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Please tell me about freebirthing

(87 Posts)
Beesandbutterflies Wed 16-Oct-13 21:07:12

Okay, so after my first birth I now am unfortunately dealing with PTSD and a massive phobia of midwives. So considering freebirth.

Could anyone be brave enough to share their experiences with me? And legalities, how did it work afterwards?

I have no interest in being controversial so please no one get upset with me

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 27-Oct-13 10:28:15

My birth plan stated that if water was medically contra-indicated I would still be using the birth pool though unfilled.

PacificDogwood Sun 27-Oct-13 10:25:45

I have continued to lurk on this thread and my heart goes out to you, Bees, and anybody else who's had horrendous birth experiences sad.

You seem to be putting much thought and emotional energy in to the planning of any future labour and delivery which is only sensible. I just cannot help but wonder whether at some point you might direct some of that effort into addressing your trauma?
As another poster has pointed out, you can plan all you want, things can change and the last thing you want is to feel really panicky and out of control of event if things don't go to plan IYSWIM?

There are unused birth pools on ebay every now and then - from people who'd planned to labour/deliver in their pool but never made it in for what ever reason (I didn't - v fast labour and delivery in hospital, but was a really good experience).

I so hope you find a way to be a survivor from your experience and have the deliver you hope for in the end x.

Beesandbutterflies Sun 27-Oct-13 07:20:50

Thank you for your contributions, good ideas about the pool, however it panics me that at some stage I have to get out of the pool and they'll be there hmm
I think an im seems the way forward but I'm worried about cost, can anyone whose used one give me a rough idea so I can think about saving smile also I'd really like my doula again

SoonToBeSix Sun 27-Oct-13 01:50:30

Bees I really think you should go for counselling, I had a horrible birth experience with dd2 due to an awful midwife so do understand. However the trauma of awful birth experience could never compare to the trauma of losing your baby if your freebirth went wrong.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Sun 27-Oct-13 01:19:52

I think having a birth pool can be very helpful in terms of setting a boundary where you are the one in control. Mine was quite big, so if I was sitting in the middle no one could have reached me very easily!

What a good idea! The midwife is pretty unlikely to jump in with you!

Notmyidea Sat 26-Oct-13 22:01:43

I considered it after I was mistreated during my first birth. I officially planned a homebirth, had antenatal care and was prepared to call too late for the midwife to get there. In the end I wasn't happy with how things were going, called her out and ended up with a cs for a complex presentation.

please complain about how you were treated. Finding the strength to do that is a big part of the healing process and helps protect other women. I still have occasional flashbacks 13 years on.

Liara Sat 26-Oct-13 21:38:34

I know someone who freebirthed.

She had no previous bad experience, and had an independent midwife who was available to come whenever she chose, who she trusted completely. She just didn't want anyone around for the actual birth.

She called the mw after the baby was born, though, as she had strong afterpains and was worried about the placenta coming out. The mw came and helped with that and nothing else. If she hadn't had a sympathetic, understanding mw at that stage she might have had to go into hospital, so she was very glad to have her.

I have had two home births with an im and she was wonderful. We built a relationship during the pgs and so she was very in tune with my needs for the actual births. She was in the room but totally unobtrusive for ds1, in fact I have no memory of her being there, my field of perception seemed to end at the edge of the birth pool!

For the second birth her, dh, my sis and I were happily chatting away and trying to get the birth pool to a sensible temperature with hot kettles (we had filled it with cold water by mistake) until about 3 minutes before I gave birth. I then got into the pool, had one contraction and out shot the baby. The total sum of her intervention was to boil some kettles and say 'catch!'.

I think having a birth pool can be very helpful in terms of setting a boundary where you are the one in control. Mine was quite big, so if I was sitting in the middle no one could have reached me very easily!

ishouldbecleaning Sat 26-Oct-13 21:27:26

therapy (stupid phone) with DD2. Believe me I still nailed that gas and air but it kept me *calm which was the ultimate goal. Try it.

