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Anyone had a home birth for their first?

(51 Posts)
HotToddyDog Sun 28-Apr-13 17:18:58

What was it like, would you recommend it?

I'm currently 18 weeks with DC1, always presumed I would have a hospital birth but my midwife mentioned a home birth at the booking appointment at 12 weeks and seemed really keen, so have been thinking about it on and off since then!

I like the thought of it as guaranteed water birth if I hire a pool (my hospital only has one birthing pool), obviously been nice to be in my own surroundings, one to one care plus I don't fancy staying in for days after would rather be at home.

I'm just over 5 mins from the hospital but still scared if things go wrong, plus being my first not sure how I'm going to cope with the pain, is it a big deal to be transferred in half-way through if I need something stronger? And how about helping with bf after, do the midwives come back to help you later on or the next day?

I didn't mention it to my midwife at the 16 week appointment so next time I see her is at 28weeks, I presume this is still enough time if I do want to go for it??

Any advice or experiences greatly received!!

Dorange Sun 28-Apr-13 17:23:36

I did. It lasted 4 hours only. One of the midwives was late so my husband had to help and do her job. It was brilliant but I appreciate I might have been lucky. Of course I recommend since I had a excellent experience but childbirth is like lottery and what works for some may not work for others, so you need to make up your mind for yourself..

MoreSnowPlease Sun 28-Apr-13 17:31:03

Congratulations smile

I tried for a homebirth with Ds my first and only so far 10 months ago. We bought a blow up birth pool (la bassine) but I didn't manage it. I waa in labour for 40 hours in total...managed 30 hours at home and would have stayed longer in terms of being able to manage it without pain relief but the midwife I liked had to finish her shift and I didn't like the replacement at all, plus they thought something could be going wrong because it was taking so long (I wouldn't let them do internal exam so they were guessing)

I did have the pool at home for labour which was lovely the while experience of being at home was great, I only called the midwife to come twice so mostly just me and my dp. I would definitely try for it again next time.

Transfer should have been by ambulance but I went in the car, it was uncomfortable transferring but not unbearable. Turned out baby was back to back and had arm up in the way and head facing at a funny angle so was the right decision to go in.

I liked the fact that I was able to just manage my own pain and keep myself calm, it was much harder when I got to hospital and immediately asked for pain relief because I found the situation hard and more stressful. There is usually a lot of time to make decisions about whether to go in or not and we often know a lot about hoe labour is going as it goes so I think it's definitely worth trying for one!

Good luck

Celia1978 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:36:56

I did. Similar situation to you - only five mins from hospital, wanted a guaranteed water birth, very keen midwife. Main motivation was not having to decide when to go in to hospital (or going in and being sent home) and not having to be in hospital afterwards.

It was a long labour (like previous poster, my baby's arm was up and head to one side) and I think had the baby not put in an appearance when she did they'd have started talking about transferring in. But am very glad I was at home - felt relaxed the whole time and did without pain relief - it definitely hurt, but not in a way that would make me panic and think, 'I can't cope with this.' Maybe because I was relaxed, or maybe I was just lucky!

The midwives were all great and I felt like I got good support with feeding etc too. Though not necessarily more/better than if I'd been in hospital. They were all very enthusiastic but also professional - lots of monitoring etc. I felt looked after in every sense.

I don't think you have to decide before 36 weeks or something and anyway, as my mw pointed out, if you decide on a home birth you can change your mind at any point and go to hospital instead - can't do it the other way around, so you might as well plan to do it at home if you're keen on the idea!

I haven't got anything bad to say about it really - just made the birth seem really normal and do-able. Hope that helps!

Celia1978 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:48:26

Ps re: feeding, the midwives will see you feed before they go and offer advice etc. Pretty sure they come the next day too, and on day five (I think) for more checks. I'd recommend finding the numbers of local support groups/La Leche League helpline etc and putting them on the fridge in case you wake up with monster engorged boobs on day four (like I did!) or whatever else, and need some immediate support or advice.

JuliaScurr Sun 28-Apr-13 18:52:07

my friend did; it was disastrous - new midwife, haemmorrage, baby mother and midwife in shock, all rushed to hospital

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 28-Apr-13 18:56:18

I had one with DD1 and it was fab. WS hoping for a repeat with dd2 but sadly it wasn't to be. Having had one of each I'd never pick hospital birth by choice.

Kubalai Sun 28-Apr-13 19:02:25

I did - brilliant experience, I felt safe and able to do what I needed to do throughout a long latent phase and fast and furious delivery. I loved the birth pool, and havinga bath in my own bathroom and snuggling up in bed after with dd1 and dh after was unbeatable.

I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it all again, and did with dd2!

janek Sun 28-Apr-13 19:07:42

I did, it was a good idea. It was much more relaxing (i imagine, i had both my dds at home) dd1 was 7 lb, labour around 15 hours, dd2 was 9lb 10 with a head above the 98th centile, labour also 15 hours.

