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Home or the hospital

(87 Posts)
jessnoble Sat 21-Dec-13 18:25:29

I was just wondering, what are peoples opinion on giving birth at home or in a hospital e.g. advantages/ disadvantages

It would be a great help smile

StarlightMcKingsThree Sat 21-Dec-13 21:56:10

Hospitals are for sick people.

WidowWadman Sat 21-Dec-13 21:57:45

Hospitals are also great when things go wrong, which cannot always be anticipated.

StarlightMcKingsThree Sat 21-Dec-13 22:02:33

Though hospitals often are the cause of things going wrong, by interfering with the natural physiological process of birth and applying arbitrary policy and processes.

brettgirl2 Sun 22-Dec-13 06:27:02

My experience:
Better care from the midwives
More relaxing environment
Cleaner than hospital
Own space to bond with baby, no postnatal ward hell
You are at home already, no painful waddle to the car
Partner more relaxed, pool for him to maintain, tea to make

More pain relief
No need to transfer
If there is medical need paeds etc.

You will get lots of people saying 'I'd have died at home'...... which is impossible to prove either way. However, the midwives come out earlier (ime), they get a proper feel for progress and therefore imo are more likely to identify earlier when things aren't right. They are very careful and have tight procedures for eventualities like pph/ baby not breathing.

In my case I would have been transferred with my first as her heartrate was dipping at times (hospital birth anyway) and second I chose to have at home with no problems.

Turnipsandsproutswithtinselon Sun 22-Dec-13 06:36:49

I wouldn't go for a home birth personally because I am truly shit at giving birth (prem baby and then emcs with a stay in intensive care) but I think home births are great for those that can have them.
Also if you decide to have a home birth you may very well end up in hospital, so as with all things birth plan relates - do the research, form a preference, and then accept that you have to take what fate hands you fgrin

TheBrotherHoodOfSteel Sun 22-Dec-13 06:44:49

1 hospital birth - labour lasted 15 1/2 hours and had oxytocin in the end to speed up. Couldn't do what I wanted. Strapped to bed for monitoring. Felt incredibly stressed. No real reason to have interfered as baby was in no rush and in no danger.
2 planned home births - labours lasted under 6 hours. No pain relief needed. No problems. Moved about freely. Births were very easy. Babies very happy. Loved every second of it! grin

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 07:01:19

I don't think hospitals should be demonised, they're not always bad! I had DD2 in hospital, had her in 40mins after arrival, in the water pool, lovely midwife, no pain relief. We went home 4.5 hrs later. Went home to a lovely clean bed with clean sheets and woke up next morning to show DD1 her new baby sister. grin

msmiggins Sun 22-Dec-13 07:28:44

lolalotta I completely agree. I have had two hospital births and they were lovely. Staff were very supportive, delivery suits were comfortable, really good atmosphere. Midwives gave me massage, we played music, lots of clean linen and frsh towels on hand. Even my Oh was given lots of support.
It's not always easy to stick to a birth plan, the idea of no pain relief is difficult to plan-especially for a first time mother- but the truth is birth is extremely painful and can be traumatic.
Many women may want the option of pethidine or epidural-but you won't know that until you are in labour. It won't be an option at home. Travelling to hospital in the intense stages of labour would not be pleasant.

My very normal pregnancy and labour- using only gas an air -resulted in my first being born not breathing, midwives could not resucitate, but peadiatric crash team was there within seconds- rushed my son to specialist care and equipment- and was given life saving treatment that saved his life. He was treated and within hours was pink and healthy- with thankfully no lasting damage.

I dread to think what the outcome would have been at home. Events can turn within seconds duiring a birth, and I'm afraid my comfort comes secondary to my child's welfare.

msmiggins Sun 22-Dec-13 07:33:07

lolalotta- just wanted to add your birth sounds very much like my second- in hospital at 9am, active labour. I gave birth kneeling on the floor at 11am, immediate skin contact and breastfeeding at my leisure, a shower with lots of clean fluffy towels, all the mess taken care of, and home at 3pm same day. A very positive experience.

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 11:13:55

I'm glad there are others who have found hospital a positive experience too. I never particularly planned on no pain relief (I had gas and air and pethidine with my first) it's just the way it unfolded that day. It was a comfort for me to know there are whole teams of professionals on hand if need be.

lolalotta Sun 22-Dec-13 11:17:44

I will admit though it was a bit of a hobble from the delivery suite to the car when it was time to go home... wink

LaVolcan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:30:17

I wish that someone had told me to consider the actual standard of care I would receive rather than the theoretical care.

So in a hospital which might have wonderful facilities you could be completely let down by a shortage of staff, and be treated as though you were on a conveyor belt, or worse, the staff might not know if a problem was developing because no one was around to pay you sufficient attention.

On the other hand a home birth with a community midwife who prefers offering ante and post natal care, and hasn't delivered a baby in years, with the best will in the world, is not as likely to offer the same level of support as one who enjoys home births and does them often.

