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So confused over options for childbirth, homebirth/birth centre or hospital. Please share your thoughts and experiences

(12 Posts)
mosschops30 Thu 25-Jun-09 17:35:59

dd was born in hospital, I was young, took the advice of all the medical staff but apart from it being long, it was fine.

I planned to have ds in local birth centre, but was induced at major hospital, again was fine, but dirty and after care very poor.

Now since then I have qualified as a nurse and my experiences and oppotunities to talk to people is obviously greater than before.

I did want a homebirth for no.3 because I know the hospital is understaffed, has other peoples germs in and both locals are under special measures. My mw says no reason for me to go to hospital and should have homebirth.
However have spoken to some docs recently who said that they wouldnt even consider having a homebirth, because of (unlikely, but possible) problems that may occur. I know myself of some dreadfully sad things that have happend to women in childbirth in our hosp, some have been saved, some not so lucky.

So Im left now with a devil on each shoulder and feel dammed if I do and dammed if I dont. Would love some opinions on this

ChocolateRabbit Thu 25-Jun-09 17:41:13

I don't think homebirth is as bad as those medics are making out. How far are you from the hospital?

I'm trying to make up my mind on the same sort of thing at the moment - I'm tempted by a home birth but DH is very reluctant. I have found it very reassuring a) that I can choose to go to hospital on the day if I want to and b) that it will take 20 mins to get a theatre ready and page medical staff etc which is as long as it would take for an ambulance to arrive, get me to hospital and get me into theatre.

My current plan is to think about hiring a doula who can help me make these decisions both in advance and when it all comes down to it. Is that an option?

mosschops30 Thu 25-Jun-09 17:45:01

We only live about 5 minutes from hospital (in a rush) but who's to say that an ambulance would be available, and there have been plenty of cases where baby has become bradycardic and by time woman gets to major hosp (even from local birth centre) its too late sad

The trouble with working there is that you know this stuff and makes your decisions to much harder

reikizen Thu 25-Jun-09 17:53:06

Bloody doctors! The 'bad things' that happen rarely do so without warning, and midwives are trained to spot these I can assure you! The threshold for problems is much lower at home. We have no interest in letting a bad situation deteriorate as not only is a baby's life on the line, so is our job. I had dd2 at home during my training as a midwife, and it was a case of the more you know about hospitals the less you want to do with them. Being in hospital will not prevent bad things from happening, neither is it a guarantee that these bad things can be solved. I would challenge your comment about the bradycardia, I'd like to see the evidence, but in any case I have been party to several terminal bradycardias which have happened only metres from theatre where the baby has still died. If you want my advice (from experience of working with obs & gynaae experts) make up your own mind, they are trained to look for the abnormal after all.

Lulumama Thu 25-Jun-09 17:57:25

doctors and obs. are usually a bit less pro homebirth as they tend to see the worse case scenarios

alos, if you you are at home, with one to one care, issues with the labour and hearbeat will be picked up and you will be transferred in

but if you are going to be at home panicing about all the 'waht ifs?' then you might be better off being in hospital if you will feel too anxious /stressed at home as tht can inhibit labour

or you can start at home and transfer in if you don;t feel able to cope at home, or a reason to transfer in transpires

you can;t transfer home from hospial once labour is underway

sometimes, as reikiezen has said, things can go catastrophically wrong in hospital , giving birth at home is not a cast iron guarantee of everything being perfect, neither is being in hospital

mololoko Thu 25-Jun-09 20:05:15

I had a homebirth, and exactly these kind of worries beforehand.

when I was referred to the consultant for her to sign me off for a homebirth (standard procedure here), she was so encouraging and said she's had 3 of her 4 babies at home. She said mostly you can spot when something's going wrong in labour, and the time it would take for an ambulance to come to me was no more time than they would take to prep an operating theatre. And then you'd be straight in there as soon as you arrived at hospital.

You get two midwives all to yourself and thus have their whole attention to make sure nothing is going awry. They carry a good deal of resus kit with them.

I was in labour for 5 days and would almost certainly had intervention if I had gone to hospital. As it was, we had a lovely birth (eventually!) in a pool in the kitchen.

If you haven't already, have a look at www.homebirth.org.uk/.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 25-Jun-09 20:22:16

Message withdrawn

mosschops30 Fri 26-Jun-09 12:33:53

Thanks to all who have posted. Im still unsure, and having my own arguments with myself all the time about it. There are so many for and against for both sides.

FWIW I know it doesnt take 30 minutes to prep a theatre, unless someone is just leaving it, even then 30 minutes is a long time. In some surgeries we have the next pt in the anaesthetic room for an induction whilst the other patient is still in surgery. Also for an emergency the anaesthetic induction is quick and the primary concern is to intubate and get on with it (safely of course). Its usually the team (I mean docs) that take up the time!!

I think I have to remember that my previous two births have been problem free, and although that doesnt gurantee me an easy ride, Im less likely to encounter problems, also if an ambulance wasnt available then dh could get me to hospital in 5 minutes. I may also go and have a look at the major hospital's midwife led unit (there are also two outlying mlu) just to see what its like, but I think deep down I still really want that homebirth. I havent spoken to anyone who's ever regretted it

Reallytired Fri 26-Jun-09 12:33:57

A homebirth gives you one to one care with an experienced midwife and two midwives for the second stage. Low risk women get very little attention in hospital and its very stressful getting to hospital.

Infact hospitals often cause complications with excessive needles, continous monitoring and treating a labouring woman as a medical emergency.

I had my son in hospital and I experienced terrible pain, even with an epidural. At home I managed with just TENS. Don't get me wrong, it hurt but it was like having nasty stomach bug rather than agony.

cory Fri 26-Jun-09 14:15:28

of course bad things can happen without warning in a homebirth

we have at least one MN on the SN forum whose dd was left severely brain damaged after a home birth where sufficient equipment for resuscitation was not at hand

but then, as you know, bad things can happen in a hospital birth too

we have MNers with that experience, too

you can never eliminate all risk

as for the risk that can be eliminated, that is about looking at your own particular situation and trying to estimate where the risks lie for you

some women are so stressed out by being in hospital that the stress actually adds considerably to the risk for them

others (like me) probably feel less stressed in hospital, or at least aren't fussed either way

only you can know

but a doctor is naturally going to lean more towards the medical birth, because that is what they know well

sabire Fri 26-Jun-09 21:52:11

Mosschops - if it were true that homebirth were riskier than hospital birth, you'd expect to see it reflected in the mortality and morbidity statistics, and you don't.

Tens of thousands of babies have been born at home over the past few decades and there has been no difference in death rates between home and hospital.

My common sense tells me that there will be some babies born at home who would have been better off in hospital. But it also tells me that, logically - this has to be balanced out by the higher numbers of women experiencing dysfunctional labours in hospital ending in a poor outcome. If this were not the case then you'd see comparatively higher rates of deaths and birth injuries among babies born at home.

juuule Fri 26-Jun-09 21:58:24

I preferred to labour at home until transition and then did the journey to the hospital (about 15mins) so that I would be in a place with all essential equipment should I or the baby need it. By the time I arrived at the hospital I was feeling 'pushy' and baby usually arrived 10 to 30mins later. Great. No time for prodding, poking or much else. I then got discharged as soon as possible to do so (usually after 2pm when notes were given out).

I did consider unassisted birth for the 9th but ended up induced due to being 14 days overdue (I wasn't willing to risk going longer than that).

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