Home birth with toddler at home?

(17 Posts)
RMarieClaire Tue 08-Dec-20 09:46:11

I'm 19+1 and thinking about birth plan. I really want a home birth. Last labour was quite quick - around 4 hours - so think I'll feel more relaxed knowing I don't need to get anywhere. I've also never spent a night away from DD, and don't want the first to be an overnight hospital stay.

But nearest family are 2 hours away, so chances are our toddler (she'll be 22 months old) will be at home with us. Our house is not huge, and all downstairs is open plan. I'm worried she'll find it traumatic seeing (and hearing) me in labour.

Would love to hear positive stories of home
Births with young kids at home!

OP’s posts: |
NameChange30 Tue 08-Dec-20 09:56:59

I recently had a home birth for DC2. DC1 is 3 and I didn't want him in the house so we made a plan for our friends (who live nearby) to look after him. We also had a neighbour we could have asked if desperate.

There is a chance you'll give birth during the night and DC1 will sleep through it all. Not sure that would have worked for me as I was loud blush I gave birth in the morning and was in labour when DC1 woke up, so DH got him ready and took him to our friends' house. It worked out well.

If I were you I'd have a plan and a back-up plan. Does your DD go to nursery or childminder at all or have a regular babysitter? Or do you have a nearby friend who she knows? Might be worth asking if they would take her if needed.

I also advise you to consider hiring a doula so that she can support you while your DH looks after DD, if necessary. Even if DD is elsewhere, it's still helpful to have a doula. Mine was fab so much more helpful than DH.

AliceinBunniland Tue 08-Dec-20 09:58:17

I think it would be traumatic for another child to witness

SoupDragon Tue 08-Dec-20 09:59:25

DSs were 7 and 5 when I had one. My plan was that they'd just be there but I suddenly wanted them gone immediately so you do need a contingency plan. It was a very odd feeling.

Namechange30 Tue 08-Dec-20 10:00:45

Actually there are lots of families who do have older children present, I can imagine it could be rather lovely if it's a straightforward, calm and gentle birth - and if the child is old enough to understand.

But I did think that it would be distressing for my 3yo, especially because it was intense and not calm!

NameChange30 Tue 08-Dec-20 10:01:28

Cross post, I was replying to Alice.
YY I remember saying to DH get him out of here!

AliceinBunniland Tue 08-Dec-20 10:21:13

I was just thinking from my own point of view I have one sibling about ten years younger and would have hated to be present for their birth at age 10 and I think it would still scar me.


NameChange30 Tue 08-Dec-20 10:35:46

Well that's all very hypothetical.
I wonder if there is information out there about children who were present at home births and how they felt/feel about it.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Dec-20 10:39:29

There's a big difference between a 10 year old and a toddler though.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 08-Dec-20 10:40:06

My original plan was having toddler at home. Luckily a neighbour stepped in at last minute. The plan was for my mother to concentrate on toddler, (my husband was away with the Army) and me to concentrate on baby with midwives. There was no way my mother (or husband if he had been around) could have looked after toddler and been a birth partner.

PopsicleHustler Tue 08-Dec-20 10:54:43

I am in the same boat. I am 34 weeks and considering a home birth too because I have 4 children and really dont want to leave our 2 year old. She wouldn't like to be away from us and with my history of long labours I could be gone a few nights. I am considering hiring a birthing pool and discussing at my 36 week appointment with midwife but we will just see how we get on and trust in God for everything.

Bugoluu Wed 09-Dec-20 08:05:22

Obviously you would need to consider what would happen if you needed to transfer in an emergency eg partner would then have to stay home with kids to wait for childcare while you went off to hospital.

If your childcare is far away then it's likely to be tricky as if you change your mind, or the kids dont react well then you have no back up. It will be hard for dp to manage kids as well as being a birth partner for you eg if its during the day the kids will need supervising.

I dont think it's an awful idea and do know people that have done it successfully but everyone I know has had a seperate person to be on child duty. That way if you find that the kids are distressed then they can be distracted, reassured or taken out of the house.

Chasingsquirrels Wed 09-Dec-20 08:11:14

My dc1 was 3 when dc2 was born.
I planned a home birth for dc2 mainly because dc1's birth had been quick (2.5hrs) and uneventful.
I did have my parents nearby who could have come and had dc1, and my mum looked after him 2 days a week so he was completely comfortable with her.
In the event dc2's birth took 15 mins just before midnight.
Dc1 slept through it all and woke up to a new brother.

Good luck.

snookercue Wed 09-Dec-20 08:35:40

If you keep your 22mth old at home you will also need someone to look after them. It's not even so much a case of in an emergency but also your partner can't be there for you if he is busy dealing with her.

Indoctro Wed 09-Dec-20 11:09:09

My 2 year old witnessed me giving birth , and was traumatised

Unfortunately I woke at 4am screaming and baby was born 2 minutes later, the screaming woke my son who came into the bath room as I was on floor , unfortunately I was on my own so not much I could do about at the time

You need to find a neighbour close by who could help out

glastogal Wed 09-Dec-20 19:59:42

My friend had a homebirth with her 2 year old present and she was fine. She even told me about it when I next saw her (the toddler). All ran very smoothly and no trauma for any of the parties 👍

RMarieClaire Thu 10-Dec-20 22:27:11

Thanks all - to be honest home birth or not it sounds like the main thing is having back up childcare. During a week day she's at nursery and my parents will drop everything to drive up, but of course 2 hours may not be long enough if it's super fast (it'll probably be crazy slow now). DD doesn't really know our neighbours because of Covid but they are lovely. We also have some other parents in the area we could call on in an emergency. It's made me feel so far away from family, but I suppose people must make do!

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