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Planning First Home Birth - tips, ideas and experiences needed.

(13 Posts)
birdandbee Sat 05-Mar-16 09:52:01

I'm planning to give birth at home for the first time.... to my first baby. I'm sure many of you might think I'm mad but I've weighed up the pros and cons and really do think it's the right thing for me and my baby. So....

Has anyone got any advice, tips or can suggest things that they found really work or was really nice about their own home birth that you'd recommend I consider when planning my own?

cheesylover Sat 05-Mar-16 21:35:59

I had a homebirth with my first and going for hopefully the same again for DC2 any day now. I would check if there are any homebirth support groups in your area as I found mine invaluable for support and advice in the run up both times. And keep an open mind (as with any birth!) - both times I've had my hospital bag packed and ready just in case. Good luck!

emsyj Sat 05-Mar-16 22:41:58

I had an amazing homebirth with my second baby. I did Hypnobirthing and found the relaxation CD and breathing really helpful. I was very fortunate to have a fantastic midwife who left me to it for the most part. It was lovely to feel relaxed and in control and to have a bath afterwards (my local hospital only has showers in the maternity unit). I hope you have a positive birth and best of luck with it all.

BlurtonOnKites Sun 06-Mar-16 17:00:34


I had an failed home birth with my first.

It's really pro home birth in my area so I didn't have to push for it and nobody thought I was mad (apart from a young male colleague who asked me if it was legal?!? haha) .

I went in with the mindset of seeing how long I could last at home, and if the labor strayed from a 'normal' path I'd transfer.

Unfortunately my labor went on for ages and wasn't really working so I ended up transferring to hospital and had an EMCS

Main positives : getting assessed at home (not having to and fro from hospital in early labour), being at home.

Main negatives : one of the homebirth midwives was a dick, when I had my debrief recently the consultant reckons that my labour would have been reduced by 24 hours if I'd been in hospital or on MLU - which would've been really nice, I was fucked by the end, it wasn't a good start to motherhood.

If I hadn't of had a section with my first I'd be going for another homebirth if I have a second. Just imagine being snuggled up with you newborn in your own bed and not some atrocious post natal ward. I think the most disastoro

ThePowerOfCake Sun 06-Mar-16 22:45:43

I had a home birth with my first. I loved being able to do my own thing, just grab anything I suddenly wanted because all my things and favourite foods were to hand. I loved the fact that I had two midwives (and a student!) all to myself. I loved going to sleep in my own bed, cuddled up to my DH, staring at my newborn. I loved drinking my usual tea from my favourite mug. I loved not having to figure out how you put a newborn into a car seat so soon after birth!

Hospitals make me very nervous and I find my pain levels are massively influenced by how comfortable I feel in general so it was a no brainer for me.

I found it helpful to have packed a "hospital bag" of sorts so I knew where all the usual things were and could just grab the bag if I transferred. I collected a home birth kit together using the midwife suggested list and tips online. From memory it contained a cheap plastic shower curtain, old sheets and towels, bin bags, a lamp (to get a decent look at my bits afterwards!) and a torch (apparently power cuts during home births are a surprisingly common inconvenience!).

birdandbee Tue 08-Mar-16 18:12:00

Thank you everyone for your responses grin

Wardrobespierre Tue 08-Mar-16 18:18:24

Keep an open mind. I wanted a homebirth but transferred and had an emcs. I'd been so fixated on giving birth at home that I made the hospital a big bad wolf. Meant I felt like a failure. Plan for your ideal birth, know what other options or permutations might become necessary and give some positive thought to them. Good luck!

powertotheparslaii Tue 08-Mar-16 21:42:45

Keep an open mind- aim to stay at home as long as possible and see how you feel. Don't pressure yourself into staying at home if you would rather be in hospital.

I had DC2 at home and it was incredible. I honestly could not have hoped for a more empowering and beautiful birth. I'm pregnant with DC3 and have no intention of giving birth in a hospital, unless medically necessary.

For me what helped most was
1) hire a birthing pool and have it ready to blow up when it come to it

2) have everything sparkling clean before I went to bed at night so when I went into labour I could relax

3) have everything I needed for post partum and for baby in a bag by the door so everyone knew where everything was

4) have tea and coffee stocked up for midwives

5) have a brand new set of PJ's, a dressing gown and slippers ready for you to slip into after birth

6) clean washed bed sheets ready for your DH to put on bed after birth

It sounds silly but knowing these things were in place made me feel like I could relax and just focus on giving birth and knowing I'd be all cosy in my bed with my kiddies watching Netflix in mere hours got me through gringrin

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 08-Mar-16 21:53:48

Agree with others saying keep an open mind. I also tried to think of it as labouring at home for as long as I could, and if I delivered at home it was a bonus, which did help.

As it happened I did have both my babies at home. While in labour with DC1 I was sent in to hospital to get checked out, but having been hooked up to a monitor for 30 mins I was given the all clear and went on to deliver at home.

I didn't have a pool in the end. Mainly because my house is fairly small and it would have taken up so much space. I also couldn't keep still during labour and found I wanted to pace up and down rather than be in water. I did use the bath a bit.

My other tip for a first time home birth would be to pace yourself. I definitely got very tired during first birth because I was so active. You don't know how long labour will take so resting when you can is really important. At one point I was dozing on an air mattress in the living room between contractions, just waking up to moo softly!

tyaca Tue 08-Mar-16 21:53:53

I HB'd dc2 and it was such a wonderful night.

Read lots of positive birth stories. I'd recommend buying Ina May Gaskin's guide to childbirth - I learnt so much from it. It really normalised birth for me, and taught me a lot about the biological process. It gave me the confidence to trust my instincts, particularly my need to create a safe space for myself.

However, the biggest thing for me was using Maggie Howell's Natal Hypnotherapy CDs during pregnancy. I listened to them lots from 28 weeks and during the birth I managed to get myself into a trance and it was genuinely pain free. I could feel the pain was there but it didn't hurt. She does a specific one for homebirths.

Good luck!

MrsPigling Tue 08-Mar-16 22:00:50

My top tip would also be to keep an open mind about the plan....
We planned a home water birth with #1 but had to transfer to hospital as when her waters went there was meconium (she was very late). The birth itself was ok, we went straight to the delivery suite, had dd1 within a couple of hours, had some checks a shower and dh had a snooze and left at 4am without going onto the ward itself.

We did manage three home water births after that though. Used the hypnotherapy cds with #4 to great effect. If you want a pool, book it early, we had trouble getting one for #4 (wanted the kind you keep set up and ready with a filter as there wouldn't have been time to fill one otherwise).

Good luck smile

SweetieXPie Tue 08-Mar-16 23:22:15

As others have said, I would be prepared for all eventualities.
I had a home birth with DC3 after two very quick first labours, although I had everyone ncluding my DH and DM trying to talk me out of it!
It was so much more relaxing, he came very quick, unfortunately I had to be transferred in as he came a little too quickly and his shoulders were quite wide so had to be stitched at the hospital.
I got really upset about having to be transferred in after I had already given birth. Looking back now, I don't know why I got so worked up, it was one of those things unfortunately.
If you keep an open mind and def keep the hospital bag handy just in case. DH and I were in a daze whilst waiting to be transferred in, it was nice and easy to have everything there to grab.
Good luck and hope all goes well xxx

birdandbee Sat 12-Mar-16 19:28:28

Thank you everyone for your advice.... I definitely like the idea of just planning to stay at home as long as I can and just see how I feel/ what happens, rather that setting my heart on a home birth.

Hadn't really thought about having clean PJs, a clean home and bed sheets ready for when I go into labour... but having those things in order is definitely important to me.....

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