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Attitudes to homebirth

(58 Posts)
rouge Sat 01-Jan-05 19:28:37

Feeling p*ssed off after a dinner party last night where the other (child-free) guests mocked and tut-tutted at an absent friend for having a homebirth - they made her out to be a complete nutcase "earth mother" and were very disapproving about the "risks". I'm PG for the 2nd time and, after a disastrous hospital birth first time round, am planning a homebirth. I mentioned this early on in the conversation but they just carried on belittling this other woman's decision.


Do I need to brace myself for more of this? What attitudes have you all encountered?

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 19:32:00

Lots of raised eyebrows the first time, especially as it was the first time I suppose but even more negativity the second time, surprisingly, considering that a) I'd done it before and all was well and b) I lived in a part of the country with a very high level of home births (Torbay in Devon). It really pissed me off no end. I don't know what you could have said though other than 'have you researched this? Because I have and a planned homebirth is as safe as hospital birth.' Tbh though there often isn't much point in trying to talk to ill informed childless people. Didn't stop me trying though! Annoying innit?

brusselbeansprouts Sat 01-Jan-05 19:33:53

I feel for you. I planned a birth centre home-from-home birth and got everything from "ooh, you're brave" to horrific stories about women who had planned these and ended up as medical emergencies, almost in a "serves them right" fashion. I was surprised and disappointed but then resigned myself to it not being their business and not needing their approval. Shame though.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 20:04:19

Btw, I have a recurring argument with one of my best friends which always happens when we've had too much to drink and she says 'I'd have died if I hadn't been in hospital' and I say 'no you bloody wouldn't, they'd have transferred you. And the only way you could prove me right is if you were, in fact, dead and unable to have this conversation with me.' It's very silly and we always laugh about it in the morning. So there you go!

Fran1 Sat 01-Jan-05 20:04:58

TTC with no 2 at mo, and i already feel as though i want a home birth, would like to hear any info you have, particularly on how one copes if an emergency??

I had good delivery first time round, using gas and air.

Havn't done any research into this yet, as i felt better get pg first!! Can u use gas an air at home?

Man;y thanks!

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 20:05:46

You can use gas and air at home. Will see if I can find some home birth threads fran1.

Tommy Sat 01-Jan-05 20:07:43

Interesting to read that rouge (and extremely annoying I shold think for you!) I would like a homebirth for my third (not actually pg yet but that is a minor issue)and I think some people would probably say that I am a bit of an earth mothery type (I think it's all that breast feeding and washable nappies...) but my cousin had a homebirth for her 4th and she isn't in the slightest bit earth mothery - I think she just felt she could probably manage without the hospital. There seems to be some midwife-led units and maternity hosps (fortunately mine included)who are really trying to increase homebirths - go for it girl. I'll be interested to know how you get on [smile[

Tommy Sat 01-Jan-05 20:07:57

or even

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 20:11:24

one here , there's another here and another here and here Lots of us homebirthers on mumsnet, almost all positive I think!

Fran1 Sat 01-Jan-05 20:15:25

thanks www.

Once i'm persuaded i then need to persuade dp, he thinks it'd be "messy" lol

And those of you that have had homebirth did you have older siblings around?

I would like dd to stay in the house, cos it wouldn't appear to her that shes being shoved off else where to make way for new baby - start as we mean to go on sort of thing.

But i wonder how this would work. I wouldn't want her watching every gory detail, but i would want dp with me, and so i am sure she would be at his side also!! What are your views.

Also wouldn't fancy inviting any relatives to look after her in another room as i feel this would be "our" private time and wouldn't need an audience.

Think i will be keeping my fingers crossed that i deliver in the night when dd is asleep!! lol

Fran1 Sat 01-Jan-05 20:15:43

Oh thx www i'll have a look now.

ChristmasBOOZA Sat 01-Jan-05 20:18:40

Did get the "brave" comment quite a few times. And people went on about the risks. But the main thing was the mess -why have all that mess at home when you can have it in the hospital. And that was mainly childless people.

But basically the midwives cleared up the mess and, of course, what you will be well aware of Rouge but they won't be(the childless, that is) is that the mess won't have stopped after the six hours in hospital which is what a lot of people have after the second birth. There'll still be heavy bleeding, leaking nipples and a baby (so lots of wee, sick and poo) to contend with. Also I think once you've had a child your mess tolerance levels do tend to increase.

I actually think there is a lot of ignorance about home births. The only pain relief not available is an epidural. And the stats are all very positive so don't be put off. I'm not really very earth motherish but am really glad I had a home birth. I got great support from Mumsnet also.

hatterselfamerrymerrychristmas Sat 01-Jan-05 20:19:49

As a mum it would NEVER occur to be to mock or belittle anyone for their choice of childbirth - whether hospital or home - had one of each, am a big home fan but that's me and my business and ditto for other mums and their choices. As for non-parents they probably know bugger all about childbirth (I couldn't claim to knowing much more other than it hurts and where they come out) and this is downright unpleasant arrogance. I think the "have you actually researched this, read anything about it, do you know anything at all about this" approach is the right one.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 20:20:50

Fran1, here you go, home birth and siblings thread!

hatterselfamerrymerrychristmas Sat 01-Jan-05 20:23:15

Fran - don;t worry about the mess - midwives are fantastic about this - you'll have less to deal with than in a short-staffed hospital

bottle Sat 01-Jan-05 20:23:40

i had these sort of comments about my planned homebirth - horrid - another time i probably would not mention it as got fed up with having to field comments
next time round plan to have ds their if he is up, have heard children are unphased by it all and would not want anyone else there really, maybe my mum- hope it goes well for you

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Jan-05 20:24:14

Completely agree, there is no mess, the midwives clear up and take the placenta away (unless you want to keep it, I didn't).

