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Having a homebirth but disagree with hospital on conception dates

(26 Posts)
Doooford Wed 10-Jun-09 12:14:31

Good afternoon to you all, I have a small request for information and hope that someone has experience with this.

My partner was due to give birth on 05/06/09 (this is our date worked out from the first date of the last period), but the NHS dating scan suggested that the due date was 29/05/09 (which would mean conception was before a period, although possible, we have doubts). So yesterday at a meeting with the midwives it was flagged up that 'officially' we are now 12 days over so need to talk to a consultant about the way forward. Hopefully this will be an easy informative discussion and she will understand the date discrepancy. We have heard of some hospitals putting pressure on at this stage for intervention, and we really want a natural birth at home in our birthing pool. So two things really, does anyone have any experience of disagreeing with the NHS dates, and what are the NHS instructed to do in these instances? What we want from this meeting is really an agreement that we will take all necessary care and precautions in this situation, and visit the hospital daily for checks if needed, but that if everything looks fine and the labour goes ahead at day 18 (under their prediction) they will still provided midwives and allow a home birth. Obviously we expect to sign something in the way of a disclaimer, but apart from the NHS's wildly off due date, the pregnancy has been a perfect example of a healthy pregnancy and we have no reason to believe that the birth would be any different to this. Obviously we have thught long and hard about this, but we are not going to put our baby at risk, and if there is any reason for concern then we will consider the options that come with them when they arrise.

Many thanks in advance for any help!

freyasyummymummy Wed 10-Jun-09 12:38:55

Hi there,
Exactly the same thing happened to me - I felt huge pressure to be induced but thankfully one of my midwives was sympathetic and said they weren't able to do ANYTHING unless I agreed to it so I went 15 days over and gave birth at home on the day I always insisted was my due date!
Stick to your guns and don't let anyone force you into anything you don't want!
Hope it all goes well
x

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Jun-09 13:35:04

How certain are you of your dates? With my DS, the dating scan put us a week ahead of dates, but I'd been charting and knew when I ovulated - and gave birth 1 day earlier than I had calculated I was due. With my current pregnancy, the scan is also putting me a week ahead, but I don't know when I ovulated. So while I'm suspicious of their date, it is possible that I just ovulated on day 7 rather than day 14.

The LMP date is just an average, so if your partner doesn't know when she ovulated, do you have a reason to trust that rather than the scientifically more reliable dating scan?

Doooford Wed 10-Jun-09 14:40:10

Hi Cornflakegirl, if the date is worked out on a 28 day cycle, which it really is like clockwork. With the date of the Period, a usual heavy period being 29th Aug, then the expected due date should be around 5th June, the date we were given from the scan was a due date of 29th June. It's only a week, but obviously a week means alot to the NHS in overdue pregnancies.
Also, on the date on our records it has +/-5 days, does this mean that it wasn't clear, or the midwife wasn't very experienced, or is that just standard practice?

Thank you

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Jun-09 15:00:02

A due date of 29 May would mean conception occurred on 5 September (subtracting 38 weeks). If your partner's last period was 29 August, this would mean she ovulated on day 7, which would be earlier than the average, but not impossible - she could still have a 28 day cycle with a long luteal phase.

Maybe consider what you would want to do if the earlier date was the correct one - do you know the risks of going more than 2 weeks overdue? (I don't know - am hoping I don't need to find out.) I'm sure you'd be able to find threads on here about it. Hopefully your consultant will be helpful and give you sensible advice too.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Jun-09 15:02:09

I don't know about the +/- 5 days btw. I know when I had my anomaly scan they told me that I was measuring bigger than my dates, but that because it was within 5 days of my dating scan, they weren't concerned. So it might be that a 5 day tolerance is standard for scans?

ohmeohmy Wed 10-Jun-09 15:39:22

google Naegele's rule which is how they calculate dates in this country (Others use different methods). All rather arbitrary- he worked it out in the 1700s from studying a few women. We all have different cycles, and different gestations. Normal is 37-42 weeks so already 5 week window of normality. Only 5% babies come on due date but nearly all have come by 42 weeks.

If they give you the scare stories like placenta deterioration ask for scans to see whether anything untoward happening with your baby right now. If you feel happy knowing all the pros and cons choose to wait. They can not force you to induce though they can make it hard for you to resist when you want to. Get the all the facts then you decide.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Jun-09 16:03:13

We don't use Naegele's rule though. As a rough guide we use LMP + 40 weeks, which avoids the issues of different month lengths. And then we do dating scans, which I believe have an actual scientific basis, although still with a margin of error.

Completely agree about getting all the facts and then making up your own mind.

liahgen Wed 10-Jun-09 21:02:58

cornflake Can I just ask you this. I lied about my lmp so that i wouldn't go overdue and the dating scan actually agreed with my new lmp date. How can this be so accurate when my cycle was not what i said it was. (does that make sense)

cornflakegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 09:09:20

So what was your lmp, and what did you say it was? And how long is your cycle?

