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Home birth for first baby

(51 Posts)
turtle23 Sat 01-Sep-07 09:38:41

I'm 11 weeks pregnant with my first,and if all goes well will be giving birth at home. I have had horrified reactions from people (except the midwives who are great) as nobody can believe I don't want the drugs and intervntion. Please tell me if you had your first baby at home how it went for you? Good and bad experiences welcome...just want a clearer picture! smile

callmeovercautious Sat 01-Sep-07 09:45:38

I was told I could have a homebirth but DP was a bit too worried things would go wrong so I did not push it. In the end I could have had with no problems as I had a natural delivery with a Midwife led team and was able to go home after 6 hours. It was nice but at home would have been nicer!

Maybe I can convince him next time smile Good luck and if it is what you want go for it!

Theclosetpagan Sat 01-Sep-07 09:46:45

I booked a homebirth but ended up in hospital (15 days over, huge baby etc). However, I was a community midwife for 10 years and attended lots of home births - several first timers as well. They always went well - even if one or two ended up being transferred in.
Don't let anyone put you off - homebirth can be a really good and positive experience.
Intervention can be great when it's needed - trouble is hospitals often intervene when they don't need to and that in itself can lead to problems. You won't get any of this well meant interfering at home. You'll be free to walk around, have a bath, eat when hungry, rest when you want to and you'll be in familiar surroundings.
As for pain relief I generally found that women at home needed much less of it.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 09:54:09

I had my first (and second) at home. First was actually much easier than second.

People always have somethng to say about it, ignore them. Or argue if you can be arsed. Marjorie Tew's book argues that planned home birth is safer than hospital birth

It was lovely- 2 midwives with you all the time, they start with 1 and call the second when they think you're close ish. It's based on 1 for you and 1 for the baby.

So I had vanilla candles, my dh, my mum, 2 midwives and that was it. It started about 6am, they came around 8am, ds was born at 2.30pm and they left about 4 ish iirc. And then dh, my mum, me and ds were alone at home, able to call people, drink Champagne, sleep in my own bed et.c I'd thoroughly recommend it. And there really isn't any mess, the midwives clear it up.

Go for it, good for you.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 09:54:41

And I was utterly prepared to transfer both times, had the midwives said they thught it best.

Pickie Sat 01-Sep-07 09:56:17

I had some of the same reactions as you had. GP told me as it is your 1st you'll be having it in the hospital and I didnt agree.
MW was great, saw I was Dutch and asked straight away if I wanted to deliver at home.

In the end I had DS at home in the bath (own bath)after being induced by acupuncturist as waters broken and labour didnt start and was boooked in for induction. Very easy straight forward birth

DD was also born at home (again in the bath) but was a lot more painful

Giving birth is a natural proces and has been done for millions of years. If there is no reason (health wise for both you and the baby and you dont life to far away from the hospital)to go to hospital, go for it. As it is so nice to be in your own house with your own stuff, especially afterwards when you want to have a shower and a lie down!

Good luck

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 09:57:30

AIMS is a good site if you want stats, support

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 09:58:10

homebirth.org too

and there are loads of threads here too, do a search on 'home birth'

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 09:58:37

And I had just gas and air both times.

jennifersofia Sat 01-Sep-07 10:16:09

Had mine at home, absolutely fabulous wonderous experience for us. Did have supportive Dh, and also hospital very close by (London), and pregnancy was bog standard normal. If you are up for it, would definitely recommend it!

naturelover Sat 01-Sep-07 13:04:44

I hope to be able to report back in a few days' time. I'm 40+3 (first baby) and am all set for a homebirth. My advice is mention it to your midwife at every single appointment. At first I found her a bit reluctant but after it being put in my notes at every single appointment that I was still keen (and had demonstrated I'd done lots of reading and preparation - yoga, hypnobirthing, bought pool, hired doula, etc), she came and booked me in for a homebirth at 37 weeks. Obviously my pregnancy has been problem-free and baby is now in a good position and hopefully going to come soon!