I really, really know how you feel.

ishouldbecleaning Sat 26-Oct-13 21:26:10

Beesandbutterflies - 9 years ago I was left with PTSD and PNP after a very traumatic, no pain relief, (they refused to give me any), no consent, failed ventouse, keibler forceps, forced my mum to pin me to the bed by my shoulders, could not control my screaming, son had elbow at the side of his head, was back to back, they rotated as they dragged him out, I cannot go into more detail that even now, 9 years later, it caused me severe mental health issues and my son is pretty much blind due to the forceps. Couldnt even go past that hospital on the bus without vomiting or being triggered in some way As the maternity ward was on the front of it. Was demolished last year.

I have since had 2 girls. At a different hospital. Still local but other end of the city. Despite problems with 2nd pregnancy due to damage caused in 1st delivery and DD1 was induced early I managed to have a nice labour and birth. Communicate with the staff. I was very clear. They were very understanding. I did have a panic attack during labour with DD1 which led me to use Natal Hypno

TooTryHard Thu 24-Oct-13 21:55:05

I think mine are solely out of the hospital but I don't know if they'd transfer in with me if needed. Presumably they would because they wouldn't just hand you over to paramedics.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 21:28:38

She was NHS just to add,

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 21:28:04

does anyone know if the midwives who meet you at home also work in the hospital? Because my homebirth midwife (for my UK birth) followed me to hospital when it became apparent a Hb wasn't happening... And she was amazing. Just genuinely SO good. And when other people got involved she basically just ignored them if they tried to push me to do anything I didn't want to do. Not sure how it worked with the normal "hospital midwives" or if there is a difference? She actually came to visit me at home and tell me how sorry she was that my birth plan went out the window (NOT HER FAULT I MIGHT ADD!) Dc1 was a traumatic birth but I wasn't traumatized iyswim.

Dc2 was a straight forward birth (in hospital in the states with docs and nurses) where nothing I said was listened to at all and my bodily integrity was completely ignored. And I was left crying about it for a year.

How HCP treat you is just so important and the ironic thing was is I was having a home birth because I was petrified about going to hospital after having a really horrible experience with a nurse (not birth related).

FTRscreamingInTerror Thu 24-Oct-13 20:53:30

I had PTSD after having my DS and my advice would be have treatment for that before you try for number 2.
Even free birthing I can't imagine it would be a calming experience while you are still suffering the trauma of your previous birth.
I took me 3 years to even discuss having another baby with DH and then another 18 months before we started trying, unfortunately DH works away so that has disrupted things somewhat.
Get yourself well first and then think about another one

TooTryHard Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:01

I am (hopefully) having a home birth and have met my midwife several times now. They are a team of only four or five and I think if I were to have concerns I would have met them all in the comfort of my home.

The midwife has pretty much said she expects to turn up, not do much, do the paperwork and go home again.

Would it be worth you (or your DH if you can't do it) phoning your local home birth team to talk this through with them?

eurochick Wed 23-Oct-13 08:56:28

I'm sorry you've had this experience. Please get some therapy before you try to get pregnant again.

From experience I know that it can help enormously. I have medical anxiety relating to GA- being rendered unconscious while people do things to me hugely freaks me out. It doesn't help that I react badly to the drugs and have a horrible time when I come round. I was facing repeated instances of this for fertility treatment (they knock you out to collect the eggs). After the second very traumatic time I had private hypnotherapy. She works with a lot of athletes on facing fears of a different kind. I was pretty sceptical but it was very effective. I was able to go into the third round of treatment feeling like I could deal with it, without chest-clenching anxiety in the lead up to it. I'd never had any mind of therapy before so I was surprised how effective I found it.

I think doing this alongside your home birth plan will help you to manage the feelings of distress you have based on your last experience.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 23-Oct-13 08:42:24

Bees, you don't need to get your BP approved unless you are asking them specifically to DO something (like welcome your whole yoga class to watch in a hospital or have a birth pool filled upon your arrival).

At home you can do whatever you want regardless of approval, so a sensible midwife will approve but point out her concerns for you to think about.

I had a MLU after a traumatic first and though the midwife was agreeable to my suggestions she also said 'for as long as I feel comfortable with it'. There was no such statement at my homebirth. Her comfort was neither here nor there.

