Considering home birth - any experience

(13 Posts)
tiokiko Sun 17-Jul-11 20:47:59

I'm 28w with DC2 and have just started to think about a home birth.

DD is 2.7, I found her birth was manageable, TENS and G&A, small tear/graze with a couple of stitches but felt good overall.

Postnatal care was poor and I hated being in hospital (not in Edin, was in England for DD), would feel that even more this time I would prob be in ERI and would be desperate to get home to DD.

I would love to have a home birth, but am unsure - has anyone had recent experience of home birth in Edinburgh?

evitas Mon 18-Jul-11 11:08:27

Hi tiokiko, in the past year 3 of my friends tried a home birth, however, for different reasons, they all had to go to the royal in the end. But their experiences were very positive, they all had a big bath in their living rooms, and they spent most of the in the warm water, the MWs were lovely and very supportive and they did all they could to deliver the babies at home, and it was just at the very end, when they thought that the baby wasn't well or that things were nor progressing as expected that they called an ambulance. In hospital, just one of them had to stay a couple of days and the other two were discharged a few hour latter.

Hope your pregnancy is going well. Good luck

tiokiko Mon 18-Jul-11 13:54:34

Thanks evitas - that's interesting.

I don't really like the idea of transferring at the last minute so would need to get my head round that really. We are 20+ minutes from the Royal and I'm concerned that's quite a way if there are any problems with me or the baby.

Everything is going well so far so at this stage I'd be considered low risk but I don't know how to get past the anxiety of what would happen if there were problems - resus for baby etc.

Will see what the MW says and keep researching, have a while before we need to make a decision at least!

Groovee Mon 18-Jul-11 15:58:58

May be very helpful for you x

suzikettles Mon 18-Jul-11 16:03:08

Unless you have a csection ERI chuck you out let you go home within hours of the birth. We barely had time to visit SIL in hospital (baby born at 3am, home by 3pm), so even if you do go for the hospital option you may not have much of a chance to miss dd wink

Sorry - not useful blush

gingerwench Tue 19-Jul-11 15:43:08

DD was a planned HB in Edinburgh 2 months ago.

I had a straightforward birth with DS 3 years ago. That was at ERI as I was induced (but no drip). I had some pain relief from G&A, 2nd degree tear and stitches. DS born in the evening and desperate to get out of hospital the following morning and I hated waiting around until I was finally discharged in the afternoon. The community midwife said "homebirth for you next time!".

So I was considered low risk and the community midwives were v supportive of a home birth for DD. In the end she came before the midwife (DH was just putting the tarpaulin etc down on the floor!) and we did it alone with minimal pain relief (paracetamol and normal bath until my waters broke then 20 mins of the tens machine). Somewhat annoyed that I had G&A in the room next door that we couldn't access!

DD was born about 8pm. By 10pm I was tucked up in bed, there was no mess and at 8am the next day I was playing on the floor with DS and his lego. Brilliant.

We are less than 10 mins drive from ERI though and i find hospital environments stressful so this helped me decide.

Bellebelle Thu 21-Jul-11 20:47:36


I had a planned HB with DD2 in Sept 08 and had a very good experience, called Midwife at about 11.30pm, she was there in 20 mins, second midwife arrived at about 2.30am and DD2 born at 3.30am. By 4.30am everything had been tidied away by midwives and DH, they left and we were tucked up in bed for a couple of hours sleep before DD1 woke up to meet her sister. It was a really fantastic experience.

My reasons for doing it were:

DD1's birth in hospital was okay but I instinctively felt that I would be better off at home and more in charge of the whole process.

We had no one who could reliably have DD1 if I went in to hospital. We had a back up plan I had been transferred to hospital but it wasn't ideal. In the end she woke up at about 12.30am, DH read her a story and she went back to sleep.

I genuinely think that it was a better experience for the whole family both during and after the birth from a bonding and settling point of view. There are many opinions out there about women who just don't want to eat hospital food or share a ward with other people. There's no doubt that it's a great bonus being in your own home but i don't believe that anyone bases a HB decision on such factors.

We are also 10 mins from hospital. The kit which the midwives have at your home (delivered 2 weeks before your EDD) is pretty comprehensive and includes a resuscitation kit for both adults and babies, other than surgery they can perform most procedures there and then if the worst happens and as my MW explained it to me if I did need to go to surgery then the hospital would be called to prepare and I would go straight in on arrival which realistically could take the same length of time as being brought from a delivery room to theatre once everything was organised. The MW are very cautious and will recommend hospital transfer as soon as they identify a possible problem.

