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meeting about home birth, friend very worried

(19 Posts)
bez Sat 11-Dec-04 12:23:30

Has anyone ever heard of this before? A friend of mine has been told her unborn baby has a polycystic kidney and everything else is fine but her consultatnt says she should not have a home birth in case there are problems to do with the kidney when the baby is born.

She has now been invited to attend a meeting at the hospital to dsicuss the dangers of a home birth, her mw and some hospital staff will also be there. I have never heard of meetings like this before, is this anything to worry about? Can she be forced to have a hospital birth? Is ther any need to have a hospital birth? She lives a long way from the nearest unit and it is her second abby so may come quickly making it difficult for her to get there in time anyway

wickedwinterwitch Sat 11-Dec-04 12:40:29

Hi Bez. I've had 2 home births. My understanding is that no, she can't be forced to have a hospital birth: it's every woman's legal right to have a home birth and the local trust has to provide a midwife to attend. However, I've no experience of this type of problem and if the baby will need care immediately after birth it seems sensible to listen to what the hospital has to say and decide what to do after that.

Lilliput Sat 11-Dec-04 13:12:53

I am planning a home birth and have an appointment at the hospital next week with the chief midwife. I think it is a risk assessment meeting and running through procedures, what equipment midwives bring, how I need to prepare etc. Maybe this meeting is just procedure,something that has to be done to satisfy the legal dept and to make your friend aware of all implications of giving birth at home.

bez Sat 11-Dec-04 16:41:37

So, its not unusual to have these meetings then, I thought if they were so concerned as to have a meeting about it, they could force you to ahve a hospital birth, not that you can force someone whos out in the country about 20 miles away from the hospital with no transport

acnebride Sat 11-Dec-04 17:43:46

AFAIK nobody can force her to have a hospital birth but if as professionals they think it is dangerous for her/her baby to give birth at home then they have a responsbility to talk with her about it.

Hope somebody will be along with more relevant info. your poor friend, what a worry for them all.

polkadot Sun 12-Dec-04 18:53:33

No-one can force your friend to have her baby in hospital. The meeting will only be to discuss the pros and cons of having her baby at home or in hospital and to make sure that she clearly understands the advice she is being given. It is important that she has all the relevant information even if she then decides to do something different from medical advice. I hope all goes well.

bez Sun 12-Dec-04 19:30:23

Thanks for replies. Anyone else?

NoMoomAtTheInn Sun 12-Dec-04 21:13:09

It is your friend's decision as to where she has her baby. She cannot be forced to give birth in hospital if she doesn't want to. However, apart from anything else, maternity units are so worried about litigation, they do have a big responsibility to make it clear what the 'professional opinion' is. Having said that the opinion of a consultant often differs radically from the opinion of a midwife!! Hopefully this is just a meeting to assess the real risk and inform your friend of all her options, as others have said. So she should attend, but be aware that she may come under some pressure to have a hospital birth. Have they actually said to her that it is a meeting to 'discuss the dangers of a home birth'? It would be a shame if that's how they are presenting it to her.

What does her midwife say? Your friend may find her more supportive than the consultant. She might also want to check out association of radical midwives and homebirth for more support.

HTH and your friend gets the safe and happy birth she wants!

saintlysecur Sun 12-Dec-04 21:33:00

When I was preparing for my HB, I was told that they may stop in our area, my response was to say I would not go to hosp. I was told that, although I could choose anything I wanted, a hospital trust was not obliged to guarantee a MW. I could be left without one and have to call an ambulance if I decided to be stubborn about things. Essentially it was a privaledge to have an authority that offered HB.

I have never had an assesment like this-but I had to see my OB, MW and GP seperatly and convince each of them that I was a good risk for them. I assume hers is just a shorter (nore intimidating) version of this.

IMO I would say, don't allow her to be bullied by them, but to take very careful note of everything they say and make an informed sensible decision. Sometimes they do try to scare people toget thier own way, but sometimes what they are saying does make sense.

Transport and distance just means she may have to call an ambulance-it does not preclude her from going in altogether.

bez Tue 21-Dec-04 15:23:29

Thanks for all you replies.

They have convinced her hospital birth is best but does anyone else know anything about this kidney problem. Most of the internet stuff seems to be about kidney problems that start later in life. Mears?

Blu Tue 21-Dec-04 15:41:42

Surely this assessment is to do with the baby's health re the kidney condition rather than home birth per se?
Can't she ask the consultant all about the kidney problem? Or ask to see the peadiatrician before the baby is due?

bez Tue 21-Dec-04 15:52:45

the consultatnt has just said the baby could be seriously ill and wont give any more info

Blu Tue 21-Dec-04 16:11:26

v unhelpful of the consultant!
Can she ask to see him/her again and be armed with a list of specific q's such as what exactly is the condition, what are it's effects, what is the treatment, how successful is the treatment, what is the likely condtion of the baby at birth etc etc.
Or go to her GP asap and ask, or ask GP - or midwife, to refer her to the peadiatrician?

It's not acceptable for her to be left with so little info - so get her to fight for it!

Blu Tue 21-Dec-04 16:19:44

Bez, where, roughly, in the country is your friend?

Blu Tue 21-Dec-04 16:22:24

Also, it might be worth posting this on the health board under 'polycystic kidney'.

AMerryScot Tue 21-Dec-04 16:46:03

Your friend needs to ask more questions about the kidney condition. I doubt that this will impact the birth itself, but it seems that the consultant is saying that the baby may need medical attention or evaluation once it is born. Your friend, if she wants to pursue a homebirth, needs to find out whether this medical attention may be urgent, or whether the baby just needs to be evaluated within a specific timeframe. If it's the latter, they could come to some agreement where they bring the baby to the paed's clinic after the birth.

bez Tue 21-Dec-04 17:02:32

She is in the midlands

Blu Tue 21-Dec-04 17:13:14

Oh. I was wondering whetehr she could come to the Harris Birthright Feotal Medecine unit.

Googling 'polycystic kidney in infants' does come up with some fairly daunting stuff, and it sounds as if the baby might need help from the start to ensure a healthy childhood. That's why I think she needs to know all the facts, so that she can discuss whether she might need to transfer to a hospital with specialist consultant/knowledge etc.

A friend of mine had a baby with a polycystic kidney - I really don't know any of the medical details, but I do know that they did a procedure while the baby was still unborn to remove a build-up of fluid, and that she had to be delivered by CS because she had swelled. The baby was then in SBCU for quite a while - but is now chirpy and v healthy.

milkybarkid Sun 26-Dec-04 11:26:43

Hi bez

I was told my baby had a kidney problem which sounds similar to this but like your friend was not given much info. I was about to start a thread on this myself so look out to see if there are any more replies on mine

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