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Home birth pack

(18 Posts)
RedZuleika Wed 22-Jun-05 09:52:31

I've heard of these things and someone on another thread has said that your midwife will give it to you at 38 weeks, if you're booked for a home birth.

Can anyone tell me what the pack contains? Is it stuff primarily for the use of the midwife or the mother? I ask because I am using an independent midwife, who will of course have her own gas and air etc - but if there's stuff included for my use (a spare bucket, some new towels... ) then I'd like not to miss out just because a lack of confidence in the CMW's support for my decision has caused me to feel that I have no option but the privately-funded route.

tortoiseshell Wed 22-Jun-05 09:53:47

I think it's things for the midwife to use - like the mouthpiece for the gas and air. Also sterilised gloves etc. I didn't look in mine tbh.

tortoiseshell Wed 22-Jun-05 09:54:01

Think you might be a bit optimistic re new towels though!

emmamama Wed 22-Jun-05 09:57:14

Hiya, it was me!

I'm trying to remember what ws in it - some plastics sheets, lots of gloves, surgical equipment like scissors, crochet hook for waters, all the basic things she would need for the delivery.

What's been the problem RedZuleika?

RedZuleika Wed 22-Jun-05 14:13:33

Thanks. I think I'll assume that it contains stuff for the midwife that I won't need. Not sure why you'd want a crochet hook-thing at a home birth, though: I appreciate it's for rupturing the membranes, but I don't see why it's necessary to do this at home - particularly since it's likely to make the labour more painful and your painrelief options differ to what they would be in a hospital setting.

It's not a huge problem - I just felt that when I discussed homebirth with the midwife at my surgery, she didn't fill me with confidence. I have raised antiphospholipid antibodies (basically my blood is a bit clotty) so am on low dose aspirin and heparin until week 36. This allegedly makes me 'high risk', with the choice of the main labour ward at the maternity or... well - that's it really. So I choose not to choose the labour ward and hope to do it at home. She went on about how it was of course my legal right to birth at home (but only after I'd pointed this out to her) but that I'd have to see the consultant, listen to the risks etc - basically so that they could be absolved of all blame should anything go wrong. Of course, all this couldn't be done until week 37 or something - and I really don't want to leave the hassle of it until then. Or then have to get all confrontational about how I don't want to jump through the three dozen hoops they've set up to persuade me of my folly. And at the birth, I'd like to have someone present whose judgement I trust, not someone who's afraid of not following guidelines, come back on them etc.

There are risks associated with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, even medicated - including a slightly higher risk of pre-eclampsia (depending on whose research you read), low birth weight, early delivery etc. However - if I get to September without incident, then I don't think I need to justify wanting a home birth. Also - despite the supposed risks of the condition - my consultant hasn't had me back for the extra monitoring, platelet testing etc recommended on the RCOG website. I'm quite happy with this - if I wanted my platelets tested, I would ask - but given that the guidelines haven't been followed by the NHS, I don't think I can then be subjected the anticipated shroud-waving come September.

Ok. Rant over. It just gets my goat. And this was after the GP had given me all the stuff about an 'untried pelvis' and the such like...

katylou25 Wed 22-Jun-05 14:21:23

Might need to break your waters at a home birth just as much as in hospital as sdometimes they dont go! Mine had to be broken as ds's head was crowning and they still hadnt gone - guess they just wouldnt do it early like they sometimes do in hospital to speed labour along.

RedZuleika Wed 22-Jun-05 14:43:01

But what's wrong with a baby being born in the caul? It used to be considered good luck.

emmamama Wed 22-Jun-05 14:50:52

Mine were broken to speed labour up. I'd been 8cms since the midwife first arrived at 11.30 and not making progress. They waited for 8 hours until they did it. DS2 was born an hour later.

I was actually begging them to do it at about 4 a.m. as the same thing happened with DS1! I knew it would speed things up and was fully prepared for the consequences!

starrynight Wed 22-Jun-05 15:48:14

I am hoping for a home birth for baby no.4 and wasn't too filled with hope by the mw either. (ooh, we haven't had a homebirth for 5 months now!!)

Hope all goes well - and I think about 10% of babies would be born in the waters if left alone - nothing wrong with that (though I guess at some point they would have to be ruptured but once the baby is out you could do it with anything rather than crochet hook)

Ameriscot2005 Wed 22-Jun-05 16:26:36

The home birth pack contains all the disposable bits - inco pads, gloves, apron etc.

