Homebirth in loft conversion/attic room?(16 Posts)
Hi there - just wanted to know if anyone had been able to have a homebirth in a loft conversion or attic room?
Reason for asking is that I met the midwife last week and there are 2 potential issues with my homebirth plans. The first is my iron levels are low, but that is by the by really - am sure they will increase and wont present an obstacle.
The second issue is that I would rather like to actually deliver/labour in my own bedroom, which is on the 2nd floor, in the loft conversion. My reasoning being that is right next to the en-suite, is comfortable and distant from the children's bedrooms (dd and ds). But she said that might not be possible because of potential paramedic emergency access and the effort of getting equipment (i.e. gas and air) upstairs (though I think dh could help with that ). And that I should be on the first floor/ground floor, on a bed (so that they don't have to crouch on the floor). The problem with this is that the beds on first floor might be occupied by the children (if middle of night) and even during the day, am not really enamoured of the idea of birthing on their beds! On the ground floor, the nearest loo is down in the cellar or up the stairs to landing, so not ideal. Also only have tiny sofa in playroom or large but pale coloured sofa in large but pale coloured sitting room - again, not ideal.
This has rather put me off the homebirth idea - seems like such hassle. I have the potential of getting a birth pool, which would negate the need for a bed downstairs. But tbh am not desperate for a waterbirth - and hate having baths at the moment anyway!
The alternative would be pretty much what I did with ds which was to go last minute to hospital (no midwives available) and then discharge myself (and him) as soon as possible, since my main issue with the hospital is the potential overnight stay if the baby arrives in evening or at night. With ds, arrived about 40mins before birth and left within 2 hours. Again though - seems like a bit of a negative approach to what should be a positive experience).
Any advice or guidance would be hugely appreciated. Sorry for this being so long.
Thanks for responding
I can see her point. Really I can. But I could live in a three storey block of flats with no lift - and they'd have the same problem...
The stairs leading from the first floor landing to our bedroom are reasonably wide, but do turn back on themselves whereas the main stairs do a 90degree right angle turn.
I don't know what to do really - there seem to be so many variables (i.e. during day, children out, at night, should we just wait and see if they wake or get them to my mother's house, could put them to bed in our bed, and I could comandeer one of their rooms, but then.....).
Curse these pregnancy hormones causing me to be completely incapable of formulating a plan!
hmm well you know she may have a point about paramedic access, but i'm sure they'd cope. plenty of people live in houses with more than 2 floors.
you know you can insist on giving birth wherever you want anyway don;'t you? so it doens't matter what she says.
my other thought though is are you sure you want to labour lying down??
i found with both my homebirths that I wanted to be up and walking around, and then gave birth leaning over the sofa first time, and in a pool second time.
so it's worth thinking about alternatives to being in bed anyway i think
THanks for responses.
WRT being on bed - I don't want to be lying down on back, but found last time that the most comfortable position was on bed but kneeling at end by headboard. I walked and rocked and did a lot of weird tiptoe "bobbing" last time, which seemed to do the trick.
I don't know why I'm fixating on loos! Not as if I used the loo in hospital when having ds. I think I'm overthinking this - but is a tendency of mine that is kind of exacerbated I think by last time being a thwarted homebirth (though very positive experience as escaped hospital as soon as stitches done).
I would definitely move at the first hint of any need for a transfer or emergency - nothing is worth risking delay.
All food for thought.... will carry on pondering...
if you want to avoid the grief just say you'll "probably" labour downstairs. and then just do it wherever you want,
IME the midwives who attend you in labour are much, much nicer and more sympathetic tghan the ones you see beforehand!
I think your midwife is being conservative and over cautious. Of course the paramedics will be able to get up there if necessary. If it was just half a ladder and a tiny gap in the wall for access then the midwife would call the fire brigade and the ambulance at the same time! Honestly, that is exactly what happens in the Netherlands, and you would go out of the window/roof strapped to a hydrolic lift. You'll be fine. Good luck.
Weeeelll! MIght want to avoid hydraulic lift, but having looked at our stairs, they are really wide and not especially steep. Think OK and hopefully midwife will concur on home visit. Have also as a back up decided that playroom would be fine - with bucket!!!
Unless you have a known medical problem, home birth is far and away the best option. You should have the baby in a quiet place with access to: sleeping facilities - with the baby close by; something to drink; and washing/loo facilities.
Go for your homebirth! The whole point is to be relaxed in your own environment. If that is in your attic bedroom close to your bathroom with all the privacy and dignity which that gives you, then so be it.
Any issues arising will be dealt with as needed; and I fully agree with everyone who has said that paramedics can cope with all sorts of environments, that's what they are trained to do.
When you give birth, your comfort is the most important issue, not that of your midwives so don't worry about them.
FWIW I'm planning a homebirth in the next month and my midwife fully supports me to labour however and wherever I feel most comfortable. She is not worried about crouching on the floor if that's where I happen to be.
I don't have a lot to offer here, except my position is similar to Pooka's and I have been put off the idea of HB because my bedroom is on the 3rd floor/loft conversion. Really interesting to read everyones comments...
Don't know about the paramedics (tho surely they must have to run up stairs if people live in flats?) but the bed downstairs is rubbish - I had a homebirth downstairs and spent the entire time bouncing on or leaning over a birthing ball.
Its the phrase loft conversion. your mw is thinking about balancing on ladders and the paramedics would be less impressed than usual so if it has proper stairs its a third floor. So I would get her round for a risk assessment.
I had both my babies downstairs in the living room, so no bed in sight. My MW for DD (second birth) was fantastic and spent most of her time either sitting on the sofa, or crouched on the floor.
The paramedic access may be an issue, but wouldn't have thought it was insurmountable.
Paramedic access in the event of an emergency is certainly something you should take into consideration when weighing up the risks and benefits. Although paramedics can and will access difficult places, it will lead to delays in getting mum to hospital in an emergency. So your midwife is right to raise it as an issue.
It was a factor in this case: www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article3934513.ece , but not the only one by any means.
However, that said, as long as you are aware of the risks and benefits to the different options, then the decision is still yours to make, and is the same as making any decision in life.
Perhaps you could labour upstairs, but come downstairs for the actual delivery?
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