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Homebirth vs hospital

(14 Posts)
luckycat2 Tue 24-Jan-17 13:37:54

Hi everyone,

I've got to decide between a homebirth or going to the hospital (15 mins away). I know two girls who had their babies there and they both said it was a very impersonal experience with midwives and doctors who weren't very nice. There is no MLU there so I feel like I have to decide between two extremes! It's our first baby and I really hate hospitals, but of course I worry about something going wrong - I would never forgive myself. On the other hand, the homebirth midwives are lovely.
Any advice? Thanks smile

ScoobyDoosTinklyLaugh Tue 24-Jan-17 13:55:14

Could you just plan a homebirth with the intention of staying at home for as long as reasonable? Then if the labour is a bit long and you need a bit of extra help your spending the minimum time in hospital.
A lot of women end up going back and forth to hospital in early labour but if your a planned homebirth you can get assessed from home. And it's a bonus if you have a nice straightforward birth you can have newborn snuggles at home. Most first time Mum's having a homebirth where I live transfer to hospital at some point during the labour but at least your minimising hospital time.

Snowflakes1122 Tue 24-Jan-17 14:39:15

I've had both. I loved my home birth, was lovely to just relax at home.

You are close to hospital should you need it, and you should have two midwives who can focus on just you.

I'd do it again if I was allowed this time (have to have a consultant led birth)

user1480264544 Tue 24-Jan-17 15:54:50

Although I didn't have a home birth I opted for a water birth in the MLU at my local hospital everything was going fantastic until the last minute when my daughter needed urgent medical attention she was born not breathing.. she's fine now as the doctors were the in a matter of seconds at the time that wait felt like hours... this has made me think long and hard about my birth plan this time round! I guess your close enough to the hospital should anything go wrong but all birth / hospital experiences are different you just have to do what feels right for you and your baby if you feel more comfortable at home that could be the best option for you! Xx

soundsystem Tue 24-Jan-17 16:01:10

I second Scooby's suggestion: book for a home birth, but transfer to hospital if you feel you need/want to.

I had a home birth with my first and was aware that almost half of first timers do end up going in, usually for pain relief. The midwives were really supportive and absolutely clear from the start that if I felt at any point I'd prefer to be in hospital for any reason that was completely fine. I thought I'd see how I got on, and in the end was ok at home. It was lovely to be in my own bed afterwards!

A big factor in the decision for me was transfer time to hospital. If you're 15 mins away that's pretty close if you do want to go in?

Good luck with whatever you decide!

SerialReJoiner Tue 24-Jan-17 16:02:54

The benefit of homebirth is having a dedicated midwife focussed solely on you during labour; her comfort level of risk is going to be very low, so at the slightest hint of an issue she will suggest hospital transfer. Or this is how my midwife explained it to me, anyway!

If your midwife is happy with you having a homebirth, and it's something you want to do, then why not!

RedCrab Tue 24-Jan-17 17:45:05

Do your research about the safety of home births to allay your fears about what would happen if something were to go wrong. I've had a homebirtu for my second child but went to a Hb talk when pregnant with my first. I asked about what would happen if this or that happened, and they essentially said because you have two dedicated MWs checking on you and watching you carefully, there's lots of situations they can see unfolding ahead of time. They also explained about all the situations they were trained to deal with and what would happen if we were blue lighted in.

With my first labour, we saw my MW - or just any MW - once every four or five hours. There was no close observation and no level of care. I do understand why - with the strain on the NHS but in terms of observation and watching for signs of things unfolding, I actually felt safer at home. I am 20 minutes away from the hospital so a similar distance.

I was 100% more relaxed at home which we know has a huge impact on the outcome of the labour - though of course if you are anxious about being at home, you won't be more relaxed. Some people just prefer the sense of safety in a hospital.

I would do a lot of research into what situations exactly you are worried about, and how those are dealt with at a HB. Make an informed choice so that you're confident with your decision because wherever you labour, you will cope best where you feel safest.

MyBreadIsEggy Tue 24-Jan-17 17:52:21

I've had both.
My hospital birth was stressful, scary and the postnatal care was shoddy to say the least.
My home birth was one of the best experiences of my life. It was relaxed, on my terms and completely serene smile
I know which I would choose if I ever have to choose again

Flugelpip Tue 24-Jan-17 17:53:36

I had a much better time having a home birth with DS2 than hospital with DS1. Hospital was scary; I didn't have a midwife dedicated to me and they left me to labour alone until the baby's head was literally coming out. Very poor experience. Home birth: a midwife's personal attention the entire time, absolute support and all appointments at home before and after the birth so no trekking to the doctor's surgery for no good reason. The midwives were lovely and everyone, including DS1, had a really happy day. It was a half-hour labour, start to finish!

They are super paranoid about problems. They told me issues tend to develop slowly and at the first sign of trouble you get a blue-light ambulance to hospital where they are expecting you and will deal with you immediately as a priority.

(By contrast, when I waddled into the delivery bit of our local hospital after my waters had broken with DS1, there were no rooms available and I got no pain relief, even gas and air, until I was 9cm dilated. I was in a waiting room with a load of strangers, throwing up and trying not to cry! If something had gone wrong I don't know that anyone would have spotted it, and that was in a huge London hospital with a good reputation. They were very busy that night but still, I feel lucky and I would never choose a hospital birth if I could avoid it.)

LondonGirl83 Tue 24-Jan-17 19:04:26

If your medical team believe you are low enough risk, I would say both are safe options. Go with whichever setting will make you feel most relaxed as that will have a huge impact on your birth.

For me, I personally feel most relaxed in a hospital and the high transfer rate for home births makes me feel more stressed about labor but I have lots of friends who feel more relaxed at home and have had amazing, straight forward home births. This is really only one you can decide.

Shwighty1 Wed 25-Jan-17 12:40:22

100% agree with the above go for a homebirth and you'll be transferred in if there's even an inkling that something is amiss or if you choose to

savagehk Wed 25-Jan-17 12:44:35

As others have said, if you plan a HB you can transfer in if needed/wanted but not the other way around. I was planning a HB with my first but ended up going to MLU and then to labour ward (looong story).
If you do decide on HB, don't beat yourself up if you do end up transferring in - I think around 40% of women do transfer for a first birth (either during labour or post birth for (eg) stitches) - but outcomes for those who plan a HB are generally better even if they end up giving birth in hospital.

divadee Wed 25-Jan-17 13:12:36

I am planning a home birth currently 39+2 as others have said you can always transfer in to hospital if you want but you will find it harder to stay at home. I would say book it so you are in the system and see how you feel when you are in labour.

luckycat2 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:00:05

Thank you everyone!
I'm booked for a homebirth already but have been trying to do as much research as possible.
You've all been very reassuring and I feel better about my decision now.
There is a home birth group in my local town which I think I will go along to, so that I can talk to some other mums and dads about their experiences and ask lots of questions smile

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