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Recommendations to make home birth go smoothly?

(14 Posts)
artyjoe Sun 19-Dec-04 21:12:10

I am a first time mum of 34 and am intending, after a few months of drama regarding c sections, to have a home birth. I am due in a few weeks and as I thought I'd be in hospital haven't ordered tens or birthings balls, in fact anything at all!

I do intend to make use of the bath and am organising sheets and plastic to cover the lounge in, soothing music and low lighting, but apart from this, does anything really help or add to the experience?

Is tens a good idea?
Are birthing balls actually of use? (I have spd and swollen everything so can't get into a lot of positions, but I can sit or stand!)
Should I organise someone to look after my dog or are pets normally okay?
Should I warn the neighbours regarding screaming etc!

Any advice or help would be great

WideWebWitch Sun 19-Dec-04 21:27:10

Hi artyjoe. I hired a pool and loved it for pain relief second time round but first time round spent quite a bit of time in the bath (didn't hire a pool then).
Haven't tried tens but thoroughly recommend gas and air
Had a birthing ball but forgot about it on the day and not sure I'd have known what to do with it tbh
Wouldn't worry about your dog too much but I don't have one so maybe others will say different
I didn't warn neighbours first time (flat in London and gave birth during the day so doubt any of them were a) in or b) knew who I was). Second time round I did warn the neighbours (house, different city) and I screamed the house down but they were too polite to mention it if they did hear anything. I couldn't have cared less at the time anyway!
Hope it goes well, being at home afterwards and able to use your own bath and loo and phone and bed and everything was really lovely. I do thoroughly recommend home birth.

ChristmasBOOZA Sun 19-Dec-04 21:27:40

I had a homebirth with my second and used a tens machine with both. Ordered it off a website recommended on here - www.maternitytens.co.uk or something - do a search. I think it helped and certainly provided a distraction.

For a birthing ball go to Argos and buy a gym ball - they only cost a few pounds so worth the expenditure. Think with SPD it might actually help. I used to sit on mine and wobble about or use it to put my feet up on the days leading up to the birth. Thought I might use it to deliver on all fours leaning onto it but didn't in the end. I was stood up at the side of the bed.

Don't have any pets but DS was babysat by a Tweenies video while DD was born. Obviously this was not the plan but PILs turned up about 20 minutes too late. As for neighbours when they saw my PILs out in the garden with DS at 8.15 am on a Saturday morning she said "have they taken her in then?" and MIL replied "she had a little girl half an hour ago upstairs". So not much bother to them.

Of course, it might not all go quite as smoothly for a first time but I would say being at home definitely helps you go with the flow. Make sure you have plenty of space for the midwife to lay out her equipment. Also if you have carpet in the bathroom (we do) plastic sheeting in there would be a good idea. And I bought some of those pampers disposable changing mat things for putting on the bed afterwards. You might want a sheet or something to put on top of the plastic that you are not bothered about. I bought a cotton bedsheet from Asda Smartprice for our bed. Because although I delivered at the side of the bed, DH reached across the bed to catch DD and also I was on the bed for the delivery of the placenta.

Good luck.

WideWebWitch Sun 19-Dec-04 21:29:44

artyjoe, is it you who's worried aobut a big baby? If so BOOZA (if she was Bozza) also had a big baby at home, didn't you Bozza?

kinderbobsleigh Mon 20-Dec-04 02:59:21

TENS is great, but practise applying the pads and wiring it all up before you go into labour. My dh keep short circuiting me!

Didn't try a birthing ball, but I probably should have as I think I got a little too relaxed in the pool (after taking off TENS) and that slowed things down.

Good luck!

emMerryChristmastmg Mon 20-Dec-04 07:12:00

Definatley use a TENS. Fantasic little devises IMO.

2 of our DS were born at home and it really was lovely being able to get up from floor(DS2) and the sofa(DS£) to get into my own bed.

We have a dog and she was absolutley fine, but the poor thing was the only thing that got sworn at as she was obviously aware that something was going on so kept hanging around me(Something along the lines of "get that f*cking dog away from me" See you do feel sorry for her now don't you? ) She would normally sleep in the kitchen anyway so we just put her back in there.She had a little sniff of the baby later that day and has never been bothered with him since, whereas he(DS3) has terrorised her since he was able to grab at things. They are absolute best friends.