ChristmasBOOZA Sat 01-Jan-05 20:25:24

The mess really isn't that bad Fran. I delivered in the bedroom and my DH bought home a load of plastic from the warehouse at his work - its what they use for covering pallets I think. He told the warehouse manager what he wanted it for and his reply was OMG in a very emphasised voice. We covered the mattress and the bedroom floor with this. Then I bought a Smartprice sheet from Asda for about £2 which we put over the plastic and threw away afterwards. I actually delivered stood at the side of the bed but was on the bed afterwards for delivering the placenta and cuddling DD. We also put some of the plastic down in the bathroom.

The other thing I bought was some of those Pampers changing mats for laying on afterwards when I was bleeding heavily. I think I held one pressed against me when I went to the toilet.

As for children my midwife said we had to make childcare arrangements even if it was nighttime because of the risk of transfer. But in the end it was too quick and PILs didn't get here in time and DS was just downstairs watching a Tweenies video blissfully unaware.

Fran1 Sat 01-Jan-05 21:30:35

I'm not bothered about the mess, dp is cos he is squeamish!!

Really useful hearing all your stories, and thanks for the links www, very useful too.

hattynewyear Sat 01-Jan-05 22:07:46

dd2 came so quickly that we didn't have time to get the plastic sheeting out. we had to throw away a sheet (no big deal in teh scheme of things) and we have a mattress with a big deep brown (once red) stain on it. We're really very fond of it! honestly

ChristmasBOOZA Sat 01-Jan-05 22:10:16

Well hope some of that reassures your DP Fran. As far as your DP is concerned I don't think he will experience any more mess than in hospital. If he's present at a birth (even if he's strictly head-end ) he's bound to experience some mess. Might be called on to make some cups of tea and cook you your first post-natal meal etc but thats balance against trailing to the hospital and back etc.

And for the sqeamish its sometimes nicer not to have the clincial surroundings IYSWIM.

My DH was a bit uncertain at first. But once he saw I was being sensible, had weighed up the options and was present at a discussion with the midwife he came round to it. Afterwards he was very pleased I had opted for it and found it a great experience.

Have to confess to a stain on our mattress too - down the side which wasn't covered in plastic because we were also rushing. After the birth I sat on the edge of the bed which caused it.

scubamum Sun 02-Jan-05 13:57:05

At the start of my (first)pregnancy I wanted a home birth - did not like the idea at all of going into a hospital. I made my thought known early on with my Dr & MW, although I had to wait until 38wks for my consultant to approve a home or water birth.

Everything was arranged so if it did happen at home - MW visit, pethidine (prescription from Dr and drug obtained). If you arrange a home birth (even if it is not your first choice) you can go ahead with it or change your mind in labour, but you can not choose homebirth if not planned for (of course unless bubs has other speedy ideas).

I faced 'you want it in hospital' from many people (mainly mothers) especially as it was my first and with several friends endurring long with some complications on their first labours, did sway me towards the water rather than home delivery. In the end neither happened - contractions got v painful early on and did not think I could cope for another 24hrs at home in labour, so went to hospital, but she was coming too quickly for me to have a water birth.

baby calls....

Mirage Mon 03-Jan-05 09:52:36

I wanted a homebirth with this baby,but sadly can't due to being diagnosed with Group B Strep.

I have to say that I was shocked by some of the things people said to me when I told them that I had planned to have a homebirth.A female GP at my surgery,(thankfully not my GP) said that I shouldn't have a homebirth,& I quote, 'because I saw a baby die just after birth in hospital once,things can go wrong very quickly you know'.

My aunt said that she was glad I had to have a hospital birth ,because she didn't think it was safe to have babies at home.My mum,who had planned to have me & my sister at home,but didn't,told me that maybe hospital was for the best,as I wouldn't have to worry about keeping the house tidy for the midwife!Friends have tut-tutted & shook their heads when I've mentioned it too.

The midwife at the hospital was the only one person I've spoken to who was supportive of home births.I am very disappointed not being able to have this baby at home,& disappointed by people's attitude

Titania Mon 03-Jan-05 09:58:06

I wanted my third at home after 2 previous bad hospital births.....the doctor and DH weren't keen and everyone else thought I was stupid........but I went ahead with it and I'm glad I did......4 and a half hours from start to finish....was more relaxed at home and felt able to cope with the pain better and felt more in control of things......waters broke at 9am, ds2 born 1.36pm.....midwives gone and everywhere tidy buy 3pm.......(the midwives did all the cleaning up adn changed the sheets for me btw) I would do it all over again. Afterwards when everyony asked and I said I had a home birth they said 'oh your so brave!!!!' DH is glad we had a homebirth as he got to soend more time with the baby after he was born rather than being sent away soon after like at the hospital....

If it's what you want then go for it.....Good luck and go with your heart......not everyone elses opinions. x x

hattynewyear Mon 03-Jan-05 11:09:33

Mirage - my gp said "I don't want anything to do with a homebirth. I won't be rushing out to treat you if you have a post-partum hemoerrage" (scuse spelling) I was so shocked. I ended up walking to work in tears (I was about 35 weeks and terrified of going back to hospital). And ended up with an independent midwife. I just wasn't up to fighting. The GP said she didn't want anything to do with me, but I didn't want anything to do with someone who could so cynically employ such stupid scare tactics. Oddly enough the same GP has been very supportive to me about other health issues.

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