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Home birth, am I mad?

(51 Posts)
rogersmellyonthetelly Sat 27-Oct-12 22:38:35

I know home birth is safe in low risk cases, which I'm technically not, but I'm finding myself thinking about it more and more.
This is my third baby, I'm 37, so getting on a bit, a bit on the chubby side (Bmi 29 ish at the moment) and I have a borderline hyperthyroid which is being monitored.
In my favour, I've had 2 previous vb, first ventouse due to an odd presentation, the second very easy. I'm tall at 5ft 10 and large framed, and I tend to have small babies (ds was just shy of 8lb and dd 6lb12, I'm expecting around 7/7.5 lb this time)
Would I be mad to even consider it?

Parietal Sat 27-Oct-12 22:54:33

Will prob be in a minority, but I'd say no. Home birth is NOT safe even for low risk, so if you aren't low risk, then WHY even consider it? Hospitals are never fun, but in a crisis they can make the difference to your baby's future.

VeremyJyle Sat 27-Oct-12 22:57:50

"Homebirth is NOT safe even for low risk" ha fucking ha

Sorry got that out of the way, what was the question?

SirBoobAlot Sat 27-Oct-12 23:02:23

Parietal, where's your evidence to suggest its not safe "even for low risk"?

OP. There's a blog / facebook site called Birth Without Fear that you might find encouraging to look at.

Home birth can be as safe - and safer - than a hospital birth, as long as you have a midwife who is on the ball with you... Same as any birth.

Planning for what would happen in the need to transfer would be a good idea; how far is the nearest hospital? Would there be someone nearby who could come to look after the DCs at the last minute if you needed to go in?

5madthings Sat 27-Oct-12 23:05:43

So its the weight and thyroid that make you high risk? Have you spoken to your midwife about home birth.

How could your thyroid issue be a problem in birth?

Weight can be an issue but not necessarily and you have had two vaginal deliveries before.

How far away from a hospital are you?

Would you consider a midwife led unit if there is one you can use?

And no you are not mad for considering it at all, unless your thyroid condition makes you very high risk? I cant see that your weight alone us a reason not to have a home birth.

rogersmellyonthetelly Sat 27-Oct-12 23:28:15

Sorry, maybe I should qualify my opening statement, most research has shown that home birth is at least as safe as hospital birth for low risk deliveries.
My problem is basically my thyroid. Yes I'm a bit older, but not first baby, yes I'm a bit fat, but not too bad, as large frame and being muscly from horse ridin and care makes me a bit heavier than average, that said, never nausea is helping my weight no end, 25 weeks pregnant and this is the first week I've actually not lost weight.
Problems with thyroid, my hr could go very high (Resting hr is 110 at the moment) and it may affect my bp. Baby could end up with a whacky thyroid for a few days, similar to blood sugar issues in babies of diabetic mothers.
I'm 30 minutes from the main consultant unit in a car, 20 with blue lights.
There is a mw led unit 5 mins away but the transfer from there to the consultant unit is the same as from home so no advantage really.
Reasons for wanting to be at home, less risk of infection, I hate labour ward beds they are too fecking short for tall women, I want a water birth and I have a lovely big corner bath here which I can guarantee will be free when I need it, there is only one pool in the consultant unit which may or may not be free at the crucial moment. I also want my sisters and mum with me this time, as well as dh.

amistillsexy Sat 27-Oct-12 23:39:55

I had two wonderful home births. I'm larger than you and my weight was never even mentioned. I was never weighed during any of my pregnancies shock.

My home births were calm, peaceful and wonderful. With DS2, I had a very short labour, and wasn't even aware I was so close to giving birth. The second midwife had only just arrived when I suddenly realised the baby was coming. All I could think of was that if she didn't hurry up, I'd miss out on the gas and air! I got a couple of puffs in before he arrived, though grin.

I had a pool for DS3, which was fabulous. We were surrounded with fairy lights and candles, and had beautiful music playing, He had the easiest entry into the world any baby could ever have had!