Didn't use a birthing ball but know a few people who have and they say it's wonderful.

Screaming? Well, with DS2(born at 3:45am) someone across the road from us heard the one scream I did do, but I didn't wake the next door neighbours as they had no idea I'd given birth in the small hours(DS2 wasn't a planned homebirth BTW) DS3 I didn't scream and (he was born at 6:45am, planned homebirth)the neighbours were only aware he's been born when they heard him crying straight after delivery. Ds1+2 slept through it all and Dh woke them to meet there new baby brother. I wouldn't worry about warning the neighbours, just mention you're having homebirth. I'm sure they won't mind abit of noise!!

Blimey, I sound a bit odd don't I? I may not of screamed but I did make some very odd noises

yulettsdaughter Mon 20-Dec-04 07:56:11

Hi there. I didn't use tens, or a birthing ball (except at my pregnancy yoga class). The cat was fine (although he did have to be shooed away a few times). The second time I told my neighbours I was planning a homebirth (first one was unplanned). DS slept through the birth of my dd.

Good luck! I agree with ChristmasBOOZA re homebirth helping you to go with the flow... (and it is lovely being in your own bed afterwards).

Pidge Mon 20-Dec-04 09:30:05

Wanted to wish you lots of luck - I'm hoping for a homebirth for no 2 due in March.

I don't think you need to warn the neighbours - after all even if you were going into hospital you might well labour at home for a long time first. My next door neighbour just gave birth to her first at home, and we could hear, but just turned the TV up .

I did like my TENS machine for my first labour - because it was very long - 2 days of 'pre-labour' before proper contractions started. Though I've recently started a thread on whether to bother second time round. I did find it helped for the first two days, but wasn't any use once proper contractions started. I do think it's worth getting one first time round and seeing how you get on.

ZolaPola Mon 20-Dec-04 10:26:36

Good luck with it! I was booked for home birth and ended up in hospital so i'd say it's really important to keep an open mind and realise that you might start at home but actually need to give birth in hospital. In some ways was a disappointment (also quite common though), but I still got the benefit of having most of labour at home, in comfort (including with cats around me!)used birthing pool while there (wonderful!) though guess in a way wasted as didn't in the end give birth in it. Tens also helped me as did gas & air which midwife can bring to yr home. HTH

yulettsdaughter Mon 20-Dec-04 19:25:32

Good point re recognising that you might end up in hospital, ZolaPola - I nearly did as the placenta took an age to come out... surely, though, the pool wasn't wasted if it helped you through some of your labour?

Lilliput Mon 20-Dec-04 20:39:14

I am planning a home birth in Feb and would really like to get some advice about mess management. We are moving into a brand new house with new carpets, new everything and my very anal dh is quite concerned about the goo of birth. Somehow it seems quite trivial to be worrying about that when there are other things to worry about but he is a man who likes to be prepared. Any advice?

yulettsdaughter Tue 21-Dec-04 07:52:26

Lilliput - the second time around I spent ages finding the right plastic sheeting (there's a thread here somewhere...), but in the end didn't get it down in time and delivered dd onto some old towels and whatever the midwife had brought with her. As long as you have old towels, sheets etc to hand, you should be fine. Both times my midwife was very good at clearing up afterwards.

artyjoe Tue 21-Dec-04 10:20:05

We've got some sheeting from Homebase, the thin kind that covers the carpets for when painting, and three double sheets to put over the top of them. Three towels for when baby arrives and mw has told me I'll definitely throw two of these in the bin so mum is doing a trip to Matalan today for cheepies!

Unfortunately we don't have room for a pool but our bath is 10cm larger than standard so am hoping I can use this some of the time. My tens arrived today and birthing ball this afternoon...bought champagne yesterday so am all ready now!

Am prepared for having to go to hospital if need be but am hoping that if this is the case it will be at the final stages and that I can do most of my labour at home, fingers crossed.

yulettsdaughter Tue 21-Dec-04 10:27:49

Sounds like you're pretty sorted artyjoe. Have a great Christmas - I look forward to seeing an announcement in the new year!

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