Squitten Sun 22-Dec-13 20:33:09

DC1 was a planned section. With DC2, I chose to VBAC in the hospital because it felt safer to be near the doctors and the drugs since I didn't know what to expect. Had a very straightforward and pleasant experience.

With DC3, I opted for a homebirth. Had all my care at my house with the same midwife from start to finish. She was lovely and it was great to have someone I knew well attend the birth. The birth itself was much the same as hospital for me (straightforward, no pain relief) but it was nice to be in my own home, which was much more comfortable, with my own stuff, etc. Could just flop into bed afterwards with baby and eat a massive breakfast. The kids could see baby, etc. It was just lovely and I'd recommend it

Skogkat Sun 22-Dec-13 21:26:07

I have had one hospital birth, one home birth and one C-section. Hospital and home birth were both very pleasant. I loved home birth in that it felt much easier and safer in the moment, but my hospital birth was definitely actually safer - it went wrong but DS was immediately treated, quicker than would otherwise have been possible, as we had no warning that anything was wrong and the birth was normal in itself. Also, I liked being in a maternity ward and being able to talk about my worries to people in the same boat to me, in person, at a much closer time than any pregnancy group meeting would have allowed, for example. So after that, if a vsginal birth is possible, I would opt for a hospital birth.

mercibucket Sun 22-Dec-13 21:45:53

home is fab grin

statistically both are equally safe (slightly higher risk for hb for first time mums) although anecdotally the only woman i know whose baby died sad in labour, was in hospital on a machine to monitor heartbeat. just noone actually looked at it sad

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 06:51:29

I too have personal experience of a baby dying at home during a routine birth. Safety over comfort for me.

lolalotta Mon 23-Dec-13 12:51:02

Oh msmiggins, that's so sad! I'm so sorry! hmm

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 13:56:59

lolalotta- oh, not me, but my best friend. Sorry I didn't intend to mislead.

My friend's 3rd baby was born at home ( her 3rd home birth) all was well until the baby developed breathing difficulties seconds after birth. The midwife tried to rescuscitate without success- and an amublance was called.
Paramedics couldn't save the baby and the midwife became hysterical, shouted at my friend " This is why I hate home births!" before running out of the house slamming the door loudly as she left.
My friend has been in tatters since the death of this baby and blames herself 100%.
Although she will never know if the outcome would have been different in hospital she feels that at least the baby would have been goiven the best chance of survival with specialist peadiatric care which was not available at home.

lolalotta Mon 23-Dec-13 18:25:13

Sorry msmiggins fir misunderstanding, how very sad for your friend. That has scared me right off home births!

LaVolcan Mon 23-Dec-13 18:38:30

But then, I have known three people who have lost babies in hospital. Does this mean that hospital is not safe? In one case it definitely just seemed to be one of those things which couldn't have been avoided wherever the birth happened. In the other two - well, I wouldn't like to say definitely, but to my way of thinking, it did sound as though staffing issues were partly to blame - as in mercibucket's example. Did it put people of the hospital - in the first case, no. In one of the other cases, most definitely - the woman refused to go back there. (The third case, I lost touch with.)

mercibucket Mon 23-Dec-13 19:00:34


yes, I notice that my example of a death in hospital didn't put posters off hospital birth. actually it is statistically as safe in either location, but I do think people will blame the mother if hb and the midwife if hospital birth.

msmiggins Mon 23-Dec-13 19:17:59

But in those tragic circumstances at least if you had a hospital birth you would know that everything that could possibly have been done for that baby was done.

If my friend had given birth in hspital and the baby was given expert care then although she would still have the tragedy of her dead baby, but she wouldn't be living with the guilt of feeling that she allowed this to happen.
Not a day passes that she doesn't regret puting her own comfort above that of her baby's safety.

LaVolcan Mon 23-Dec-13 19:32:44

But in those tragic circumstances at least if you had a hospital birth you would know that everything that could possibly have been done for that baby was done.

I think that is the assumption that people make, but could you really say it was so in mercibucket's example? Banging someone on a monitor but then not having someone to look at it, is just an illusion of giving care, and does not seem like an example of doing everything possible. OK then when something has gone wrong everyone runs around and looks busy and start pulling out the stops, but isn't that shutting the stable door when the horse has bolted?

My impression of my HB midwife was that she was more on the ball than the mostly nice hospital midwives, and also had vastly more years experience. So for me, the HB was definitely the safer one.

atomicYuleLoghurt Mon 23-Dec-13 19:39:55

I've had three hospital births. All were different and all were good. One was very slow and two were less than an hour. I had a dedicated midwife and an en suite for all which would not have been the case at home! I didn't have to clean up anything. I didn't have to get in as n ambulance to get to the surgery I needed after the first. I didn't have to worry because paed came running for dd2 when she needed them.
They begged me to have a home birth for my 3rd as we knew it would be short but I refused.

Only complaint I H as vé is how blimmin' hot it is in there.

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