't have a pool in hospital. It's the setting that's changed, that's all, not your preferences in that regard.

falasportugues Sat 30-Jul-11 13:51:38

2nd time... i hadn't realised it had come up as a issue so repeatedly.... like others it never occured to me to worry about the neighbours.

I think that your birth partner has more of a role at home, and that is one of the major differences for me... more ability to help, but perhaps more responsibility... i know my mum and partner both felt that.

good luck with the talk.... i know i would find it hard to give an informative talk without crossing the line into a rant about the system.... your midwives obviously trust you not to do that!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 30-Jul-11 16:10:30

Went fine so thanks for responses, there was another couple there who'd had a homebirths 8 weeks ago but a totally different labour to mine so think it was useful for the enquiring couples to hear 2 diff stories, also 2 diff living situations, we have a small 2bed flat and no birth pool, the other couple had a big detached house with a garden and used a pool. They also had a summer baby and we had a winter one so I think between us we covered most bases!

lisianthus Mon 01-Aug-11 13:13:08

If you do have a pool, you also need to check your boiler is capable of generating enough hot water to fill it, or that you have a large stockpot you can use to boil water to help with it. You wouldn't want to have to be doing it with a small kettle at the last minute.

Other things to talk about- methods of pain relief available (i was interested to hear that some people had asked their GPs to prescribe pethidine for the mw to administer if it all got to be too much). Also, what happens if you tear- will the mw stitch you up or send you to hospital? Diff mws seem to have slightly different practices here.

sugarsnappea Tue 02-Aug-11 22:18:05

Oh and know how your mw feels about VE's, mine didn't do any which wasn't a problem until a little foot started coming out and we had to race to hospital... (was lovely until then, I promise)

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