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Husband (and the rest of the world) not very supportive of homebirth, what would you do?

(29 Posts)
mssunshine Mon 11-Feb-13 14:29:08

Hello ladies,
That's it really, first baby due in 5 weeks and I'm planning a homebirth but hubby is a bit scared and although the ultimate decision is mine (unless he wants to bloody give birth!) I really don't want him to be scared and uncomfortable with the idea. We went to a homebirth session last week also my midwife will come to my house this Friday to talk to both of us but he is still uncertain about it.
The thing is i cant really blame him, where I come from homebirths are practically non existent, I've never met or heard of anyone who's had one in the past 20 years or so. Nearly everyone has private caesarians mostly because the public health system is not very good they don't want to take a chance.
I haven't even told my parents yet, but they will be ok, in fact I haven't told many people because everyone thinks I'm mad! I know there's a big chance of hospital transfer as this is my first but it would be really nice to hear about your experiences and how you coped with negative comments and stories.


Pascha Mon 11-Feb-13 14:39:31

DH was sceptical as well, but he went along with it for my sake. I gave him technical responsibility for the birthing pool, filling and emptying, he asked for comprehensive lists of what to do and when, made sure of the MW and labour ward numbers on his phone, kept him in the loop about everything.

What swayed it for him was that I would have 1-1 midwife care the whole way through, with 2-1 at the end, 2nd MW arrived with the gas & air just when I needed it and she was actually the community MW supervisor ie the boss. The midwife would have final say if I needed the hospital, a blue-light ambulance on standby at the midwife's call, she had emergency resus equipment for baby as standard.

I had excellent care and even though I had to go in overnight because I had a small post partum haemorrage, the actual birth was everything I could have hoped for.

amirah85 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:41:36

thats why i didnt do it,didnt want him to be scared and uncomfortable,i needed him to support me.

Pascha Mon 11-Feb-13 14:42:14

So much more relaxing in the early stages, no frantic drive to hospital causing raised blood pressure, no worry about not being on time. Total control over surroundings. Very very calm. No crappy postnatal wards with uncomfortable beds and noise everywhere at all hours. Your husband will be with you at home, no being sent home overnight.

Kikithecat Mon 11-Feb-13 14:46:29

My dh and most friends were sceptical/aghast at me wanting a home birth. However I went ahead and had a great experience as I felt calm, in control and well looked after by 2 midwives. My husband is now a total convert.

mssunshine Mon 11-Feb-13 15:32:17

Thank you Pasha and Kikithecat, I understand where you are coming from amirah85. I guess he will be more relaxed when everything starts. We also have a pool and he will be in charge of all the phone calls so this will keep him occupied for a while. It's just amazing how much criticism I've heard about homebirth and the worse is that none of the women have even tried it, or know anyone who has. I know the risks of birth in hospital or home but is it normal that everyone makes it look like I'm from another planet? I guess I'm just a bit sensitive want to punch everyone in the face when they say I should worry about baby not myself but I heard one bad homebirth story to about 50 hospital ones but and the outcome is always good, healthy mum and baby.
I appreciate the happy stories ladies keep them coming,

Marcheline Mon 11-Feb-13 21:39:57

I planned a homebirth with DD1 but ended up going in to hospital. DH wasn't overly keen, but as far as I was concerned, the decision wasn't his to make.

My mum had 2 homebirths with my younger sister and had planned one with me, but had to go to hospital (similar circa to my birth with DD), so she was understanding but in the while didn't discuss it with me, as she wanted me to make up my own mind and didn't want to affect my experience, I think.

I think homebirths are wonderful and more women should be encouraged to try labour at home. It's certainly calmer, and I think that a woman planning a HB will be better armed with alternative pain relief (pools, TENS, hypnobirthing, active birth positions etc) as the options for medical pain relief are limited at home. That's not to say that women going to hospital won't have the same attitude, just that they don't necessarily have to, if that makes sense.

FWIW, I'm currently pregnant and planning a hospital birth with this child. I had a really positive experience during DD's birth and I'm feeling positive about this one. I think you should make whatever plans you need to in order to feel relaxed and positive about your upcoming experience. For some it will be homebirth, hospital for others. Whatever works for the woman, but it shouldn't be jnfluenced by what the man thinks.

Good luck!

pesta Mon 11-Feb-13 21:50:44

Exactly what pasha says. I've had 2 home births, second just me and midwife as so quick. Absolutely lovely , cleared up quickly and you can stay in own home all snuggly, a real bonus in this weather. My midwives said it took as long to get me in an ambulance to hospital as it would for theater to be prepared for an emergency. That and one on one care swung it for me. Go with gut. The more relaxed and safe you feel, the easier the labour will be.

mssunshine Mon 11-Feb-13 22:25:06

Thank you Marcheline and pesta, that's exactly what I told him, I have an open mind about home and hospital, I just want to stay at home for as long as I can and hopefully have her at home. The midwife said that about half of the first timers trying for homebirth end up in hospital because labour won't progress but that's not an emergency it's just like anyone who's planned to go hospital.
It's really nice to hear about your experiences and that everything went well no matter where you chose to have the baby. it makes me feel a lot more confident, I was tired of so much criticism it's good to hear good things.