Anything expensive, or any kind of medication, she brings with her to the birth.

RedZuleika Wed 22-Jun-05 16:46:34

Damn - have to buy my own nice new towels then...

I'd assumed that if the membranes don't go before, they'll go at the point that the baby emerges... fluid everywhere, amniotic sac over its head which you then have to lift away. Never seen it in practice, though.

Starrynight: I'm not suprised if that's their response! Hope it goes well. I was also told that having a home birth was 'very privileged' because you have two midwives in attendance. So you're made to feel that you're a demanding old trout for taking midwives away from other women...

Ameriscot2005 Wed 22-Jun-05 17:14:44

4 of my births have had the water going as the baby emerges and one about half an hour beforehand. The early rupture was by far the messiest.

merglemergle Wed 22-Jun-05 17:29:52

Hi redzuleika. Assume you've seen these 2 sites?

Uk homebirth site


association of radical midwives

Very useful for stats on why homebirth does NOT mean you are taking resouces from other women, etc. Couldn't find anything on the antibody thing you mention but you might have more sucess as you'll understand it better. Or post a question!

I've been booked for 2 hbs now (1st involved emergency transfer, 2nd...still fingers crossed-but thats another thread). No-one's ever given me a pack, I'm afraid.

However, if you want to know what you should assemble for yourself at a hb, this is quite a useful list. The chocolates and notice for the door are especially important, IMO.

merglemergle Wed 22-Jun-05 17:31:46

Ds was a caul baby, btw. 1 hr labour! I don't think it actually causes any problems.

And he's definately lucky. He's always throwing himself off things, climbing all over the place, and he's still alive. He really does land on his feet way more often than you'd expect.

giraffeski Wed 22-Jun-05 17:33:45

Message withdrawn

merglemergle Wed 22-Jun-05 18:03:45

Ummm...I've been told to provide my own plastic sheeting and pads. I don't think they provide very much at all round here.

Mind you, if you go into hospital, nothing is supplied, apart from cotton wool. So don't do what I did and fail to pack a hospital bag, thinking "I'm sure it'll be fine...but if it isn't...they'll be used to this happening and will give me stuff.". They didn't. Dp had to go to the all night Tescos.

gish Wed 22-Jun-05 21:04:19

Both mine were born at home. My second baby was born in the caul, it was absolutely beautiful to see her floating and surrounded by water - she looked very serene through the thin cloudy membranes, we all stared at her for about 2 minutes after the birth until the midwife popped the bag and she emerged. - and it is supposed to be good luck!

A good friend had her membranes ruptured at home (she was booked for hb) to speed things up, but had to transfer in as baby got distresses soon afterwards. I think the midwife she had was inexperienced, there really is no need to rupture membranes unless there is a specific medical reason, and that is rare. Research shows that it very often doesn't speed labour up and when it does it is only by a very short period of time, so often not worth risking more painful contractions and distress to the baby.

In my home birth kits were basically all the medical bits for the midwives for delivery, nothing that exiting.

You will get the best care you can possibly get with an IM RedZuleika, I think you have made a very wise choice, you are definately increasing your chances of having a lovely, normal birth! Hope thats exactly how it goes for you.

Btw, have you seen this? homebirthgroup

RedZuleika Thu 23-Jun-05 08:29:43

Thanks merglemergle and gish - yes, I've seen all the websites / message boards / bumpf about homebirth. I don't think there's very much around about the implications of antiphospholipid wotsits in labour though - either because there aren't any specific issues or (more likely) because no one has done the research yet. There are contraindications to having an epidural when on heparin (risk of spinal bleed) but this is stopped at week 36 and only takes 24 hours to leave your system anyway - but is another reason to stay out of hospital. I also wouldn't relish the idea of major surgery (i.e. a Caesarean) whilst at higher risk of DVT. The only thing my IM is specifically going to look into is whether a physiological or managed third stage is better (given that I'll be more clotty than the next person at that point).

I've had a shuftie at Mary Cronk's list (laughed at her builder's tea request). My midwife has given me a list of things to acquire (angled lamp, plastic sheets, bucket etc) but also includes herbs to make up a healing bath for your bits after the birth. It feels a bit like witchcraft really.

Gish: caul sounds very interesting. Must be very rare to see that these days.

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