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Can I have a homebirth even though I'm obese?

(10 Posts)
Emmawemmawoowah Mon 14-Dec-15 20:55:52

I know that my midwives will probably do their best to talk me out of it, I was just wondering if anybody could shed any light for me.

I've always had a phobia of hospitals and our nearest hospital is an hours drive away.

I'm not due until next July, I've only known for a couple of weeks but I'm wanting to explore my options.

This is my second pregnancy, DD was born 10 days late without complications weighing 8lb 13oz. I had no major tears, was able to use the birthing pool and only had a 5 hour labour in total with 10 minutes pushing. My placenta had 'ragged membranes' but this was the only problem, everything else was straight forward.

What are everyone's thoughts?

DinoSnores Mon 14-Dec-15 21:20:18

Completely ignoring the weight issue, I'd personally really not be comfortable with the nearest hospital being an hour away. Yes, they'd blue light you in but the time to get the ambulance to you, get you in, travel, transfer into the hospital etc seems long to me.

I did have my first at home, but lived 1 mile on a straight road from the hospital.

As for the issue of obesity, there are degrees of obesity. Is your BMI only just 35 or is it 70? How does that affect the relative risks of complications? (Not meaning you have to answer, just thinking through things.)

It might be helpful for you to read through the RCOG guidelines:

Finally, and unhelpfully(!) after all that, you had a pretty short labour for a first time mother last time so you could reasonably expect that this time it might be shorter. A shorter labour might mean that it is safer to have a higher risk but planned home birth rather than a high risk delivery on the side of the road.

Overall, I wouldn't have a home birth in your situation, but those are some of my thoughts! Hope it all goes well for you!

Emmawemmawoowah Mon 14-Dec-15 21:30:42

I was advised by the midwife who delivered my DD that it might be best to opt for a home birth next time but as you say, if anything goes wrong the hospital is an hour away.

I didn't get much warning last time, my contractions started and didn't stop until she was born, I had no early signs that she was on her way, had to organise someone to look after DSD and by the time DP had dropped her off and come back I was literally crawling to the car lol!

It's a bit of a catch 22 really. My BMI is 33 but was a lot less last time I gave birth.

DinoSnores Mon 14-Dec-15 21:43:05

Sounds like you need to have the opportunity to have a good chat about all the risks of staying home and of going to hospital with the midwife and consultant.

spaceyboo Mon 14-Dec-15 21:47:42

Obesity itself doesn't really make you high risk, it's the health problems associated with it. If you're healthy and your doctors have given you the okay then why not?

Emmawemmawoowah Mon 14-Dec-15 21:50:31

I've cut out sugar and had lost a stone as ongoing preparation for conceiving. Just didn't expect to catch on this early!!

ReallyTired Mon 14-Dec-15 21:59:08

I think a lot depends how obese you are. Ie. Are you just a little bit over weight or morbidly obese. I believe the cut off is a Bmi of 35. the fact that you had a straight forward delivery means you would be a good candidate for homebirth.

In your position I would ask for a home birth, you can always change your mind and go to hospital at a later date. It is much harder to book a home birth late on in pregnancy.

LumpySpaceCow Mon 14-Dec-15 22:09:38

They can advise you but ultimately you can do what you want.
Look at
There is a section called 'i can't have a homebirth if' and then lots of categories, one being overweight.
As pp stated, my main concern would be the hospital being an hour away. Is there a birth centre any nearer?

ccoleman90 Mon 14-Dec-15 23:29:34

I agree with some of the previous comments. It's not being overweight that would automatically worry me, but being an hour away from the nearest hospital seems quite a long way, just in case anything does go wrong and you need medical assistance more than your midwife can provide. A BMI of 33 doesn't seem too bad, I'm 30 and I've been declared low risk all the way through my pregnancy.

LBOCS2 Mon 14-Dec-15 23:38:36

My BMI is 34 and I've discussed this with my consultant. She said that the main problem with being significantly overweight is that you are more likely to develop complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes - which rule out a home birth. Her take on it was that as long as I remain low risk for the rest of my pregnancy, my weight on its own was not a reason to rule out a homebirth. And on that basis she cleared me for it smile

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