I would recommend home birth to anyone. There's nothing like having a big family cuddle together in your own bed with a brand new baby smile

lovebunny Sat 27-Oct-12 23:44:45

nearly lost my daughter to a home birth last year - thank God, she and her daughter survived, due to an ambulance dash to the hospital and a team of seventeen to work on her.

lia66 Sat 27-Oct-12 23:51:45

lovebunny8 i'm very sorry to hear that your daughter suffered trauma, but emergency situations happen in hospitals too. *parietal can you back up that statement with some facts please.

I was 44 when I had my last dc (6th baby, 10th pg), hovering on edge of bmi but was well supported in hb.

lia66 Sat 27-Oct-12 23:52:26

whoops don't know what happened there with bold all over the place. sorry

5madthings Sun 28-Oct-12 00:00:08

so the main risk is your heart rate and bp then? i think you need to find out what the risk are and how they would treat that if you were at home as opposed to hospital and if it happened at home could htey get you to hospiatel quick enough?

re the baby it sounds like the problems may be that they baby may need monitering? so if you have a home birth you could end up being admitted afterwards so they could moniter the baby?

MrsSpencerReid Sun 28-Oct-12 00:08:43

I can't really comment about the home birth aspect as I would never have been allowed one in a million years! ( I know its my choice but it was not a sensible option) however, I am on thyroxine, my DS had 2 blood tests I think one at a few days old and one at about 10 days, second was supposed to be an out patient thing but he was prem (not to do with thyroid) so I would have thought that you shouldn't need transferring in for the blood test to be done, I could be wrong however smile good luck

Jennylee Sun 28-Oct-12 00:24:26

I had a home birth , birth wise it went well nothing bad happened . Pain wise it was brutal and traumatic . Just because sometimes birth us more painful than you think it will be and this was my third . I did not expect it to feel worse and be longer . So I cut out hospital nonsense but then had to fix my own food and run around after my toddler to done extent straight away . however nothing went wrong no tears baby fine , midwives were fantastic

squiggleywiggler Sun 28-Oct-12 05:17:38

It might be worth a chat with your Supervisor of Midwives. These situations where you are making a place of birth choice & are outside normal protocol are just up their street.their job is to support you in your choice (even if it's outside protocol) & discuss risks,benefits & any special arrangements with you. You could ask your named MW who your SoM is or ring the maternity suite & ask them.
You might also find the information on useful & there is a last of local homebirth support groups on there too.

PickleSarnie Sun 28-Oct-12 10:26:48

What an utterly ridiculous sweeping statement parietal. And one that I'm guessing you have no research to back up. Research has shown that for subsequent births, homebirths are no more risky than hospital births. Granted they are not without risks but neither are hospital births. The risks are just different.

rogersmelly, one thing to consider is that you may not even guarantee a water birth at home. I wanted one and had hired a pool. My son had other ideas though and was born on the living room floor before we had the time to fill up the pool.

I know nothing about your condition but my bmi was 31 and I'm 36 and neither my bmi or age were ever mentioned as an issue.

TheHairyDieter Sun 28-Oct-12 10:37:34

I nearly died in childbirth 5 weeks ago. I had had 2 previous normal deliveries, both quick, no complications, one was born at home. This time I wanted another home birth, unfortunately due to logistical reasons I couldn't organise it, so opted for a hospital birth instead.

Baby was delivered healthy & beautiful, then it all went wrong. I haemorrhaged. It took less than 5 mins to get me to surgery, by which time I had lost 6 pints of blood and my heart had stopped beating. Had I had the home birth I wanted, I would have died before the ambulance arrived.

Sorry to post such a scary story, I just think that people need to be made aware of the risks.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 28-Oct-12 10:56:13

What 5madthings said. There is the voice of reason and balance. smile

Leafmould Sun 28-Oct-12 19:33:06

I know this may not be ethical, but if you ask for a home birth, citing the reasons given above, and they are reluctant to accept the wisdom of it, you could use the acceptance of a hospital birth as a bargaining tool to get you a bigger bed/ water pool.

One of the things I didn't like about my hospital birth was that my partner was booted out as soon as we were settled in postnatal, as it was 8 pm.

