Home water birth - a terrible mistake?(11 Posts)
I'm considering a home water birth for my second baby. First time round I decided on hospital because I'm a bit of a germaphobe and the thought of people walking into my house with their shoes on gave me a bit of a panic attack, plus the mess afterwards....
However got to hospital and wasn't believed about being in labour, was told categorically 'this baby isn't being born today' - only to give birth 5 hours later, to the horror and panic of my midwife. Ended up being rushed - naked - in a wheelchair wrapped only in a towel through the corridors, whilst pushing, in her rush to get me to labour ward. Our bags were in another room, so we couldn't film it, I didn't have my hypnobirth music, the lights were too bright, it was too hot in the room... Not ideal.
So I'm considering a home birth this time, on the basis that I should be more relaxed and will have definite access to a birth pool (which I might not in hospital as there's only one). But have to say that although I'm better about germs now, the thought of the mess still makes me anxious.
So, my question. Could anyone who's had a home birth tell me how bad/difficult/easy the clean up was afterwards? Or have any tips on clean up?
I had a home water birth with my son 4 yrs ago and it was brilliant! We had the pool delivered the week before my due date (he was six days early so a good job). really easy to put up and fill so no mess there! we had loads of towels and the midwives brought mats too. i had him in the water but needed stitches which the midwife did in another room with an old quilt on the sofa so not messy although deeply undignified! the midwives cleaned up a lot of the mess and we used disposable or old things so they were simply thrown. my lovely husband cleaned the birthing pool and emptied (it came with a pump so easy to do). he claims it wasn't too bad!
No real mess to speak of and it was lovely to go to my own bed and wake up in my own bed. it was an amazing experience which if I were having a third I would definitely do again. Hope that helps a little!
My advice would be lots of towels, disposable or old sheets and cover the floor!!
DH did all the clean up after my home water birth. We bought a pool from ebay and bought a liner for it. Hosepipe was attached to kitchen taps and then we attached it to a water pump and pumped the water out of the window. Then just disposed of the liner.
We put plastic sheeting/£1 shower curtains on the floor around the pool and on the sofa covered with old towels. Within an hour of the birth you wouldn't have known I'd just given birth in my living room. I washed the towels (cold rinse, hot wash) I used but was prepared to throw them away if necessary.
I also bought a cheap plastic sieve and jug which weren't needed in the end but I'd have been fine throwing them as well.
I think people think the whole house will be covered in blood, poo and water from the pool, but the mess of birth is usually very localised to where the mum is for actual delivery, it definitely wouldn't put me off a home birth!
I have had 4 home water births and planning the next for May - it can't be that bad!
One of the reasons I chose a home birth was due to the amount of germs in hospitals! I view being in your own home as much more hygenic tbh. And you are in control. No mess at all, my partner and the midwives had everything inc the pool cleared away before I knew it, while I sat sipping a glass of champagne with baby asleep on my chest
I had an accidental home birth
The midwives who attended after the paramedic left, cleaned up everything. I didn't see any mess, any blood, anything. And that wasn't planned at all!
I had a home birth with my first and planning another with my second. The mess really isn’t a big deal and you don’t clean it up anyway. You just need lots of floor coverings and extra in case you move around as you never know where you’ll be.
If you have a water birth, much of it goes in the pool and that is emptied with a submersible pump and the liner is binned (if you do it before they leave midwives will take it with them to be disposed of in hospital waste). Same with any of waterproof floor coverings, blankets you don’t want, basically anything with blood on it will go in hospital waste and midwives cart it away for you.
I didn’t have a water birth and I moved around a lot and when my daughter was coming I wasn’t near any of my floor coverings (why you should have spares!) and I gave birth on my light blue carpet with just a maternity mat underneath. It did cause a blood stain on the carpet (about 18’ diameter), but if you pour a load of salt on top (a whole bag!) let it soak up the blood and then hoover up, it gets much of it out. Vanish got the rest out and you would never know it was there!
So anything bloody goes with the midwives, I had a doula and she emptied the pool and disposed of the liner (didn’t use it though), doula put any other sheets and towels in the wash straight away after so everything really just got cleaned up without me needing to think about it. I like you hate the idea of people wearing shoes in my house (no reason you can’t ask them to take them off) and I have OCD, but I totally didn’t even think about it at the time. We have a cleaner now, so she’ll come a few days later and give the house a good clean. Sorted. Much better than dragging all kinds of nasties home from hospital.
How far are you from the hospital?
DS2 was born with a serious abnormality that is almost impossible to detect antenatally. He needed to be stabilised in NICU within 20 mins of being born. He's absolutely fine now but a home birth would have been incredibly risky.
@Rockandrollwithit we're only about 5-10 minutes away (without traffic)
Thank you all for your replies. I definitely feel better about it and will probably start buying old towels/ sheets in preparation!
2 planned home water births here. Both times it was great and the water was pretty clear both times for me.
Buy a couple of cheap shower curtains to put on the floor in the unlikely event any water splashes over. Old towels might be useful.
Midwives took anything that had got marked and that we didn't want, then DH did the reverse pump to empty the pool.
Really no hassle or mess anywhere.
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