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A question for people who have HAD (or are booked) for a homebirth.

(13 Posts)
nannyl Wed 24-Aug-11 19:32:02

I am 37+3 and am now all booked in for my planned home-birth. Collect birth pack and pethidine tomorrow.

I have been very happy at the midwife care i have had and living in this post-code seems to allow me to go 48 hours after waters have broken before going into labour, and with consultants consent (ie regular monitoring) be allowed to go over 42 weeks & still homebirth if necessary.
Also no issues at all with me giving birth IN my birthing pool so all great smile

But Im wondering if this is normal as i hadnt herd of it before:
If my waters break before im in labour i have to go to the midwife unit (20+ min drive away) to check its my waters.
Is this normal?
My midwife said its because they like to do any checks in a sterile environment and to check it is waters, and to start the 48 hour clock.

Thankfully i dont have to go the full 45+ mins to the actual hospital, but im surprised that having a home-birth, and potentially the beginning of labour i need to visit the midwife unit!!!

She did say that if i clearly was in labour and having contractions etc they would not expect me to go to the unit.... just if waters broke without any other signs.

Is this the procedure in other areas?

Secondtimelucky Wed 24-Aug-11 20:06:40

I'm fairly sure it is in mine, yes. TBH, I assumed it was a resourcing issue - checking your waters is a pretty mundane procedure that could take your midwife on the ward a few minutes, but much much longer if they have to travel to you (potentially tying up the on call midwives for those much closer to giving birth). But I guess it also makes sense because if there is a problem, you are in a much easier environment to check it out and make an educated decision whether to head home or stay in.

californiaburrito Wed 24-Aug-11 20:10:44

I had planned a home birth with my first (didn't happen in the end, but hey-ho). When my waters broke the midwife came out to me. I didn't go into REAL labour for another 60 hours.

I'd be a bit hmm about this "sterile environment" stuff. I'd figure if it's clean even to have a baby in it's clean enough to look at my bits. The only other thing they did the first time the midwife came was do a Strep B swab. Maybe it has something to do with that?

But this won't matter anyway, because if your waters break you are going to go in to labour immediately and give birth at home, in your pool to a wonderful baby. wink

motherinferior Wed 24-Aug-11 20:11:25

Mine broke at 36+5 before contractions, and my instructions were to ring the labour ward to get a midwife out. They did actually try and make me go in, but I insisted they get a midwife out to see me. Then the drongo on the end of the phone alleged she couldn't find anyone, so I stropped some more.

By the time the midwives did in fact arrive my contractions had started in any case.

motherinferior Wed 24-Aug-11 20:12:03

37+5, that should be. Sixteen days ahead of schedule.

I had a very lovely home birth after that.

squiggleywiggler Wed 24-Aug-11 20:15:00

My waters broke first and a midwife came out to my - same with a couple of clients I have had.

I would also take issue with the 'sterile environment' thing too...

Flisspaps Wed 24-Aug-11 20:15:12

I'd be wary about going to the hospital once your waters go, I wonder if it's a way of getting women into hospital and keeping them there?

Where I live, I wasn't told this at all, and I can't see any reason why they'd need to check your waters in a sterile environment - what do they do with women who don't have broken waters until later on in labour or at the point of delivery? There's nothing they could do at the hospital WRT checking a pad that they can't do with a community midwife who pops over on her round.

And remember - there's no such thing as allow - it is your decision to have your baby at home after 42 weeks, and it is your decision to continue to be monitored past 48 hours after your waters go if you wish to do so, as well as being your decision to go into hospital or not to have your waters checked.

motherinferior Wed 24-Aug-11 20:18:01

Yes, I was quite aware that if I headed into hospital I'd probably not come out again till I'd had the baby.

missismac Wed 24-Aug-11 20:30:47

I think it's because once your waters go the clock is ticking for you to go into labour before the induction threshold. You say that you're allowed to wait for 48 hours post SROM before you have to go in for induction, so presumably they need to know that your waters actually have gone and time it from then? Also they'll do a swab to check for any signs of infection, if there are any then you'll have to go to hospital for you & baby to be given anti-biotics. This is all completely normal and in line with the NICE guidelines. It's to protect your baby from the risks of a potentially very nasty infection.

TBH most women's waters (about 80-85%) don't go until they're already in labour, so statistically, (& hopefully) it won't be an issue for you.

nannyl Wed 24-Aug-11 20:33:04

ok.... so it seems im not the only person who has this

I completley agree that its mad to take a midwife out to me (i live in the sticks right on the edge of the middle of nowhere!) just to see if its waters or not.

also agree that if its clean enough here to deliver my baby its clean enough to see if its my waters or not.

Hopefully my waters will only go immediately before or during labour so it shouldnt actually be an issue at all.

Yes I am very aware that all the decisions are "mine" wink and that i dont have to agree to induction (ever or on a certain date) but i thought i would have some sort of resistance when I mentioned to my midwife, that going by my dates, which i KNOW are correct i will not be consenting to induction based on their DATE alone, and i got no resistance at all... a simple, no, so long as consultant agrees you and baby are fine we will still be happy for a home birth smile

at least they are only asking me to go as far as the local midwife unit (NOT the hospital) but if im about to go into labour (ie waters have broken) i dont really want to waste an hour or 2 getting 2 and from midwife unit either. (Im thinking 25 min journey 2 ways, parking (not that close) and walking to and from unit, waiting for a midwife, seeing and talking to a midwife..... it must take up the best part of 2 hours?

and one of the many reasons im opting for a homebirth is that i dont want to be a passenger in a car during labour... hmm

Secondtimelucky Wed 24-Aug-11 21:11:38

Well, statistics are on your side that it won't happen, as missimac said.

Thinking about it, maybe my hospital only said that I should go in if I had any concerns the waters weren't clear, and if I thought they were they would come out to me to check everything. I wonder if that makes more sense? Presumably that's because if they weren't clear they'd want to encourage me to think about monitoring for a bit? In all honesty, my memory is a bit hazy. I paid very little attention blush, because after my first labour I was irrationally convinced that again they wouldn't go til I was in labour. Mind you, sure enough they didn't go until half an hour before DD was born, so maybe I was on to something.

If you don't want to go in and are having any minor niggles, I'd just play that up if you want to ask them to come to you instead. A low conflict way of getting what you want!

motherinferior Wed 24-Aug-11 21:30:22

I'd also hang on for a bit before you do ring. Going on my own experience and that of a few friends - mine went POP and about 20 minutes later my contractions started.

(I was on MN when they popped.)

nannyl Wed 24-Aug-11 22:51:40

just what I was thinking motherinferior wink

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