I think living very close to the hospital has probably helped if I'm honest. I have packed a bag in case of transfer as well. Sometimes things don't go to plan.

Loopymumsy Sat 01-Sep-07 20:02:00

Message withdrawn

cheritongirl Sat 01-Sep-07 20:49:50

Had my first baby last year at home and although it was long labour (27 hours) it was a very positive experience and would have been a lot different if i had been in hospital i think (sure i would have ended up with every intervention going). I had a birthing pool which was wonderful relief for me. I did have an uphill battle with the community mw's because they didn't have anyone trained in waterbirth (well thats what they said) but then in my final month a new mw came along who was an angel from heaven who was really pro-hb and supported me all the way. Without her i think i would have given up the fight! A lot of people did say they thought i was crazy to have my first at home, but somewhere in my gut i knew i really wanted to try.
I had a doula which i think also made all the difference - when its your first baby it is going to be an unknown time for both you and your partner and having someone who is wise about birth around is amazingly reassuring. If you can afford a doula, or have someone you know who could act as one then it would be really worth it IMO.
Whatever happens i think that you need to be flexible and ready to go to hospital if necessary, after all hospitals are wonderful places when there is anything at all wrong.
Our hospital is only a mile away so that was important for me - if it had been far away i may have reconsidered.
Anyways, it was great for us! All the best to you smile

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 20:53:19

I didn't have my first at home, but I did my next three.

My first birth was so straightforward that I knew that I didn't need to be in hospital.

I'm a great believer in that a woman knows instinctively how to give birth. Any problems arise before the onset of labour so you have plenty of time to go to hospital if you need to.

A good midwife is key to anticipating any problems that need medical intervention, and we are very blessed to have hospitals with top-notch facilities.

Difers Sat 01-Sep-07 21:06:42

My friend gave birth at home, she had gas and air and pethidine which she had hoped to avoid but had a very positive experience.

FunkyChicken Sun 02-Sep-07 02:27:59

Had my first (big!)baby (9lb 9oz) at home earlier this year. All went really well and so glad we decided to have a home birth. I'm an 'older mum' (38). Just had gas and air and all was very straight forward with a relatively short labour of 7 hrs and a healthy happy baby, mum and dad by the end of it!
We decided that at home would be 'Plan A' but we were open minded about going into hospital too if we needed so that was 'Plan B' and we went to look around local maternity wing so that I felt as relaxed and prepared as poss whatever happened.None of the midwives or docs expressed any concerns at all when we said a home birth was our plan. Midwives came to the house for my last few check ups in the weeks before the birth.Only my mum was negative beforehand but she now agrees it was a good thing!
Advantages for me were the privacy and familiar surroundings of my own home.Also my husband being there afterwards and not having to fit around hospital visiting hours. I'm sure that being at home made me more relaxed and helped things along. Had great support from midwives on the night of birth - having 100% attention just for me if/when I needed her plus an extra midwife too for the final stage was better than many mums get in hospital.But it was without intrusion.Sitting in our own bed with tea and toast and our new babe asleep in his own crib next to us when the action was over as the new morning dawned was priceless! You can still change your mind and go into hospital once you go into labour but you can't do it the other way round if you opt for a hospital birth! So we planned for home and thought we would see how i felt when the time came. No regrets!

ziggyf Mon 03-Sep-07 13:23:10

hi turtle23,

I'm planning to have my first baby at home in about 6 weeks eek! I've had some resistance from the midwife and consultant recently and comments from lots of other people but we're confident that it's the right decision for us. Obviously, if on the day we need to transfer to hospital for safety reasons then we are happy to do that but we're hoping to be able to at least give the home birth a go.