My advice to anyone considering a HB is always to make sure that you're comfortable with the "what if's" If the doubts and worries you have about "what if this happens...?" are too big then don't do it. One of the biggest benefits of a HB is that you will be more relaxed but if you're too concerned about something going wrong then it could have the opposite effect. HB is such an emotive subject and individual opinions are influenced by many different factors including your attitude to risk. I'm someone who likes to know the facts, I read everything I could lay my hands on about HB, arguments for and against, looked at the statistics and made my own judgement which I was comfortable with, in my mind a HB is low risk in the right circumstances. I have many friends who would never consider a HB as they regard it as too risky, the "what if I'm the 1 in 10000 etc".

Good luck

mawbroon Thu 21-Jul-11 22:17:56

Congratulations Gingerwench! Can't believe your ds is 3 already!! smile

gingerwench Tue 26-Jul-11 21:04:36

Thanks mawbroon - how are you and yours?!

OP - I think Bellebelle's post is pretty comprehensive esp the last paragraph.

WillPenn Thu 04-Aug-11 14:35:21

I had DD2 at home three years ago. DD1's birth sounds a lot like your experience, OP, so like you I decided to have a go at home the second time around as I had not liked the hospital at all. As soon as I mentioned a homebirth the community midwives were very enthusiastic and supportive. All the kit was delivered smoothly, including the gas and air. And, most importantly, the birth itself was great. The midwife was lovely (still chat to her when I bump into her in the local shops!) and everything went according to plan. We are about 15 mins from the ERI, but the midwives made me feel confident in the run-up to the birth that if anything went awry it would quickly be spotted and a ambulance called. I also had a pool in the living room, which I had DD in (had had DD1 in water too).

tiokiko Thu 04-Aug-11 21:38:55

Thanks everyone for such helpful posts, you've given me lots to think about, great to hear your real experiences.

I'm still really undecided - would love to have HB but am concerned that the niggling 'what ifs' that Bellebelle mentioned will be counter-productive and will make me more anxious = more difficult labour.

Mentioned it to MW and she was very non-committal, just said that the birthing centre at ERI will be open by then or I can use LDRP unit, nothing more so I guess she's not v pro-HB.

I still have some time to research and mull it over though, really appreciate all the help to date - thanks.

Bellebelle Sat 06-Aug-11 13:49:20

Meant to say that while some MW's are very enthusiastic about HB you may find yourself underwhelmed by your midwife's response as I and friends have been when we've broached the subject. Don't assume that it's because they don't support, as a community midwife I imagine it's more a case of thinking "great, another potential night without sleep!" The community midwives in Edinburgh already have huge workloads and they don't get the day off the next day if they're up all night with a HB. The 2nd midwife at my HB was on her third night call out in 2 weeks and had a good natured moan about it. DH was asking our midwives about what the arrangements were and they said that if they had appointments/clinics etc the next day they might try to get colleagues to cover but they tried to fulfil all their commitments like home visits etc and catch up on sleep later.

Fiolondon Mon 29-Aug-11 14:43:03

I think bellebelle has said it all very well but I thought I would chip in to say that you are not mad, bad or dangerous to be thinking about hb. I had ds at home in 2009 and dd in 2011. Couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Made it much quicker and easier. Was able to use hypnobirthing and water to best effect. But we used independent midwives both times to maximize our chances of it working out. They can be more flexible than the nhs as with them you're on the same timetable as in hospital (look it up on the NICE website - intrapartum care). consider this option if you can - my piggy bank is now very empty! I was also totally convinced it was best place for us - as belle says the risks are actually finer balanced than most people think. It's difficult to think about but the risk of losing a baby is about 1 in 1000 for low risk pregnancies whether at home or hospital. Otherwise women planning a homebirth (even if they transfer before or during labour) are half as likely to have a cs, half as likely to have a venture//forces delivery, less likely to get an infection, less likely to have baby admitted to sbc and more likely to have baby with higher APGAR scores. I felt that the accumulated total of "everyday" dangers posed to me and the babies was greater than the "what if we are the rare emergency case which could benefit from immediate hospital care"...... it's a tough decision but make sure you decide based on the facts and your feelings about them, rather than anyone else's uninformed opinions! (you'll have to be quite strong to resist comments from others like "you're brave" etc but then again you could wait to 37 weeks, decide then and spring it on folk when its too late!
Good luck

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