ICompletelyKnowAboutGuineaPigs Tue 12-Feb-13 09:12:29

I'm planning a HB for DC3s arrival and have found our local HB support group really helpful. Do you have anything like that where you are? There us also a good FB community (attached to a blog) called Homebirthers and Hopefuls and people post all sorts of questions/birth stories etc so that might be worth a look.

I'm in the fortunate position that I know a fair few people who have had first babies at home. All of them were asked to transfer for 'failure to progress'. None of them did, asking for more time as babies were all perfectly happy. All of them had their babies at home. I just mention that its worth bearing in mind that if your area has a high rate of transfers for FTP then they might take this option sooner rather than later and you might want to factor this into your plans. Obviously if it was an emergency you would want to go in straight away but if you and baby are happy then you could ask for more time. Good luck.

mssunshine Tue 12-Feb-13 11:13:02

Hi ICompletely, I don't know about a support group but we have been to a homebirth session with the community midwives and my midwife and her team are very supportive of homebirths I found that helped I lot making my decision.
I will have a look at the blog thanks smile
I've heard that too that they suggest a transfer when the labour is too long but the decision is yours when the baby is well of course.

CityDweller Tue 12-Feb-13 13:43:40

My local NCT runs a monthly homebirth group (free, you don't have to be NCT member), see if yours runs something similar?

My DH has always been pretty much on board, I think he was a bit surprised when I said that's what I'd like to do, but once I explained that I'd be more comfortable at home he saw where I was coming from. We did a natal hypno course recently that I think really helped give him confidence in his role in the birth and an understanding of how he can support me. It also presented birth as natural, something I'm designed to do, and not scary - all reasons a dh might be put off a homebirth.

As for other people, I don't solicit their opinions. Some people don't even know I'm planning a hb 'cos I know they'd give me a hard time and I don't feel I need to justify my decision to every tom, dick and harry.

WingDefence Tue 12-Feb-13 13:56:26

I had the MW visit MY DH and I just this morning to discuss HBs. I've already got a DS (4) who I had in hospital but had disappointing care so want a HB this time round.

Before she came round, DH and I drew up a list of questions we had together which included anything he wanted to ask, no matter how small. Then this morning I made sure that I kept asking my DH (not in a concerned, nagging way) to ask any other questions he wanted to and air any concerns as I did think he was holding something back and in front of the MW it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere.

Interestingly, instead of it all being about protecting the carpets (which I'm worried about too - Asda plastic dust sheets are the best the MW said!), it was actually more that whereas in a hospital if anything goes wrong or not as I would like it to go, then you can blame the hospital and compartmentalise it as such (which is what I did after DS's birth). But if it's at home, will I then always associate our lovely home with something at best upsetting and at worst disasterous? So he was looking at it in a totally different way to me and I'm glad we got it all out in the open.

I think I've worn him down now though but if he still was really, really not happy with the idea then I probably would go into hospital as we've moved since I had DS so it's a different and apparently better hospital and I would be okay there.

One other quick thing - have you had a tour of your hospital's delivery suite? It's worth it because my mind is now at rest about if I do decide to go there in the end (not likely) or if I get transferred there during/post-labour. It may help.

Good luck!

mssunshine Tue 12-Feb-13 14:28:14

My MW is coming over this Friday and I already asked him to write his questions down. He didn't ask anything at the homebirth session maybe because there were a lot of people there, he got a bit scared :/
I know the decision is mine and he wouldn't dare to say that I'm wrong and demand a hospital birth, I just want him to be more informed about it.
About the hospital (half a mile away), I've seen the rooms and they look amazing, they have a couple of pools as well but i can bring mine if needed. Have friends who have given birth there and loved it so no problem if I have to transfer.
And apart from a couple of friends no one know about my plans and I will definitely keep it to myself from now on, lesson learned!
Thank you ladies, hope all goes well for you x

WingDefence Tue 12-Feb-13 15:01:10

Your hospital is nice and near as well - mine is 12 miles, minimum 30mins away! Good luck smile

mssunshine Tue 12-Feb-13 15:57:38

WingDefence I'm sure you won't need to transfer, when are you due?

WingDefence Tue 12-Feb-13 16:56:26

5th April so 7-8 weeks. DS was 3 days early so that would be nice again this time round.

I've not had awful reactions from people when I've suggested I'd like a HB but perhaps it's because it's my second or we're actually quite far from the hospital so it'd be a pain to drive in if I don't need to. (I'm imagining that an ambulance would go pretty fast around my country lanes!)

mssunshine Tue 12-Feb-13 17:29:27

My wedding anniversary is on the 4th of April smile baby is due on the 16th of march but my parents only arrive on the 22nd, I'm sure I'm going to regret saying this but I'm hoping baby will wait until they are here.

Half a mile in London takes about the same time as 12 miles in the country so I suppose we are in the same position!

