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Homebirth antenatal care - how does it differ?

(14 Posts)
kiwifluff25 Mon 25-Jan-16 08:40:14

I've had a look on here for previous threads on this but I can't seem to find anything, so sorry if this has been done before.
I'm leaning towards a homebirth with DC1 (will confirm at next appointment, which isn't for 4 weeks) and in the area that I live it is actively encouraged, so that is all good and well. One of the benefits that the midwife discussed with me was that I'd get to know a small team of 4-5 midwives, two of whom would be at the birth.

So my question is when do you get to know them? Do you still go to the fortnightly clinic with all the other women, or is there a separate homebirth clinic session with the special homebirth midwives? Will there be an extra appointment to discuss the process of homebirth etc.?

Thanks in advance.

CarShare Mon 25-Jan-16 09:18:36

I'm booked in for a home birth too. The antenatal care has been the same as all birth place choices except for a visit made to our home to deliver the kit and talk through the process. There are around 14 community midwives in the on call team and I've met 3 of them during appointments so far. There's no arrangement in place for me to meet any others. I'm guessing it varies hugely from area to area though. I know home births are very much encouraged due to cost and I've felt like midwives haven't always been able to answer my questions about potential increased risk (HB's are a bit riskier if it's your first pregnancy but less riskier in second or subsequent pregnancies) so I've also booked to use the birth centre in case I change my mind.

MotherKat Mon 25-Jan-16 09:45:34

Round here they come to your house when you'd normally be going to clinic and they're lovely, team of 3, rotating visits so you get to meet everyone, and they didn't bin me when it turned out I wouldn't be allowed a homebirth after all.

kiwifluff25 Mon 25-Jan-16 09:55:30

Thanks both, I guess it just depends on the area then! From the sounds of things it'll be more like MotherKat's experience (a smaller team) . They were a bit blasé on risks, but I think it's because the birthing centre doesn't have doctors on site anyway, so in the event of any complications you're sent to the hospital (which is the same distance from my house as it is from the birthing centre).

kiwifluff25 Mon 25-Jan-16 09:56:54

Is this your first birth CarShare ?

RatOnnaStick Mon 25-Jan-16 10:00:02

It was no different to normal community care in my experience. Same set of midwives, same appointments, same frequency, no special birth kit, no special information. They brought it with them on the day when I had DS2 at home.

Fourormore Mon 25-Jan-16 10:01:46

Same as RatonaStick for me.

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Mon 25-Jan-16 10:02:30

I think it depends on area. My ante-natal care was the same as my first pregnancy (hospital birth) other than a MW coming at 36 weeks to deliver the birth box.

Post-natally, the only thing we had to leave the house for was the newborn hearing test which we had to go to hospital for but were literally in and out. Newborn check was done by a MW at home when baby was around 72 hours old.

I do know that in some areas, you get an assigned MW who does all your care (with a 'back-up MW as well I presume). The team of three system is actually more like what I had with my hospital birth in a different area to where I am now. For my home birth the only time I saw my named MW was when she came to drop off the box at 36 weeks. Never saw her ante- or post-natally.

Chattymummyhere Mon 25-Jan-16 10:15:44

Homebirth appointments are done at home here, once a month they hold a meet the team type gathering where you can meet all 5 of our homebirth midwives. However my at home appointments are all my midwife and short of her being with another women in labour or on leave she will be who delivers my baby along with a second midwife.

ReallyTired Mon 25-Jan-16 10:23:56

In my area home birth mums get no special treatment. In fact the decision to have a homebirth is not confirmed until 35 weeks. Even then they will not allow a home birth unless you get to 37 weeks. I was lucky enough to know my midwife, but that is only because I gave birth when she was on call for homebirths.

Community midwives do get excited about homebirths, but they are far too professional for favouritism.

CarShare Mon 25-Jan-16 15:54:00

Hi kiwi, yes- it's my first. I've a feeling I might end up at the birth centre this time and might go for HB next time as I'm slightly concerned about the slight additional risk for first timers. I'm on the anxious side and so certainly wouldn't project that view on anyone else as I think a home birth could be really suited to many first time mums and have read of so many positive experiences.

soundsystem Mon 25-Jan-16 17:07:13

In my area, antenatal care is the same for a home birth up until 38 weeks (their logic being if you go into labor before 38 weeks you'll go to a hospital). There are monthly home birth meetings you can go to as well as your regular appointments to meet the home birth team.

At 38 weeks, the home birth midwives come to your house and go through where you plan to have the baby, and bring the pack, and go through your birth plan. Then any further appointments are done by the home birth midwives at home.

Good luck with the birth whatever you do! I had a home birth with my first it was lovely, so hoping for same again with my second!

kiwifluff25 Tue 26-Jan-16 08:36:08

I'm the same CarShare , currently down to be giving birth at the midwife led unit for the same reasons, but starting to think that home might actually be ''safer'' in my circumstances. I'm worried about setting myself up for failure as I get very nervous/panicky in medical settings and think I'll be a lot more in control and calm at home. I also really want a water birth and worry that it'll come to labour and they wont have one free for me to use.

We will see though. The thing that's swaying me is I had a miscarriage at just over 12 weeks last year and it was quite empowering (I know, sounds weird) to have coped with it on my own without pain relief. I had 6 hours of intense contractions and pushing on my own (with OH) at home (got sent home from hospital as they mistakenly said everything was ''fine''), and feel it sort of gave a taste of what it'll be like pain-wise.

In that scenario the last thing I wanted to do was go back to hospital, which makes me think I'll probably be the same in actual labour.

Sorry, feel like I've gone off on a bit of a tangent there!

It's great to hear people's positive experiences of HB though, thanks everyone.

CarShare Tue 26-Jan-16 15:36:43

Sorry to hear about your miscarriage kiwi, sounds like you coped amazingly under the circumstances.
Its reassuring to be booked at the birth centre and for a homebirth. I just hope I'll know the right choice to make on the day.
I guess you could call the birth centre as labour starts and check the availability of the birthing pool rooms and talk through options. If you manage to stay at home relatively in control of the pain for a decent length of time you might decide you want to be in your nice, cosy familiar environment for the duration.
I find the unpredictability of the whole thing very annoying (anxious also, and love a good plan!).

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