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Home birth or hospital?(54 Posts)
I’m 30+ weeks, and seriously contemplating home birth. This is my 1st baby but uncomplicated so far, and my midwife has advised me not to think about this. We’re also 40 minutes from my nearest hospital. Her main issue seems to be that I fall between catchment areas for local hospitals though; my doctors surgery is covered by one hospital but my home address another, so neither hospital want to send out midwives! I’m keen for a home birth because my mum delivered me (baby 1) in under an hour from contractions being 15 min apart and my sister (baby 2) in 40 minutes. I’m taking after her in all other ways with this pregnancy and have a very similar build, so am nervous I may end up delivering on the ring road if I aim for a hospital birth! Should I insist that they at least let me explore the option or should I just accept a hospital birth? Did anyone else take a home birth against advice?
Did your MW give you any particular reasons why she was advising you against?
I'm all for home births, but the 40 mins from the nearest hospital would give me pause for thought- that's the time it would take you Door to door, but bear in mind if an ambulance was needed to transport you to hospital it would take nearly twice that time from the point that the attending MW decided a transfer was necessary.
I had considered using an independent midwife who would be prepared to go into hospital, as a compromise, in case I didn't make it in time. Although I found fast twins enough so didn't do it again
It is getting into the hospital and breaking through the "come in at 9am when the day staff are on"/ "you aren't in labour yet" etc. barriers that is the problem. You have to be firm, and don't take no for an answer.
My MW just said they don’t recommend home births for first babies, and she isn’t sure who would cover me because of my postcode/Surgery having different teams of MWs. We do have an ambulance station locally so an ambulance wouldn’t necessarily need to come from the local hospital. I’m finding her pretty unhelpful tbh. She even said I don’t need a birthing plan unless I want anything unusual like no one talking to me during labour.
That’s exactly it - I’m dreading spending 40 minutes in a car in active labour if I wait until they’ll take me, or going early and being sent home to go back. My midwife suggested I go into the city for a walk and a coffee when labour starts so I’m nearer when it progresses! But I really don’t fancy labouring around a town centre in the middle of Feb or being in agony in a coffee shop where I can’t move between positions etc.
My hospital are actively encouraging Home birth for first time mums and are really supportive about it. Having said that I am max 10 mins drive from the hospital so it’s a different situation. However if that’s not the reason for their recommendation it might be worth asking if there is a Home birth team you can discuss it with?
I’ll ask about a home birth team thank you. She has confirmed that they would have offered it if this was my second so definitely not the distance thing that’s the issue. It’s very frustrating!
I had my first baby at home at 36. I lived about 15 minutes from a hospital which helped but to be honest, unless I was medically high risk, there was no fucking way I was going into hospital because the consultant I saw was incapable of listening to me and had an appalling bedside manner.
I'd arm yourself with facts, look at the place of birth study, look at the NICE guidelines and clear up who is responsible for your care.
If you can't get to hospital in time how is the midwife going to get to you in time? Both mine were born at home but I'm only 15 minutes from hospital in case of emergency transfer.
“They don’t recommend”?
In my area they’re happy to support mums having their first baby at home.
Ask to be referred to a senior midwife - head of community, supervisor of Midwives (if they still have one, role has been abolished though SOMs still exist in some hospitals), or a consultant midwife. They’ll be happy to discuss the issue with you and help you make a choice you’re happy with, usually without pressuring you one way or the other.
I had a home birth (yesterday!) for my second baby.
Was great in lots of ways, BUT baby was 9lb 9 and it was hard and much more painful than I'd anticipated. I'm a bit I'm shock!
In hindsight if I'd known the baby would be that size I would have gone for hospital and epidural.
This is the study that NICE refer to in their recommendations. It does recommend homebirth for second and subsequent births. Have a good read, get all the facts you can, and make your decision from that.
I would agree with your midwife about the birth plan, if you don’t want anything in particular, you can go with the flow, rather than feeling that you’ve failed if birth doesn’t follow the plan that was made.
I had DD at home. I'd always been told it wasn't possible because I was classed as high risk because she's ivf but I knew it wasn't a high risk pregnancy. I got the home birth team out 5 days before I gave birth. I hired a pool which was super helpful with the pain. I was pretty relaxed about going into hospital if needed - but it wasn't. I'm 15 mins from hospital (probably less by ambulance) so distance wasn't a factor. Midwives told me that things usually go wrong slowly so there's time to move you if needed. They're really quite cautious. I can't recommend home birth highly enough.
I had home births and will for this one too. Best feeling ever, none of the constraints of hospital. You get two midwives entirely at your beck and call as opposed to one shared by others. This means any issues can be spotted easily and much quicker than waiting you turn.
We live 40mins from 3/4 hospitals and across 3 county borders (so I wonder if you’re by us?!) it was easy when it came to picking hospital as you just get to choose. Feel free to PM me if you’d like any other info
I'm all for home birth, and had one with DC3, but I wouldn't have considered it if I lived more than 15 minutes away from hospital and I wouldn't have considered it for my first baby. It was my midwife who suggested I think about a home birth based on my obstetric history. If she'd cautioned against it I'd have taken her advice.
Sorry OP, I know that's not what you want to hear. I hope it all goes well whatever you decide.
I personally wouldn’t, especially for a first. I was encouraged to have a home birth for my second as first labour was fine (just very long). Things went wrong very quickly after my second arrived and I am forever grateful for that I was in the birth centre within a hospital. My baby would have been fine but who knows about me, especially with such a log journey to hospital. Totally unpredictable problem and went wrong very fast.
On the relevant point OP, I'm pretty sure the midwives for the area where your house is must cover you for a home birth. Your midwife is just being a bit obstructionist in saying they might not.
I have fast labours and as a result it distresses the baby(s) so I have to be at hospital, I arrived fully dilated after a 25 min Car journey and it wasn't too bad, I just had to get my husband to slow down whilst I had a contraction and then out his foot down in between.
40 minutes is a very long time if you or your baby need urgent care. Look at tge nice guidance and facts and stats sbout home birth to help you make the most informed choice for you xx
I had a home birth for my first but I'm really close to the hospital. The distance to hospital would be the deciding factor for mr
First time home birth with no other risk factors, the baby is almost twice as likely to die or have serious negative outcomes. Any midwife or hospital who is "encouraging'" first time home births without telling them this is negligent to the point of malpractice. I do believe people have the right to choose but that choice should be fully informed by facts. It's obscene to me that some midwives, judging by the posts above, are merrily railroading first time mothers into home births without very clearly spelling out this risk.
Which research states that @sycamore54321? What I’ve read which was a 2 year nationwide nhs based study demonstrated a 0.6% higher chance of an adverse outcome than a hospital birth.
I am doing a huge amount of research on homebjrth and the only thing I’ve read which sounded even vaguely as dramatic as your statement was a classic daily mail scaremongering story, and even that wasn’t anything like you quote.
The information I was given by my midwife stated 3 times higher chance of death for baby as a first baby born at home..will try to find.
Ok I remembered wrongly but 3 times increased risk of serious complications.
In our area they were happy you accommodate. About 20 mins from hospital though.
@ohlittlepea thanks for that - that’s the study I’ve read and that the midwives discussed. The risk is 3x higher but it’s 0.9% at home instead of 0.3% and it’s still v small.
My hospital homebjrth team also said that they didn’t replicate those figures at all and their homebjrth risk was hardly higher than the hospital one. They thought because they are v quick to whip you into hospital at the slightest sign of any problem and also because nowhere in their patch is more than 25 mins drive from the hospital.
Interesting to read everyone’s views and various articles etc though so thanks all for sharing.
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