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Home birth on the NHS?

(30 Posts)
rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 13:27:02

Was planning to use an indep midwife after terrible hospital experience last time round but am now thinking of seeing what the NHS has to offer before parting with my cash. I'm hoping that it will be sufficiently different from Day 1 that it won't remind me too much of last time. Thoughts / experiences much appreciated.

AMerryScot Thu 30-Dec-04 13:30:15

I've had 3 home births on The Health - no issues at all. Just told the midwife at the booking appointment that I wanted to deliver at home. Everyone was very enthusiastic about it.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 13:36:21

WideWebWitch Thu 30-Dec-04 14:34:01

I've had 2 home births, one in London in 1997 and one in Devon/Bristol in 2003 (we moved when I was pregnant) and both were fine on the NHS. Fantastic midwives first time and not quite as fantastic the second time but only because I didn't have time to build a relationship with any of them really but they were still a pretty lovely bunch. Why don't you see what the NHS service is like where you are before you try the independent midwife route? Don't forget you don't have to go to a GP, you can go straight to the midwives in some areas.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 14:52:11

Yes I think I will give the NHS a try to start with

serenequeen Thu 30-Dec-04 14:54:33

hmmm... my terrible hospital exp last time started as a planned homebirth on the nhs... i couldn't even get anyone to come out and assess me... however, it all depends how good your local community team is.

motherinfestivemood Thu 30-Dec-04 14:56:52

Where are you? What's your community team like? I had my second baby as an NHS home birth and although I too was very nearly called into hospital ('I can't find anyone from your team' the twit at the labour ward said pathetically) I ended up with the most fantastic experience.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 14:58:04

Havent been to the GP yet so will find out what the team's like. I'm in London - N1

motherinfestivemood Thu 30-Dec-04 15:03:59

The other thing is that - without knowing the circumstances of your first birth, obviously - oh yes and while I remember, the thing you are unlikely to get support for on the NHS is a home VBAC - is that a second birth is in any case likely to be much, much easier than your first. It's not guaranteed, but it is very likely. I wrote a piece on this for one of the baby mags a while back. And indeed am one of the many women who had a total nightmare the first time, and nine months of absolute dread the second, culminating in a birth which was light years away from the horror of Day 1.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 15:07:25

MI, unfortunately the horrors of my 1st birth were due to a catalogue of errors and bullying from the hosp, rather than to any physical causes. (The hosp admitted this in writing.) Let's hope it is better next time round though anyway! Oh, and I didnt have a caesar so no concerns about VBAC

motherinfestivemood Thu 30-Dec-04 15:11:20

I see that WWW has already suggested a doula; I know your partner is a GP, but someone else could well be a good reassurance against the possibility that you do end up in hospital after all?

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 15:17:53

But if I find that my community midwives are supportive of homebirth, would I really need to splash out on a doula?

serenequeen Thu 30-Dec-04 15:22:50

you will get continuity of care from your doula at least. how are you going to reestablish trust in the "system" if you go down the nhs community midwives route? did you at least get good support from your community mws last time round during the ante natal period?

motherinfestivemood Thu 30-Dec-04 15:23:07

I meant if you do find that despite opting for a home birth you end up going to hospital.

You're entitled to a home birth, don't forget. It's not a matter of whether they support it or not.

Must go, waily babe!

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 15:26:05

I didnt have community mws last time - chose a hosp other than the 2 attached to my GP's practice so had all my antenatal care in hospital - saw a diff mw every time, and none of them were present at the birth. Hoping going for a homebirth will mean a diff experience right from the start. If not I think I'll go for an indep mw - I know people who've had doulas and tbh I don't think they'd provide enough that's beyond what DH can do to justify the money

WideWebWitch Thu 30-Dec-04 15:37:32

Rouge, I think it will depend on the midwives you get. Got to go (baby clinging to my leg!) but will come back later if I can.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 15:39:03

Thanks. Yes, I agree. Will meet them first then decide.

WideWebWitch Thu 30-Dec-04 16:26:10

The way the midwife team I had in London worked was that you met all of them and although you didn't know who you'd get, it would at least definitely be one of them and there were only 6 of them. In Bristol it was similar, although there were about 12 of them. Is there a midwife led group near you? You could always ring the head of midwifery, explain your concerns and ask her what their policies are. You've nothing to lose at all since if they don't give you what you want (free!) you'll go elsewhere anyway.

rouge Thu 30-Dec-04 18:49:31

Yep - thanks www - I'll check them out and only fork out for an indep mw if I'm not happy. Will hopefully see my GP next week and set things in motion.

AMerryScot Thu 30-Dec-04 19:29:36

A word of caution about involving your GP...

GPs are not often supportive of homebirth, but it's nothing to do with them. It's something to discuss with your midwife - she is perfectly able to discuss your individual risk factors, and for you to come to a decision together. And, you can always change your mind as your pregnancy progresses.

The GP can do their bit of shared care (checking your wee and BP) regardless of where you are giving birth. They don't even need to know about your homebirth plans. The midwife is your main health care practitioner for pregnancy related matters.

WideWebWitch Thu 30-Dec-04 19:39:47

Absolutely amerryscot! There was a thread on this rouge, I'll see if I can find it. You don't need to go to your GP at all if you don't want to!

WideWebWitch Thu 30-Dec-04 19:47:05

Found it! Started by Mears (who is a midwife) here!

ChristmasBOOZA Thu 30-Dec-04 20:25:09

Don't know how it works in your area rouge but in mine a home birth does not guarentee any sort of continuity of care. I think the chances are quite high if you give birth during the week and during the day but otherwise you just get the on-call midwife who could be anyone.

I was lucky in that the midwife I got on Saturday morning arriving about 7.30 am was on my team and had actually seen me at clinic (regular midwife missing) on the previous Thursday. I also remembered seeing her once post-natally after my first baby. So I had met her twice (once over 3 years earlier). I was far luckier in that she was an absolutely brilliant midwife who assisted me to have a lovely birth with DD.

But I think even if you don't get the continuity of care you have much else that is familiar at home and are much more in control which really helps IMO.

rouge Fri 31-Dec-04 12:52:27

Thanks booza - I obviously need to find out how it works round here

Moomina Fri 31-Dec-04 13:00:20

As www says, you don't even need to see your GP. Go straight to the midwives and you probably get a much better reception (not guaranteed of course, but what is?!) You can contact association of radical midwives too for loads of brilliant advice on midwife-led homebirths.

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