ziggy xx

ImBarryScott Mon 03-Sep-07 13:44:06

I booked for a home birth with my first. I did end up being transferred in for ventouse (dd at very peculiar angle and couldn't be pushed out). However, I relished every moment at home, and I felt quite in control of the whole process. I was given much longer to try pushing than I believe you are "allowed" in hospital, and it was great having the midwives there just for me grin. Even the ambulance transfer was no drama - we all agreed that things were going nowhere, and everyone waited while DP got a bag ready and I sorted myself out a bit.

beller Mon 03-Sep-07 13:53:10

HI Turtle-

Im 23 weeks pregnant and planning a home birth with my first and im 37! Friends and family have been quite shocked..my sister is my birth partner and i think she is frightened. I have my first midwife appt in 2 weeks, so will speak to her about it then. Have told my doctor my wishes so far though. Good luck! xxxxx

charleymouse Mon 03-Sep-07 14:12:35

First baby at home with two MWs all to myself. Absolutely brlliant, 10 hour labour and had paracetamol and tens machine. (forget about gas and air until to late but didn't need it.) Natural delivery of placenta also.

Have to agree people were horrified and DH was initially reluctant but really glad we did it. I haven't heard of anyone who had a homebirth say well actually I would prefer to be in hospital next time but I have heard plenty of people say after a hospital birth they wish they had been at home.

Just arm yourself with responses to questions. IE

Q: "Isn't it dangerous to have your baby at home?"
A: "Actually the safest place to have our baby is at home."
Q: "How will you cope with the pain?" ""
A: "I will have most of the pain relief options that are available in hospital available to me and as I am at home I will be able to manage the pain better as I will be in familiar surroundings and not as stressed"

Ther are some sites referred to by others where you can get stats to back up your pov for those who are more that way inclined.

Trust yourself and go for it, also bear in mind you can transfer at any time you want/need to. Good luck.

BWMum Mon 03-Sep-07 14:32:57

I was about to start a thread on the same topic!

Really good to hear the positive experiences on here. I'm 23 weeks pregnant with my first and also thinking about giving birth at home so trying to find out about it.

I'd like to use water as pain relief and you aren't guaranteed to be able to use the birth pool at hospital, which has pushed me towards thinking about a home delivery.

DH is not very keen - he's anxious about what happens if things go wrong and there is a delay while we transfer to hospital. Also, although he doesn't really want to say so, I think he's a bit apprehensive about the mess involved (!). So really helpful to hear from those of you who've done it and had happy DP's around.

I haven't spoken to the MW about it yet so not sure whether they'll have any problems with it. I'm booked into St George's in Tooting (London) if anyone has any experiences of their attitude to home birth?

ImBarryScott Mon 03-Sep-07 14:39:13

BW mum - I understand that most transfers to hospital are not what you'd call emergencies. In fact I think the most common reason to transfer is failure to progress. My midwives were very calm and after several examinations and 3.5 hours' pushing, told me they'd give it another 30mins, then transfer.

Ambulance arrived quickly (they normally do in London!) and in fact the paramedics ended up waiting for me to finish sorting myself out. Perhaps this sort of info might help get DP on board?

Floanna Mon 03-Sep-07 15:12:39

I'm really keen on having a water birth and have been for a while but was told at the hospital yesterday that they only have one birthing pool!

So I've also started thinking about having a home birth - problem is I'm single and don't know whether I'll be too anxious. My only other option is transferring to another hospital 20 miles away that has a pool in each room.

Any advice?

tori32 Mon 03-Sep-07 15:20:37

Hi turtle, I had planned a homebirth for DD but ran into difficulties after 33 hours getting to 9cm! I say go for it because you don't know any better most of the time when baby will have problems until you start to labour.( unless its breech or something medical) I had a tens machine and gas and air for 33 hours, then went to hospital and ended up having section under general.
Gas and air is transportable!grin

tori32 Mon 03-Sep-07 15:23:31

Floanna have you got a birthing partner? If so you will be fine. Even if you haven't you'll have 2 midwives to reassure and encourage you smile Not so easy if you have other children and end up needing to go to hospital. You would need to arrange for them to be looked after (but no different if you go in anyway)

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