I found out later that another couple had used their 'oh but we had planned a homebirth' to get a private room and he had been allowed to stay overnight. envy I had planned one too envy

I know what you mean. Hospital rooms are so uncomfortably furnished. How many positions can you imagine adopting ina hospital room? .... Er, on the bed or standing.

Leafmould Sun 28-Oct-12 19:36:12

Hairy dieter, thank you for posting. We should be aware of the risks. Op, if you ask you midwife to go through the risks for you in your case, you may find it easier to make the decision. Without having them laid out for you, you are not able to make an informed decision.

I had a homebirthin 2006. I do not recall being informed of any of the risks. I hope things have improved by now.

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 29-Oct-12 19:11:49

Thankfully a severe pph with a managed third stage is pretty rare, Glad you were in the right place hairydieter!
I think the reason I came on here is that I know for a fact that midwives are in short supply and that this may mean I am discouraged from a home birth by my midwife/consultant. I hope this is not the case, but I can stump up for an independent midwife should I need to. Also my older sister is a midwife, she is happy to catch the baby, but I wouldn't ever put her in the situation of being the only midwife there, it wouldn't be fair on her professionally.

FlobbadobbaBOO Tue 30-Oct-12 12:41:03

I was 35 with my third baby and had a homebirth (my BMI was slightly more than it should be). I would talk to your MW and make it clear that you would be absolutely willing to transfer to hospital if necessary, but would prefer to labour at home. They tend to be more willing to listen if you show yourself to be open minded to all the options.
For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed my HB, much more than the previous 2 hospital births. I had 2 midwives to myself, they didn't have to keep popping out to see other patients which really upset me in hospital and afterwards was sat on my own sofa with a brew, waiting for the DC's to wake up and meet their baby sister (yes, they slept right through it!!). If you can I would thoroughly recommend it x

FlobbadobbaBOO Tue 30-Oct-12 12:43:07

lesafmould they do inform you of the risks surrounding home births but I certainly had to push to get them to talk about it! I think there is still a lack of understanding about why women want to HB and it's taken for granted that you will just go into hospital.

barnet Tue 30-Oct-12 12:58:30

My beautiful daughter (6) would not be alive if i had had a home birth. I was low risk, text book pregnancy, but she stopped breathing and went into organ failure. Intensive care was right down the corridor and they saved her.
So i would never advise someone to have a homebirth. It could be all cosy and comfy, with candles and a water bath, I'm sure it is sometimes. But is it worth the risk? NOOO

tilder Tue 30-Oct-12 13:37:25

I would agree with getting full info on the risks specific to you.

Re time to hospital - don't forget that it takes time to decide to call, time for ambulance to be scrambled, time for it to arrive and load you up before starting the journey. We are 25 mins from hospital door to door if it was blue lighted but when I went in with post birth complications the time from calling to arriving on the ward was over an hour. And that was with blue lights.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 30-Oct-12 13:49:52

Thing is, many people focus on the risks of home births, but not many people consider the risks of a hospital birth, the potential for infection, birth trauma from possibly unnecessary interventions etc. actually, when the maternal and fetal mortality rates between low risk home births and a Similar control group birthing in hospital, and the rates are almost identical. This means that for every tragedy which may have been averted had the mother been in hospital, there is another tragedy occurring in the hospital which may not have occurred had the birth occurred at home. When I was in hospital after my son was born, a mother in the same bay had a baby in scbu with a severe brain injury from a ventouse delivery. Had the mother been properly attended by a midwife at home, the babies distress would have been noticed sooner, the ventouse may not have been necessary and the baby would not have been born brain damaged.
The perception that because you are in hospital, you and your baby will receive the very best of care available, is a dangerous one with the nhs in its current state. In fact, most women in labour need only support, comfort and and a competent midwife, the fact that the documented cesarean rate among home births is around 2% and in a hospital setting this rises to a whopping 15-20% with no difference in the mortality rate between hospital and home indicates that a substantial number of women are having major surgery which may not have been necessary had they laboured at home.

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