I did have to go to hospital when dd1 was five days old as i wasn't feeding her properly and the feeling of disempowerment was incredible. I suddenly had no confidence in what i was doing, in fact they let dp stay with us too as i was no use to man or beast. Then we were allowed home and i knew what to do again.

My point is, in your own home you know the way things are and can follow your own agenda more easily. In hospital it's someone else's house and you have to follow their rules. And i prefer my rules!

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 28-Apr-13 19:13:45

My dd also got very sick when she was a baby. I could be wrong but I truely believe that had she been born at home none of the first three months would have happened. Being in hospital served to do nothing but to expose her to bugs that being a little small and a little early she had no hope of fending off.

CityDweller Sun 28-Apr-13 19:25:54

I did - 2 wks ago. I am glad I got to do it at home, as for some reason it was important to me (not really sure why!) and it was so nice not having to go anywhere before during or after. It was, however, extraordinarily painful! But I had a precipitous (fast) labour and went from 2cm to fully dilated in about an hour, so essentially had no respite in pain btw contractions, yet didn't know that's why it was do painful as I got in pool at 2cm and didn't get examined again. But - I coped (the pool was a godsend as I hated the gas and air, and yelling REALLY loudly seemed to help too - so much for my natal hypnotherapy plans for a calm birth!) and the pushing stage was far less painful in that I actually got breaks btw contractions. Everything was fine with me (only minor grazing and an internal small tear, none of which warranted stitches) and baby (she had hard time regulating her temp and poor mws had to stay 5 hrs after labour until it was consistently high enough).

Would I do it that way again? Who knows - I know I wd have been massively disappointed if I'd had to be induced or go to hospital and I'm proud of what I did and it was so nice being at home afterwards. And even if I had been in hospital there wouldn't have been time to get that epidural I was begging for in the midsts of things wink.

The mw helped get her latched on, and they came and visited us 3 more times in 1st 5 days. But we still had big bf probs, and had a bf helper out from hospital twice and a local peer supporter too. I wd absolutely say familiarise yourself with what support is available locally to you - esp in your home as you won't feel like going to a drop-in on day 2 and it is miserable when it's not going right and you're in pain and sleep-deprived and baby is crying. But we persevered and got good support and it's a million times better now!

WestoS Mon 29-Apr-13 04:48:20

I did - and it was brilliant. Having a supportive midwife was critical I think, as it gave us a lot of confidence that we were doing the right thing. Same as you, it was our midwife who got us thinking about it in the first place. We looked up a lot of studies on the safety etc ad were open minded about possibly having to transfer. Also open to not being able to even try for home birth eg if te baby had been breech or overdue or any other 'problem' we would have been fine to go with their advice and go into hospital. Home birth was great tho, could just focus on getting through each stage of increasingly intense contractions without having to decide when to go into hospital, the gas and air was amazing and for me it was all worth it for the fact that we could stay as a new family all together at home from the start, I would've hated being in post natal ward without DH andhe would've hated being made to go home without us. The midwife only did one internal exam, that I asked for, thb just observed, pretty hands off, I did need a couple of stitches which she did. She had dropped off abox of kit a couple of weeks before and advised us to get some shower curtains for the floor, then she cleared up everything for us, helped me have a wee etc then checked feeding. A different midwife came the next morning to do the neonatal checks then had 2 more daily visits then a 5 and 10 day visit. Plenty of support! Would still have chosen home birth even if we'd had to be transferred as would still have liked to spend the majority of labour at home. Hope that helpa'

HotToddyDog Mon 29-Apr-13 12:06:13

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences. Lots of positive stories although I guess you have to be prepared in case it doesn't work out, but feeling quite good about it now. So true you can always start off at home and then go into hospital but not the other way round, hadn't thought of it like that! Has certainly given me a lot to think about! Thanks again smile

mamabrownbear Mon 29-Apr-13 20:46:22

We are and only decided the other week (at 37 weeks!!) but are all set to go. MW was very understanding. Our hospital only has one birthing pool and I realised if someone else was using it I would have been really upset and stressed which wouldn't not have been good for anyone! So home birth it is. I got a scan last week to check baby is all in the right place which was reassuring and then it was just green light for home birth. We bought la bassine which we will sell on after but I would have bought a second hand one if we had time. Hiring seems reply expensive when you can get them second hand or buy to sell on. I've got lots of snacks, water and rescue remedy, labour massage oils and of course, happy to use gas and air! I want it to be hands off, let me just get on with it, peace and no arsing around with silly nurses telling me stuff I don't want to hear. Plus we are also only 5 mins from hospital so if we need to go then its not too far, bags still packed just incase but I'm really looking forward to hopefully a peaceful birth and immediately starting life as a family, in our home rather than a hospital and being separated from my husband later on when he needs us because he will be going through lots of emotions too. Really hope it works out for you, I think it's a great idea.

