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How to decide on a home birth?

(10 Posts)
justhayley Thu 20-Feb-14 00:06:15

I'm 18 weeks with DC2 and am considering a home birth this time. Had a straight forward fairly quick 1st labour 2 hours active labour 4 hours total & am hoping for the same again.

What factors do I have to consider when thinking about a home birth?

Are there any good websites / books / blogs etc with info to make that choice, and finally what made you decide home birth was the way to go?

Thank you

HandbagsandSnotrags Thu 20-Feb-14 00:21:21

Can't help with websites or books as didn't use any but my first labour was similar to yours and I had my second at home.

I chose home birth as maternity ward & food post delivery were far and away worst aspect of first labour experience so wanted to avoid.

Also my community midwives had stopped
accompanying you to hospital for delivery owing to baby boom, so I knew hospital had more births but less midwives - at home had 2 midwives with me at delivery.

Finally I felt more comfortable at home. Own bath and bed afterwards was fabulous.

So no researched ideas on interventions or outcomes I'm afraid, just a desire for my own midwife, space and better food. Loved it though, def best birth experience of my 3.

HandbagsandSnotrags Thu 20-Feb-14 00:30:07

Oh, forgot to say I live close to hospital so wasn't worried about transfer times if an emergency arose. I do think if it was further I might not have gone for a home birth.

Good luck whatever you choose.

vitalia Thu 20-Feb-14 00:54:13

I think you need to remember not all labours are the same and to prepare yourself that it could be a totally different experience.
I agree that the distance to the hospital is a big factor too.
I had a hospital birth with my first, all straightforward arrived at 8cm and gave birth an hour later.
second baby was at home, I was in active labour for 8 hrs with no gas and air as they had brought the wrong attachments. baby ended up in distress and was resuscitated at birth.
I hadn't prepared myself for a difficult labour, so that was obviously distressing. I had just convinced myself that it would be a lovely experience and was devastated that it wasn't.
third baby was in a hospital smile

thereisnoeleventeen Thu 20-Feb-14 08:21:57

Personally I always like to look at the pros and cons of both options on anything I'm deciding on. I know loads of people who are really pro home birth (including a midwife...) so I've spoken to them, I've also read the Ina May Gaskin book 'Guide to Childbirth', it was a very interesting read, after reading it a lot of people have said (and me included) that you have a lot more faith in what your body is capable of.

I also spoken to people who are pro hospital births and not so keen on HB...again, another MW included.

All in all I've decided that a HB would be better for me, I've booked one but I will still be packing a bag just in case it doesn't go to plan at the time and I have to go to hospital. The birth plan is simple...get baby out safely, HB is the ideal.

addictedtosugar Thu 20-Feb-14 08:53:57

I had a surprise home birth with DS2 - 2.5 hrs total labour. Our childcare didn't arrive more than 5 mins before DS2 arrived.

Due to short labour time, I have been told I need to seriously consider a homebirth with any other babies (I'm not having any more). Looking at your times, a planned home birth may well be your most sensible option, but remember that you may need to be transferred.

How long will it take you to get childcare for your oldest? We rang my Mum first contraction, and she got in the car, but lives over 2 hrs away.

Izzyalex Thu 20-Feb-14 09:09:50

I'm 39+2 and planning a HB with support from DP, MIL and community midwife. They have a birthing pool which I have borrowed too.
I decided because birth of DD1 was straight forward but ended up staying I hospital for much longer than needed after she was born - no complications or anything but gave birth at 9am Tuesday and want allowed home till wed lunchtime! Felt lonely and uncomfortable in the hospital and although I know the policies have changed and they have a new birth centre at my local hospital, I still really want to be at home.

I also reckon I will be more relaxed, better able to cope with pain and need less pain relief by being at home. MIL is on hand 10mins away or mum when she's back from hols(!) to see to DD1 who is 8yo and prepared to come round any time, day or night if needed. Also only 10mins from hospital if things do go awry.

I think it's a very personal decision, where you need to weigh up all the pros and cons but really think about what is important to you. Also if the community midwife team are supportive or not as this will make a massive difference!

Good luck justhayley

Catsize Fri 21-Feb-14 10:39:25

Ina May Gaskin book is very empowering. Read the second part first if you are short on time.

Catsize Fri 21-Feb-14 10:45:45

The other thing to bear in mind re:hospital distance is that homebirth midwives are with you all the time to observe changes (which they are not in hospital) and are ultra cautious re:reduced heartbeats etc, whereas they might leave you for a while in hospital. I understand that true emergency transfer is very rare and that you are massively lessening your risks of intervention with a homebirth. And think of fish and chips and champagne in bed after the birth... smile

TheGreatHunt Fri 21-Feb-14 11:01:55

Yes to the Ina May book. Plus speak to independent midwives and your community midwives too to get a range of views. And people who have been through it.

I had a home birth first time and MW led unit the second time. This was because my first birth didn't go to plan although I was fine and ds was fine (the problems were with post partum bleeding so actual delivery wasn't the issue). There was a tiny speck of me that was worried about it happening again so I felt safer at the hospital. However if I had a third I'd do it at home simply because second time around it was a breeze!!

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