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Giving birth alone

(22 Posts)
sunlightonthegrass Mon 06-May-13 13:25:07

I am not talking about without assistance from midwives, by the way grin

However, I will be a single parent and therefore obviously won't have a partner to 'support' me.

I am wondering how normal, I suppose, for want of a better word it is to attend antenatal classes and give birth alone? All TV programmes (I know!) depict two parents, and everyone I know who hasn't been able to have their partner with them has had support from someone at least.

So - when the time comes, will I be the freak of the hospital or does this actually happen from time to time? grin

Ilovestackingcups Mon 06-May-13 13:47:35

As long as you feel fine then it is fine. If going to a class alone scares you, can you take someone else with you? Friend/neighbour/colleague/your mum?

whitewineintherain Mon 06-May-13 13:53:21

I went to the classes on my own (NCT) and there was one other person doing it alone.
However I did have my mum at the birth which wasn't planned, she was just meant to give me a lift and stay to help fill in the admissions paperwork but we didn't have time to fill in the paperwork before DD was born.

sunlightonthegrass Mon 06-May-13 14:00:18

No, no option of taking someone with me. Friends and colleagues are obviously tied up with their own families and my mum is not alive.

mayhew Mon 06-May-13 15:07:54

I helped a single woman give birth yesterday. It was lovely, and i think my colleague and i felt extra protective because she had noone mopping her brow. Her sister was looking after her other kids so wasn't free for labour support.

At NHS classes. a lot of women come on their own because their supporters are at work anyway.Ask your clinic mw what the classes are like.

As midwives, we know it happens, some of us are single parents too.

sunlightonthegrass Mon 06-May-13 16:02:39

Thanks smile

Shylepite Mon 06-May-13 19:12:55

When I did antenatal classes there were 2 women who were there on their own, I have no idea if they were giving birth alone or if their birth partners just weren't available that day but it was fine and no one mentioned it. It must happen a lot when people have dc2 and no one to look after dc1 so I doubt it will be an issue. If you are worried about not having a birth partner would you consider a doula?

sunlightonthegrass Mon 06-May-13 19:27:42

I would consider it but I don't think I would go for it, mainly because I don't really mind giving birth alone but wondered how 'odd' it would look and also because of funds - I am really desperately hoping to have a year off for maternity leave smile

Ilovestackingcups Mon 06-May-13 20:28:46

sunlight, you sound like a strong independent woman. I wouldn't worry overmuch about how 'odd' anything in your labour will look to outsiders. I remember thinking as a sort of mantra throughout my labour 'it doesn't matter what I do, they've seen it all before'. For me, I was thinking more about poo and the like, being high minded and all.

If you feel that you can do this without a birth partner, then you can. smile

I would talk about your labour with friends though; even if you don't want to ask them to be there, you'd be surprised at the depth of feeling an imminent labour can bring out in others, and you may end up with an unsolicited offer of help.

moondog Mon 06-May-13 20:32:09

I gave birth alone as my dh was abroad and couldn't get back in time.
It was fine. I quite enjoyed the peace and read most of the Saturday Telegraph before it all got going big time.

sunlightonthegrass Mon 06-May-13 20:43:23

Thanks so much grin I think some friends would be pleased to help but most have young DCs of their own so it's difficult dragging them away at potentially short notice! And also, I am not sure I want them to see me half naked and screaming!

I probably have a stupid ideal of me just sitting with my Kindle between contractions - is it stupid? I'm generally pretty chilled grin

Ilovestackingcups Wed 08-May-13 12:37:40

It'll hopefully start like that, but once you are in established labour, I wouldn't worry too much about keeping yourself occupied. Stay as chilled as you are now, you'll be grand.

I used a pool during most of my first labour. I was a tad concerned about being seen naked at first, but by the later stages my mum was there (unplanned), I felt protected and cocooned by the water, totally unaware of my nakedness, and I frankly didn't care.

mayhew Wed 08-May-13 12:55:55

Do some thinking about writing a birth plan. Even if it is just an expression of your preferences. If noone is there to explain for you, it highlights your main concerns and things you would like or not like.

CallTheDoula Thu 09-May-13 13:21:30

Hello, Doula UK have an access fund which you could enquire about and also a doula working towards recognition will be about half the price of a recognised one. Also, I don't think anyone will bat an eyelid if you go to antenatal classes alone - I often have women on my courses that come alone for all sorts of reasons.

kritur Thu 09-May-13 19:19:01

I gave birth alone (also a single parent) although I had planned a friend as my birth partner. She didn't get back in time as I was only in active labour for 43 mins... It was nice to have her around once I was stabilised though (big pph, retained membranes). Now almost 18 months on I really wish I hadn't been on my own but at the time o felt ok about it.

Biscuitsneeded Sun 12-May-13 21:20:24

I gave birth to DS2 on my own as DP couldn't get there in time - he was still waking up the neighbours who were going to have DS1 for us! Thank god I decided not to wait for him and went on my own to hospital by taxi... Anyway, it was totally fine without him, the midwives were very kind and it was quite special to sit and breastfeed my baby just after he came out, just me and him. You'll be fine, and nobody will judge you.

SoupDragon Sun 12-May-13 21:21:38

I had DD with just me and one midwife present. It was nice and peaceful.

Purplehonesty Sun 12-May-13 21:27:22

My dh was away working when I was pg and so the midwife arranged for me to go to the single ante natal classes or whatever they were called.
They were for single mums or mums who had partners offshore or away and they were fab. I'm still in touch with two of the mums.
Ask if your health centre has those?

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Sun 12-May-13 21:43:34

My antenatal classes ran a separate group for single women. It was a private class, not nct, worth investigating?
I also ended up accidentally giving birth alone, and it was fine. (XH arrived minutes after DS emerged! It was a bit quicker than I anticipated)

kritur Wed 15-May-13 21:32:05

I also went to antenatal classes on my own... I was the only one on my own but I think people just assumed that my partner was away or working.

MissLurkalot Thu 16-May-13 18:48:36

I'm pregnant with no4 and am hoping OH will be there, but our three kids will need looking after.
If we can't get cover for the kids, oh will stay at home with them and I will happily go in alone.
I had the most wonderful midwife support with all the other labours with oh there, and I feel I would be in extremely safe hands without oh being there.
That's life... As long as the kids are ok, and me and bump/baby are ok in hospital.. All is well.
No freak about it lovely... Xxx

ShadowStorm Fri 17-May-13 23:49:43

I had DS alone as DH was away on a work course and couldn't get back on time.

The midwives didn't seem to regard me being alone as odd at all - I would imagine that when it comes to DC2 or more, there'll be a fair number of women there alone because their partners will be looking after DC1.

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