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Home vs Hospital?

(54 Posts)
FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Wed 21-Jan-15 21:01:28

I really want to give birth at home, DH would prefer hospital. Here's our list of pros and cons, please tell me your thoughts!

Pros (to being at home)
Guaranteed pool (birthing centre at hospital may be full and I really don't want to be on the labour ward)
Familiar environment
No messing around waiting to be discharged or admitted
Nice shower afterwards
Relaxed atmosphere means (definitely in my case anyway) better pain coping mechanisms
First birth (birthing centre) was perfect, no pain relief required, but it was long.
No medical conditions/pregnancy complications.
DS can come home to see us sooner.

If anything were to go wrong, we're not super close to a hospital (but not far either)
The price of the pool will set us back £100+

I can't think of any other cons.

That's it. Thank you!

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 21-Jan-15 21:07:57

That first one on your cons list could be broken down into many sub-points. It also needs to be weighted quite heavily.

Sorry if that isn't terribly helpful...

AmantesSuntAmentes Wed 21-Jan-15 21:10:56

I quite strongly believe this choice is the woman's prerogative. I'd go for home and did for 3/4 of my dcs births. No regrets whatsoever! In fact my only regret is my 1 (first and only) hospital birth!

FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Wed 21-Jan-15 21:45:33

Yes Katy, I do weight it heavily. But I also think it's very unlikely. I don't know what sub-points it needs to be broken down into but I am seeing the midwife at home next week to find out.

Amantes, I believe that too, and DH will do what I feel is best. But it makes the decision harder knowing it's purely down to me.

fattymcfatfat Wed 21-Jan-15 21:49:37

Entirely up to you! Im not allowed home births as I have a really bad habit of being kept in afterwards for risks to my health and due to health problems they want me in the unit. I wouldnt be comfortable at home anyway but thats just personal I would rather be where there are already facilities for every outcome. But wherever you feel comfortable is probably going to be best for you and reduce the risk of any complications related to stress and worry.

findingherfeet Wed 21-Jan-15 21:52:37

I had a planned home birth and had to go into hospital last minute (well at 9cm) and be monitored for blood loss.

Then I choose a hospital birth and DS was delivered at home by DH!

Go with what your heart desires but prepare for plans to change.

AmantesSuntAmentes Wed 21-Jan-15 22:23:10

If anything were to go wrong, we're not super close to a hospital

For me, things only went wrong in hospital. This, due to their procedures, time allowances and the ensuing spiral of intervention.

During one of my home births, there was meconium in my waters. In hospital, this would have hailed the start of another spiral of intervention. At home? The midwives didn't even make mention of it until after I'd birthed and dd2 was safely in my arms!

LaVolcan Thu 22-Jan-15 08:03:46

Find the Place of Birth Study from 2011 on which the recent NICE recommendations are based. These show that for a multiparous woman home is safer for the mother with less morbitity i.e. fewer interventions, less pain relief needed, fewer tears etc. but without compromising the safety of the baby.

Serafinaaa Thu 22-Jan-15 09:25:48

I'm planning a home birth, for all the reasons you list, but it's my first baby. The distance thing was quite important in my decision though. The thing that swung it for me was that I was told it takes about 20 minutes to prepare a theatre and summon a doctor, whether you are in the hospital or not, in an emergency and I can be at the hospital in less time than that.

FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Thu 22-Jan-15 17:39:05

sera I didn't know that about surgery. We could be there in less than 20 minutes in an ambulance.

With regards to the interventions, my first was a long labour, they were on the verge of breaking my waters but I didn't want them to, then they were on the verge of some assisted delivery but luckily he came just in time. There was nothing wrong with him at all, no distress, he just took a long time. That's really influencing my decision to home birth this time - I just read today on the leaflet I got from the midwife that they expect the first stage to last 5 hours and the second to last 2 hours or something like that. Theres no way I'll birth that quickly and I don't want anyone rushing to make it happen sooner, if there's no medical need to.

MuffinMcLay23 Thu 22-Jan-15 17:51:25

You might get there in less than 20 minutes, but then they would have to examine/assess you, prep you for theatre, consent you for whatever they were going to do etc.......
Obviously a home birth is much nicer than being in hospital, assuming you are one of the majority of people who are able to deliver at home without encountering any serious complications. If you are one of the people who are unlucky enough to have things go seriously wrong, its a totally different proposition. Personally I would never take that risk.

Serafinaaa Thu 22-Jan-15 19:16:40

But of course you need to balance that against the fact that serious complications happen more often at hospital, and in women who may not have encountered problems at home due to having more relaxed, uninterrupted labours.