MrsHBaby3 Tue 12-Feb-13 17:46:50

I quickly realised that my DH would be worried regardless of where I give birth. I discussed this with him and we concluded he would be more relaxed in his own home than a hospital. In hosp he'd be worrying about where to park, when to eat, leaving me on my own, strangers, etc, whereas at home he is master of his own castle or whatever the phrase is, and can eat when he wants, sit on his own sofa, know where the toilet is, etc.
That said, it is important to have his support (forget everyone else, its none of their business- the way I see it is that you wouldn't discuss with them where to make the baby, so why should they have any say on where it comes out!) If you are worrying about your hubby then you won't relax yourself.
Is there an NCT homebirth group near you? Or can the mw put you in touch with anyone? Finding someone that your fella can talk to will put his mind at res, answring questions and reassuring him (he might like that anyway, regardless of where you opt to deliver)
Hope that helps x

mssunshine Tue 12-Feb-13 18:11:39

Thank you MrsH, I don't know about NCT groups but we went to a homebirth session with 2 very experienced midwives, one of them had two homebirths herself, it was nice to hear her story as well. This Friday my midwife is coming to my house to talk to us about the birth, we'll see if this puts his mind at ease once and for all.

middleeasternpromise Tue 12-Feb-13 18:20:55

The key thing is to read lots and know whats coming. I had both my children at home - first one 13 yrs ago when home births werent so acceptable. Midwives though were pro it and the tide was just beginning to turn in respect of moving away from hosp is best.

Husband didnt mind at all (but then he was a bit self obsessed) I was a home birth baby myself and have never spent one single night in a hosp so just knew I wouldnt cope in that evironment. Midwive care was first rate and all my friends giving birth at the same time did not get such a good service (although there were more drugs). Had some family members who were very opposed (funnily enough they were health professionals) but I solidered on cant say I regret it at all and the comfort of being in your own surroundings at such an important time cannot be outweighed. Good luck with it

mssunshine Wed 13-Feb-13 09:17:44

Hi middleeasternpromise, that's my argument as well, last time I spent a night in hospital I was 9 years old can't really remember what it's like anymore and wouldn't want to stay there with a newborn unless necessary.
I feel that he is less worried everyday now probably because he knows I'm not going to change my mind!

brettgirl2 Fri 15-Feb-13 08:24:40

I've had one hospital birth and one hb. My husband much preferred the homebirth, having little jobs to do like maintaining the pool, making tea, snacks plus being in his own environment made him feel a lot less helpless and more in control. You are much better cared for at home than in hospital, MW is with you all along and has a real feel for how your Labour is going. That said I personally would not have got through my first Labour without pethidine so hospital was right for me that time. I was lucky my dad was the only anti person in terms of hb. I'll never forget him saying 'but they've got everything you need in hospital' I said 'and a few you don't like norovirus'...... hmm

squidkid Fri 15-Feb-13 08:41:38

I had a homebirth for my first. My boyfriend was worried at first, but these two reasons helped persaude him

1) He will get to stay with me overnight -he was horrified at the thought of having to leave me and newborn in hospital
2) Midwife with you throughout labour

It was long and bloody hard work, but the birth went well so we were fortunate - about 50% of first time mums have to go in - not as emergencies though. He is now a bigger convert than me! He liked being able to help more at home (getting food, tidying up, helping the midwives up the stairs with their kit, etc) - made him feel a bit more useful and in control. He got to have a nap during the long early stages. And we had champagne afterwards - hah!

It was actually bliss 2 hours after the birth, showered, fed, and in bed together as a family.

Breastfeeding also got off to a great start which I think was due to LOTS of relaxed, uninterrupted skin to skin time.

For me those were the main advantages of the homebirth. If he's worried about safety, there was a big study done that showed the outcomes for mum and baby were the same whether at home or hospital. There are risks to hospital births as there are to home births.

ISpyPlumPie Fri 15-Feb-13 23:43:15

I had a homebirth with DS2 and DH was very sceptical when I first raised the idea. He basically saw birth as a medical procedure and couldn't understand why you would even think about not going to hospital. After lots of talking and going to the homebirth meeting held by the community mws, he changed his mind. He could see the benefits of me being as relaxed as possible and also really liked the idea of having 1:1 care from a mw throughout (2:1 as it turned out).

In the end, it couldn't have been better. DH is now a complete convert and thinks hbs are great. He also thinks the hardest part of the entire birth was filling the birth pool (somewhat overlooking the pushing out the baby bit hmm).

I would second the advice to put him in charge of practical stuff. DH took his role of monitoring the temp in the birth pool v. seriously - quite funny looking back, but I do think it gave him something to focus on.

In terms of other people, I was fortunate in that most people we told were very supportive. I must admit we put off mentioning it to MIL as she can be prone to fretting - she wasn't going to change my mind, but I just didn't want to deal with any added hassle of having to answer a ton of "what if?" type questions IYSWIM. She didn't stress nearly as much as expected though and now proudly tells everyone that DS2 was "born at home on a waterbed" grin.

Wish you all the best in having the sort of birth you want.

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