Jojobump1986 Tue 30-Apr-13 19:19:47

We did. Had to transfer in for a small pph & a bad 2nd degree tear that she was reluctant to do at home. I felt v in control even when the mw seemed to be getting stressed! I'm pretty sure I had a pph because I was dehydrated & I tore because they wanted us to transfer in & I decided he was coming out so pushed a bit too enthusiastically! blush We're hoping for another one in a few weeks time. I'd recommend to anyone that they stay at home as long as possible. There's always the option of transferring if necessary.

mamabrownbear Thu 02-May-13 10:35:16

Just watched this, I appreciate it's old and also about American health care but still very interesting...The Business of being Born

ShowOfHands Thu 02-May-13 10:48:11

I wanted a home waterbirth and that's what I aimed for. But after a lot of pushing (31hr labour, 4hrs pushing at home), I had to transfer to hospital. Turned out dd was in a very, very shoddy position and after a lot of intervention, I had an emcs.

I didn't regret it a bit. I was disappointed not to give birth naturally or at home but planned to try again for a homebirth second time round so clearly I liked that bit! Turned out ds was in the same shocking position and after 38hrs I had another emcs. grin Am crap at giving birth tbh.

The one thing I will say is prepare for a transfer. Statistics suggest that a successful homebirth is more likely than a transfer but my only real problem was that I was so set on a home delivery that the transfer felt like a failure. I'd packed a bag and was physically prepared but emotionally, I hadn't faced that it was a real possibility.

Aim for what you'd like but plan for every eventuality. That way you've thought about it in advance and you feel more in control.

organiccarrotcake Fri 03-May-13 20:42:51

No real difference to transfer in from a homebirth to transferring in with a planned hospital birth smile Both mean a transfer, and with a good, experienced midwife and unless you're really, really unlucky you won't be transferring in an emergency (and emergencies can happen when you're at home anyway, before a planned hospital birth), it will be a slow and gentle transfer if needed. You can book a homebirth and decide to transfer in at any time, so in effect you don't need to decide until you're in labour, if the homebirth is booked.

Homebirths are safer when you look at iatrogenic damage to mother and baby, and you're less likely to have things like haemorrhage at home. Even if you do, your midwife will carry the same drugs as will be available in the hospital.

It's a brilliant suggestion from your midwife and means you've got a great chance of your first birth (the most important when you look at your child bearing career!) being really positive, even if you do transfer in, as often (as can be seen on this thread) planned homebirths with a transfer as more positive than planned hospital births. is a really useful site to browse around.

Indith Fri 03-May-13 20:49:43

Showy is very wise. It is a good idea to be ready emotionally for things not going to plan.

However, homebirth is great and, with the exception of babies being in daft positions and needing an ems, even if you transfer in due to complications/the possibility of complications you are still less likely to have interventions than a woman labouring in hospital.

All 3 of mine have been at home for which I am extremely grateful. each has been a lovely experience.

HotToddyDog Mon 06-May-13 21:40:19

Just seen all the other replies, thank you ladies useful advice, will have a nosy at now.

mamabrownbear thanks also for the for link, good luck for your home birth smile

LastOrdersAtTheBra Mon 06-May-13 21:52:54

I planned a homebirth with DC1, unfortunately had an ambulance transfer to hospital because there was blood everywhere when my waters went. I'm also only 5 mins from hospital, I seriously thought I'd been transferred somewhere else though, as it felt like I was in the ambulance for hours!

DS2 was born at home so the first experience didn't put me off.

I'd always opt for a homebirth as first choice but be flexible, plans change, particularly where birth is concerned.

Dorisday13 Wed 08-May-13 08:23:18

Yes it was amazing and I highly recommend it! 2.5h labour no drugs no examinations, gave birth in the pool no tearing, own shower and wrapped up in own bed soon after :-) x

Dorisday13 Wed 08-May-13 09:26:21

Sorry I reread your op, I have daily visits for 3d then at 5d and 10d, the MW gave me her mobile number to call in case I needed her overnight, which I didn't, it's no big deal to transfer at any point, you can get meptid on prescription the MW can give if you need it

Dorisday13 Wed 08-May-13 09:27:11

Also it's never too late to decide, my friend changed to a home birth at 40+ weeks!!

Sparhawk Wed 08-May-13 09:30:25

I had an unplanned homebirth after a 3 1/2 hour labor, my DD was BBA (born before arrival) so she was delivered by my DM and DF. It was actually an enjoyable experience, aside from the slight panic as it was unplanned and if I have kids in the future I am definitely going for a planned homebirth, the only issue for me is that we live 25 minutes from the closest maternity hospital.

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