LaVolcan Thu 22-Jan-15 20:16:09

There are risks associated with both options. Perhaps OPs best bet now is to talk to her midwife and talk them through with her. If you book a home birth it doesn't preclude your going to hospital if need be, but it's more difficult the other way round.

Jackieharris Tue 27-Jan-15 12:17:21

If your dp isn't supportive of hb don't have him as your birth partner. His negativity could be an unwelcome distraction and could spoil the comfortable atmosphere you seek.

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 27-Jan-15 12:21:33

You might get a birthing pool free from freecycle etc. I bought mine for £40 from eBay and have just given it away for free now that I'm done with it.

Cherrypi Tue 27-Jan-15 12:27:11

Had a home birth last week and would definitely recommend it. I felt I received a much better level of care than I did in the hospital and I saved the NHS £600.

atticusfinchatemybaby Tue 27-Jan-15 12:31:10

I'm a big pro-home advocate. Read through for really sensible, comprehensive information on all the issues and potential problems, then you can really weigh it up. My understanding from various sources is that the minimum time for emergency caesarean - if you're already in hospital on the labour ward - is about 40 minutes from the decision to do a caesarean to the knife going in. So if you can get to hospital by ambulance in less than that time, there is essentially no difference in that regard if you have a planned homebirth. Good luck whatever you decide.

atticusfinchatemybaby Tue 27-Jan-15 12:37:00

muffin a lot of that preparation takes place in the ambulance during transfer, and the attending midwife goes with you and will be briefing the surgical team en route by phone. There really is no difference timing wise unless you live very far away. Wherever you are, if you need a caesarean the hospital needs to find an available operating theatre, assemble and scrub up the surgeons and nurses, get an anaesthetist. ... i think it's amazing they can manage that in 40 minutes - and often it takes longer.

MrsDumbledore Tue 27-Jan-15 12:44:46

One thing to consider is that, as I understand it, the midwife will be quite quick to call an ambulance and transfer to hospital at the first sign of trouble, because they don't want to take any risks (especially if you are not close to the hospital). At least, everyone I know who has planned a home birth or even just been in a midwife led only hospital, has ended up in an ambulance! I realise that's just bad luck, and many people do give birth at home no problem, but I have always been put off by the fact that if there were any concerns, they would seem much more stressful by needing to transfer, have an ambulance etc, than they would if I was in hospital in the first place.

MrsDumbledore Tue 27-Jan-15 12:53:41

The only thing that put me off is the idea of my home needing to be in a state where I was happy to have strangers spending a lot of time there (ie midwives) when I went into labour, and it being our responsibility to clear up the mess afterwards, rather than just leaving the delivery room as you do im hospital. I liked my home being my space to go back to normality with dd afterwards, not somewhere midwives were taking charge of and was filled with birthing pools etc. I'm sure you've thought of that though!

MrsDumbledore Tue 27-Jan-15 12:54:44

*OTHER thing, not only. ..

Thehedgehogsong Tue 27-Jan-15 12:59:55

I just had a homebirth that actually turned out high risk as my baby was 11lbs. I had two midwives with me who safely delivered my baby with no fear, panic or even a hint of calling an ambulance. They knew what they were doing, and I was allowed to be in complete control, right until they had to fling me on my side to open my pelvis so baby could fit out!

It was amazing, it felt really calm the entire time. My first was an induction for no real fucking reason other than I made the mistake of being a bit anxious on my due date and popping to labour ward where I was put on the conveyer belt. I was ripped to shreds in that birth, with a 7lb baby, but my 11lb baby just grazed me slightly. Funny that...!

Thehedgehogsong Tue 27-Jan-15 13:02:28

Oh also, I was 8cm by the time the midwives arrived and I was eating toast and watching tv, hardly in pain at all. I'm sure it was because I was so chilled!

museumum Tue 27-Jan-15 13:08:37

I had my ds in a MLU birthing centre and the pool was a million times better than a home pool. It was solid for a start, I could sit up on the side, I could push against the sides and toss and turn and move utterly freely without worrying about splashing and it was easy to change the temperature and put more water in etc.

Also, at home I didn't have a spare room to put the pool.. so I wouldn't have anywhere to pace around while it was being filled, and does it not get cold?

Basically, I can't praise the MLU strongly enough. I loved it. Even the recovery was lovely and quiet as most MLU women go home after the birth so I had a 4-bed bay to myself. People whispered at night and the lights were off (very unlike the normal hospital wards).

museumum Tue 27-Jan-15 13:09:23

Also, I didn't go to the MLU till I was 7-8cm so still got to do most of my labouring at home smile

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