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Coming home (UK) for home birth, so many questions!

(22 Posts)
WeiAnMeokEo Fri 18-Dec-15 19:44:36

Hi all,

I'm currently living overseas and plan to move home to have my first baby. I'll be just shy of 8 months pregnant when we arrive back in the UK (can't finish work any earlier than this).

In an ideal world, I'd like a home hypnobirth with a pool, but I have no idea about how to organise this and Google is being annoyingly unforthcoming. Should I be contacting UK midwives from where I currently am or will it be OK to rock up heavily preggo and make my request then? In either case, I don't really know who exactly to contact either - I'm not currently registered with a UK GP, for example. I know the area we'll be living in, but obviously we won't be able to rent a place until we actually arrive and I don't know how much bearing where we live will have on any of the above.

Any tips from UK-based parents would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance smile

FishWithABicycle Fri 18-Dec-15 19:49:58

Umm you may not be entitled to free NHS treatment in these circumstances. Where have you been living overseas? As of April this year, you could be presented with a bill for 150% of the cost of your treatment (see article here)

WeiAnMeokEo Fri 18-Dec-15 19:56:40

Whoa really?! I've only been out of the country for 3 years - 3 one-year contracts in different East Asian countries. Been home for short breaks between, and we are planning to settle permanently in the UK once the baby is born. Will check out the link, thank you...

bumpertobumper Fri 18-Dec-15 19:57:45

Contact the midwife team at the local hospital, they should be able to help you. These days it is common to not see your gp at all during pregnancy, may book in directly with the hospital.
I don't know about how they will do it in your circumstances, but they will tell you.
BTW, they are keen for people to have home births when possible as it is cheaper.

WeiAnMeokEo Fri 18-Dec-15 20:02:45

Brilliant, thank you! I'll actually be home over Christmas so I'll call then.

Looks from the article like UK residents returning permanently will still be eligible for NHS care thank the lord - not sure our finances could have stretched to a massive medical bill on top of outlandish visa fees for my husband...

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Fri 18-Dec-15 21:49:35

If you rock up 8 months pregnant you could be a week off giving birth at term.

what is your back up plan if you can't get the home birth organised on time?

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Fri 18-Dec-15 21:50:55

Also. You probably need to think about the pool before you get home. Do you have an address in the uk that can take delivery?

LumpySpaceCow Fri 18-Dec-15 22:13:08

Have you considered an independent midwife (if finances permit). You could contact them now and keep in regular contact if they are happy to support you at home without physically meeting you until 8 months.
I would otherwise contact the maternity unit at the hospital local to where you will be living. Everyone in UK has a right to homebirth. www.homebirth.org.uk may have some useful info and they also have a yahoo group where you can ask advice.
When I arranged my hb (although didn't have one in end), they just dropped off a suitcase full of equipment and told me to ring delivery suite when in labour and they would send someone.... So not that much arranging needed really.

WeiAnMeokEo Sat 19-Dec-15 03:51:00

Good points all, thank you - the timings are far from ideal but even less ideal would be giving birth where I currently live. It's a developing country; standards of care are hygiene are not high (unless you can pay for it) and attitudes to birth and to women in general are pretty depressing. My thoughts were that even if I don't get the ideal scenario in the UK, a hospital birth there would be preferable to anything here.

I have a fair few friends/family who would hopefully be happy to take the pool for me and it sounds like the organisation is reasonable straightforward. Hooray! Thanks again everyone smile

NickNacks Sat 19-Dec-15 04:21:02

Have you checked you can fly so late in pregnancy?

WeiAnMeokEo Sat 19-Dec-15 04:54:06

Yup, up to 8 months - due at the end of June so looking to fly at the end of April.

NickNacks Sat 19-Dec-15 05:08:24

Oh so 7 months. Sorry your op says you will be just shy of 8 months. Those 4 weeks probably make all the difference in airline cut off dates.

WeiAnMeokEo Sat 19-Dec-15 05:22:53

O sorry! Pregnancy brain...

bittapitta Sat 19-Dec-15 05:23:59

Many hospitals have a specific team of home birth midwives. As long as you are still low risk with no need for a hospital birth then you should be able to be under their care straight away.

When you present for the first time at your chosen hospital you'll have a Booking Appointment (like you would have done at 8 weeks! So lots of questions about medical background, blood tests taken, etc) and you can make clear your birth preference and go from there. There might be a self referral form on the hospital website - you could complete this and hand in when you move over in order to get the booking appt lined up. Good luck OP.

Fuckitfay Sat 19-Dec-15 05:49:19

Hmm I have heard anectodal stories of being "too late" to book for home births here because they have their paperwork and risk assessments to do blah blah
Any chance you can visit before 8 months to get booked in with a knife NHS MW?
I can't recommend independent midwife enough if you can stretch to £3-£4K.

Fuckitfay Sat 19-Dec-15 05:50:46

I have no idea where that "knife" came from in my last post but in my case it was accurate as my two NHS booked home births turned into probably unnecessary sections and then had a lovely home birth with my independent MW third time round

Whataboutreindeer Sat 19-Dec-15 05:58:48

Birth choices aren't usually discussed till around 36 weeks in most areas and my home birth (failed) was booked at 36 weeks first time round. I'd contact the hospital you will be nearest and ask to speak to the community midwife team and explain it to them. They should be able to tell you what to do next.

WeiAnMeokEo Sat 19-Dec-15 06:46:22

Eesh, so sorry to hear that Fuckitfay - but so glad you were able to have a more positive experience with your third delivery.

Unfortunately an independent midwife would be way out of our means. We're flying home tonight for Christmas, though, so I'll call the hospitals in my area and see what they advise once we're back.

Thanks again for all your sage words. Fingers crossed!

justonemorethread Sat 19-Dec-15 07:04:27

Hello. I'm going back to deliver and having checked with department of work and pensions apparently I am classed as ' ordinarily resident' because I have been abroad less than a certain amount of years. I hope this is correct but I did make lots of phone calls and enquiries.

blackkat1978 Sun 20-Dec-15 19:05:37

I think you sound like you've got most of the information you need. They don't really discuss birth options till 36 weeks so as long as your birth is going smoothly & you're registered with a mw before then I don't see that there'd be an issue. Think I had my home birth meeting at 36 weeks when they go through your birth plan & check your birth space. I didn't get a check list or my small bag of home birth supplies till 39 weeks. I borrowed a birth pool from a Friend & had it up ready at 37 week's just in case (he didn't arrive till 41+6 weeks but still got my home birth). Definitely start looking into buying or hiring now. Good luck, hope you get the birth you want

WeiAnMeokEo Wed 23-Dec-15 04:46:13

Update: booked in with the community midwife at the hospital that will be local to us when we move. They were so nice! Really accommodating. Off to look into birth pool options today...thanks for all your advice xx

Cerseirys Wed 23-Dec-15 04:55:35

Another option could be to check if the hospital has a birth centre and rooms with pools. That might be easier to organise than a home birth.

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