TobyLerone Wed 23-Oct-13 07:44:51

OP, I really can't stress enough how important it is that you try to deal with this through counselling/therapy before you get pregnant again.

It's all well and good planning a homebirth with lots of stipulations, but if (heaven forbid) something goes wrong and you have to transfer to hospital, you won't be prepared for that.
Sometimes complications are picked up before birth and there is a very real danger to you and/or your baby, so you are strongly advised (I don't believe they can force you) to have your baby in hospital. Sometimes a CS is the only way the baby can be born (placenta praevia, fibroids blocking the cervix, transverse lie).

Obviously everyone hopes these things won't happen, but there is a very real risk that they could. How would you deal with that?

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Tue 22-Oct-13 22:00:56

If you do decide to go the free birth option or if you can't get a home brth midwive to you maybe just have someone call EMS as soon as you start pushing. They won't be able to move you but will be there to help if you need it.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Tue 22-Oct-13 21:53:48

^ Free birthing^

Free or unassisted birth (often referred to as ‘free birthing’) means a woman giving birth without medical or professional help. (‘Free birthing’ should not be confused with ‘natural childbirth’ or with a birth attended by a self-employed, often known as an independent midwife).

‘Free birthing’ is legal as long as the birth is not attended or the responsibility for care is not assumed or undertaken by an ‘unqualified individual’. An ‘unqualified individual’ is a person who is not a registered doctor or midwife but acts in that capacity during birth. The woman assumes full responsibility for her child’s birth, but she may and can have her partner, a relative or a friend present in a supportive role If a woman chooses not to contact or engage a midwife it is her right to do so.

Beesandbutterflies Mon 21-Oct-13 14:30:00

with a new som obviously!

I think the problem was they 'humoured' my plan knowing that they could push me into anything at the time hmmhmm

Beesandbutterflies Mon 21-Oct-13 13:40:39

Hi, thank you for your replies and understanding.
I think my best option is the 'freebirth' at home with midwife is a different part of the house. I'd probably put a lock on the door and have my dh and doula as bodyguards. My dh is devastated about what happened last time, esp as he'd told the mw no. :-( anyway he'll be on full alert this time.
My bp says no one is to touch me. If I can not get my extensive bp and a suitable mw agreed or I don't trust them then I'll try to find an independent.
Only if that fails then ill freebirth.

Bunnylion Mon 21-Oct-13 13:19:58

Another options is a home birth with an nhs midwife but do not allow her in the room until the baby has arrived.

That way you will freebirth but have the midwife there incase of emergency. Your birthing partner will have to help enforce this but it will eliminate the chance of her doing anything to you without consent.

I'd recommend a doula to help protect your space on the day and to also help you come to terms with your previous birth.

I'm sure you have weighed up the risks yourself and don't need people telling you that freebirthing risky. My recent birth had a number of serious complications that were entirely down to the actions of an incompetent midwife. In my situation free birthing would have had a better outcome for me and my baby.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Oct-13 13:17:01

Though I want to make it clear I do not think freebirthing is a good idea, just that it really does appear to be the only available option occasionally.

Even if you get a fantastic birthplan agreed if you don't have the trust that the hcps will adhere to it then it is pointless.

I do have to say however, that if your birth plan is 'strange' you get better quality care, you get to deal with very senior midwifes and at the time of your labour you are assigned the very best/senior midwife in the building/on homebirth watch as no department wants to give the 'risky' patient to someone less competent or experienced.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Oct-13 13:01:32

Dangling 'I don't know if free birthing is illegal or not but it could be very dangerous, for you and your baby.'

Whilst this is certainly true, those of us that had a traumatic time at the hands of hcps feel we are choosing the risks rather than increasing them. I am still convinced that a freebirth would have produced a better outcome for my first baby and me than the fully-attended one we had.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 21-Oct-13 12:58:16

'Okay, so after my first birth I now am unfortunately dealing with PTSD and a massive phobia of midwives. So considering freebirth.'

This was me. When that is your baseline anything else is a bonus.

What happened instead, eventually, was a very strict birthplan that basically said no midwife is allowed to touch me ever for any reason.

You can say that when any disagreement will result in a free birth.

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