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Homebirth for first timer, is it possible?

(12 Posts)
paow Wed 24-May-06 09:13:59

Hi ya, I've decided I want a home/water birth and haven't discussed it with my midwife (will do next appointment) I am 19 weeks only but have already made up my mind that I want to do everything I can to have one.

Is it true sometimes they don't allow first timers to have one? Or do they do allow it if it's a low risk pregnancy?

Any tips to make it happen? I am keeping fit, healthy and stress free already.
I would really appreciate any tips you might have and would love to hear if you managed to have a hb with your first child.

Thank you so much

rubles Wed 24-May-06 09:35:03

I had hb with my first and am very glad I did it. I feel that because I had the best possible shot at a natural un-traumatic birth and achieved that aim, I now have set my blueprint for my future births. I know how good it can be rather than having negative feelings hanging over from a previous hospital birth. Mine was a waterbirth too & it is a source of great pride for me.

You may hear people say that you should have your first in hospital because your 'body doesn't know what to do' or because 'you don't know how you are going to labour' and that sort of thing. I never understand what they mean by that because every labour is different for every woman - even a woman who has had 7 children will not know how she is going to labour - it just doesn't make sense to me.

I take it you have seen the section in the website on first births at home? There'll be loads of info there. Apparently there is a birth story on that website which was a negative experience, I think the woman was called Shelly. It might be worth reading that to get another point of view to all the positive stories you'll get (just to be balanced!).

I had an independent midwife and they are all very confident and supportive of homebirths. In my opinion having a supportive and confident midwife that you know and trust is one of the most important factors in getting a good homebirth if you are low risk. I know that different areas have different policies regarding their support of homebirths which will affect how supported you feel in having a hb. As I am sure others will say on here, you don't have to be 'allowed' to do it at home, you can insist.

I hope that helps.

notasheep Wed 24-May-06 09:53:09

I havent had a home birth-but know lots of people that have,its quite a normal thing round here and there is a lot of support.

a girlfriend of mine had a homebirth before the midwife arrived

I would say its your choice

mcnoodle Wed 24-May-06 10:02:42


I had a home/water birth with my first. I did it through standard NHS midwife service and was lucky that my favourite midwife was on call the night I went into labour. I agree that having a supportive midwife that you really trust is key to having a good experience. Whatever way you do it - having a baby is hard hard work and you need someone who will encourage you all the way.

You have the right to a homebirth if that's what you choose. You cannot be told that you are not 'allowed'.

I don't know if I would have lasted without the pool. It enables you to move around easily, and get into positions that you would need a crane for otherwise!

Read lots (there are some good water birth books out there as well as websites) and talk to midwives etc. I had a very positive experience in comparison to many of my friends and know that I will have a homebirth next time. All I would say is be flexible with your plans. These babies are unpredictable little tikes and ultimately all you want is a healthy one.

Good luck!

CarolinaMoose Wed 24-May-06 10:07:47

in some areas it's v hard to get a hb because of MW shortages. Otherwise I don't see why not - as long as you're not too far from the hospital, you can always transfer in if things aren't working out.

I think it's pretty rare for things to suddenly go wrong if you haven't had any interventions - you would have enough warning to transfer, esp as you'd have constant support from the MW instead of sharing her with two or three other women.

Laura032004 Wed 24-May-06 10:25:35

From my reading, first labours are ideal for home births. They are generally slow, so if anything goes wrong then plenty of time to transfer to hospital, and you haven't got any hangovers from previous births (e.g. c/s scar). People sometimes say that your pelvis is unproven (you don't know if a baby will get through it) but you could have a small first baby, then a big second, so the arguement isn't really valid IMO.

rubles Wed 24-May-06 10:35:16

Laura03, if the pelvis is 'unproven' and the baby is unable to pass through is that classified as 'failure to progress'? In which case you would just transfer in anyway wouldn't you?

Laura032004 Wed 24-May-06 11:49:38

Yes - I think failure to progress is one of the most common reasons for transferring in with a first labour.

Emma7 Wed 24-May-06 12:50:04

Be careful - I was low risk, fit and healthy and wanted a waterbirth (in midwife led unit)as naturally as possible. Ended up having an absolute nightmare of a labour as they couldn't work out which position the baby was in (she was back to back). I had to have lots of intervention in the end - went into theatre for an emergency section but she was born in there by ventouse after a 24 hour labour.
Don't want to scare you as every pregnancy is different but think about both sides of it. I would not have wanted to be moved to hospital in so much pain (it is 1/2 hour away). I regret not having my natural birth but I'm glad that I was in the right place to get help when I needed it.

paow Wed 24-May-06 13:21:31

Thank you for your messages!
All very helpful and it's good to get both perspectives.

Take care all.

aragon Wed 24-May-06 13:25:15

Hi Paola,

Check out Angela Horn's homebirth site here . It's a homebirth research and reference site. You'll probably find out almost anything you need to there.


CarolinaMoose Wed 24-May-06 13:48:15

Emma, I had a very long labour too, which ended in em cs. I spent a lot of the active part of labour in a side room off the postnatal ward because the labour ward was full to overflowing, with the p/n ward MWs popping in every couple of hours to see how I was doing.

Tbh, I might as well have been at home for that part - at least then I'd have had more MW attention , and been able to get my hands on food and drink when I needed it.

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