(Would just like to point out that I am in no way a biology expert. I know some basic biology - the rest is just maths.)

liahgen Thu 11-Jun-09 15:55:29

Cycle used to be 28 days to a T. I just said af was 7 days earlier than it actually was.

Real Af was 9th August, said it was 1st.

cornflakegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 18:13:13

So, you could have ovulated on day 7.

Or you could have ovulated on day 12 and be having a big baby that's due 5 days later than your due date.

Or somewhere in the middle.

liahgen Thu 11-Jun-09 19:57:00

It was day 12, ( I always know follows years of fertility investigations) and she was 9lb 5 17 days early.

cornflakegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 21:10:57

Wow! Good job she didn't cook for any longer! I'm surprised the scan was only 5 days out.

liahgen Thu 11-Jun-09 21:54:07

I don't do small babies. Guess she would have been my biggest at term though. ds2 was 10lb at 40wks to day.

cornflakegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 22:29:10

How did the dating scan compare for him?

JoPie Thu 11-Jun-09 22:48:04

I purposefully lied on my forms about LMP, because where I am they go entirely on a 28 days cycle prenancy wheel as gospel, and as we don't have a dating scan as routine, they refuse to alter any EDD.
I know that I have a 32-34 day cycle, and I know exactly when I ovulated, so I told them that my LMP was 5 days after it actually was. I had to as on my previous pregnancies they insisted each time that I had gone overdue when I knew I wasn't (DC1 born at 41 weeks my dates, 42 by theirs, DC2 born at 40+5 for my dates, but 40+11 theirs)

This way just seemed easier than arguing basic biology with medical professionals!

bacon Fri 12-Jun-09 10:31:09

Well I read that the EDD is only a estimate of the week not the actual day. Because of the paperwork they agreed that it wouldnt work so the professionals opted for a day. Hence the +/- 5 days rule.

As much as you work it out acurrately there is no way of guaranteeing that baby will arrive on that day. So a healthy baby could still arrive 2 weeks later than an acurate date. Im sure I read that overdue babies are generally healthier.

On the subject of day of conception. Another issue as sperm can survive for a few days hence actual conception date make be a few days out because ovualation can happen a few days later than having sex.

I also went through this stress searching for an accurate date but the hospital were only a few days out by my estimate. Even so I still didnt go into spontanous labour (twice). So as much as you want a homebirth if baby still doest show within 15 days over then inducement is the only option.

cornflakegirl Fri 12-Jun-09 11:10:30

You can know the day of conception pretty accurately, as the egg is only viable for about 24 hours after ovulation. So if you're monitoring your temperature and other symptoms, you can be fairly confident of when you conceived.

And I think the point that was made by ohmeohmy earlier is that, whilst the risks of stuff going downhill increase after 42 weeks, it's not like everything suddenly stops working. So as long as you're being monitored, you don't have to agree to being induced.

foxytocin Fri 12-Jun-09 11:21:19

go do some research on Homebirth.org.uk. (or google it.) there is a v. helpful yahoo group/ good luck.

they can't make you to have an induction.
they can't allow you to home birth.

they have a duty of care to provide a midwife at your home when your wife goes into labour.

you do not have to sign any disclaimers at all.

don't have time to post but thought this may help.

cornflakegirl Fri 12-Jun-09 11:57:54

foxy - is that second point supposed to be "they can't refuse to allow you to home birth"?

foxytocin Sat 13-Jun-09 04:54:30

'they can't allow you a home birth' means that they don't have any right at all to say either 'allow we you to have a hb' or 'we don't allow you to have a HB.'

the whole concept doesn't even exist but they like to pretend it does!

sorry, hope that makes it clearer.

but you are right cornflakegirl.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Sat 13-Jun-09 05:12:15

My first and third babies were both two weeks overdue based on Doctor's calculated due date. The 2nd arrived on his due date but this calculation relied on a conception while my husband was away on business in France!

nooka Sat 13-Jun-09 05:40:54

We knew the exact conception date for dd (Christmas morning, and only possible because my parents were playing with eight month old ds!) and my waters still broke 12 days early, exactly the same as ds. I had an irregular cycle, which maybe played a part. As others have said it's not as if it is like clockwork. With dd as I didn't go into labour I was scanned every morning for three days to check dd was alright (we were hoping for a natural labour), so there are ways to go against the normal procedure.

cornflakegirl Mon 15-Jun-09 09:35:24

foxy - thanks, I see what you mean now.

I had a quick browse of the homebirth site - looks like although you have a legal right to a homebirth, you don't have a legal right to midwife attendance at your homebirth, which makes it all a bit scarier.

On the date thing - it would be interesting to know what the true variation in pregnancy lengths is. I guess it would be really hard to measure - even if there was some way to be certain of conception dates for a large enough group of people, you'd still end up with inductions artificially skewing the later end of the data.

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