Hypnobirthing, homebirth and pre-eclampsia(14 Posts)
Hi all. I am currently 29wks with dc2 and after a horrific 2 week hospital experience with dc1 8 years ago I am longing for a relaxed home water birth if at all possible.
As background I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia at 37wks and rushed to hospital where I was scanned and monitored for 48hrs before being induced. Everything felt completely out of control and I didn't even know what was happening half the time I just ended up with loads of different midwives saying right we're going to do this now. I never had any privacy as doctors, students, midwives and even visitors were allowed to walk into the delivery suite at anytime. I had planned for it to be just me and my partner but my mum ended up being there when I delivered and apparently (though thankfully I wasn't aware at the time) my MIL was there and saw me being stitched up! After all that I was left alone still attached to god knows how many drips and machines, feeling incredibly ill and wasn't even able to bond with ds as he was put in a cot at the other side of the room as apparently i needed to rest. I then had trouble breastfeeding and was encouraged to give up so I could take blood pressure medication which left me feeling like a complete failure. I believe the whole experience contributed to me developing post natal depression and not actually bonding with ds properly until he was approx 8months old.
Anyway if I havent bored you and you're still reading I would love to know if anyone has had pre-eclampsia in 1st pregnancy and still been allowed a home birth? I am under consultant care but so far so good and I have another appointment and growth scan in 5 wks. Also if you used a hypnobirthing CD did you find it useful and which one was it?
Thank you so much for any advice you can give me.
No I wasn't - and given how horrifying PE can be I wouldn't have it any other way. Fwiw my bp went haywire in the last month if my second pregnancy anyway.
I would recommend you get some counselling wrt your feelings if failure about bonding/breast feeding. Because it sounds to me as though you're carrying tremendous guilt about things you felt you were "supposed" to do/feel.
You did everything "right" you know, did you ever really come to terms with it?
I don't hold any animosity towards the doctors, nurses and midwives who poked and prodded me. I was delirious with pain and so ill with PE that to wait to gain my consent would have led to loss of life.
It's time to ditch the lentil-weaving theorems and rejoice each and every day for the lives of you and your baby!
I had it in both pregnancies (and signs of it in pregnancy #3 that ended in miscarriage)
A home birth was a definite NO from my hospital, I'm afraid.
i had pre eclampsia and c section, then vbac, then hbac. everyone worried about the scar rupture risk but previous pre eclampsia risk never mentioned as a reason to have a hospital birth.
its not a question of allowing a hb, its giving you the info you need to decide if you want a hb or hospital birth
forgot to mention, no signs of pe in 2nd or 3rd pregnancy, which is the more normal pattern i think, unless you have a different partner for the second pregnancy.
i was also induced with ds1 and it was horrible, as was the c section, and i am now quite phobic about hospitals, so i understand your feelings on this. i had a doula for thebhbac, could be helpful even for a hospital birth?
I had severe PE in my 1st pregnancy & am now 30 weeks. PE is life-threatening & can be asymptomatic, so I wouldn't consider anything else other than a hospital birth. Both DS & I nearly lost our lives & I felt absolutely fine.
A friend of mine had an accidental home birth with DC2 after having PE & HELLP syndrome in her 1st pregnancy. Unknown to her, she had developed PE again, but didn't find out about it until after she had been blue-lighted to hospital. It would not have been discovered at a home birth, or on a low-risk pathway.
I know how traumatic a PE birth can be - my DS was born at 29 weeks due to this - I didn't get to hold him for about a week & he was in hospital for 95 days.
I have massively adjusted my expectations of pregnancy & birth. I have accepted in this pregnancy, I am not in control of the birth. And I'm fine with that. As long as it comes out safely, I really don't care.
Letting go of "the dream" can be difficult, but I think it's important to focus on priorities. The only words on my birth plan are: "baby out safely".
Thank you for all your comments. I guess maybe 8 years has made me forget how seriously ill i actually was and how dangerous it was for my ds. The consultant I am seeing also doesn't appear overly concerned and even said she doubts it will reoccur. Maybe i have been deluding myself, I just want to be able to bond with my baby. I am seeing my midwife in 2wks so may let her know my concerns and see what she says. Of course the most important thing is my baby arriving safely i just wish it could happen in a relaxed environment. Even an elcs sounds better to me right now than going through what happened last time again!
I had pre e with my first, and the trauma that went with it, a lot of close monitoring with my second but a straightforward pregnancy and birth and am now hoping for a hb with number 3, having declined consultant care.
I think you need some help to separate the understandable feelings you have about your first birth from your needs in your second, and some help to plan to have your emotional needs met. (they matter, don't be guilt-tripped into putting them aside!) would you find a doula helpful? Someone who could say "hey, she's said no visitors/students!" and give you a hand-hold in appointments so you don't feel steamrollered into not breastfeeding?
My birthplan reads something like:
We are optamistic of x, y, z. (homebirth, pool, hypnobirthing etc.)
However in the event of complications we understand the need to abandon these plans. We feel strongly about a, b, c.
I've found, as a bolshy older mum, I'm getting much better care this time. I couldn't bring myself to share in my consultant and midwife's optimism 2nd time. I was too involved in not getting my hopes up and preserving my emotional well being. With hindsight I'd say you don't have pre eclampsia until it develops. If it does you're still entirely reasonable to expect to be treated with kindness and respect. Think about what you need to make that happen
I had PE and a EMCS. Currently 27wks with no 2. But I have placenta Previa so have been booked in for another section. My experience was very much like yours.
The consultant was hinting at a ELCS before they discovered that I had PP.
Your consultants view sounds like all the health professionals I met as well. I've been surprised by the comments on here tbh, as everyone seemed very relaxed from the pov of the pre eclampsia, so much so that I never even factored it in when thinking about a hb. Of course, it was a worry that it might return during pregnancy,was duly monitored, and I had to keep my options open to the end, but that was partly because as a c section first time round, slightest hint of pe and I think it would have been another c section.
But I was always given the impression that if it had not returned up to the point of labour, it was not a factor in the decision to have a hb. Maybe they were distracted by the scar rupture stuff.
Forgot to say earlier that there are blood pressure drugs which are safe for pregnancy & breastfeeding: nifedipine & labetalol for example. I continued on that medication for 6 weeks after delivery & it had no impact on my milk supply (that I know of).
It's interesting to read other's experiences of PE - I guess they reflect that PE can be mild or severe, and occur between 20 weeks & term.
Also, the NICE guidelines "Hypertension in Pregnancy" are worth a read.
where you give birth is up to you
only YOU can consent to going into hospital, they can not make you go in (unless you have been sectioned)
See if you have a local homebirth group and / or google homebirth which will take you to some supportive sites.
There are plenty of non low risk people who choose to give birth at home, and the NHS are obliged to send a midwife (2) and support you, no matter what... its YOUR decision, not your midwifes, or consultants or anyone else's
I've had PE with 3 pregnancies now, most unwell with the first and third. All with my DH! I would not have chosen a home birth nor would I have been allowed one but I did use hypnobirthing in the 2nd and 3rd labours. I did think it helped me relax, despite all that was going on, and my 2nd labour was lovely, short, I was monitored with a mobile CTG so could move around and I felt calm and focused. Whilst none of them I could describe as natural or homely I was grateful that they were better than my 1st!
unless you have been sectioned under mental health, everyone is "allowed" a homebirth.
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