Booking Homebirth?(5 Posts)
we're trying for our first - and would like to book a homebirth. i'm american and still learning about the NHS. do I have to see my GP first, who then refers me to the community midwives? or can I call up the surgery and make midwife appointment? also, my surgery has (2) community midwives, would these midwives attend me at home, or would others? (i'm in peterborough btw the way) thanks in advance, trying to take advantage of my non-pregnancy brains to think this through.
You should have a booking in apt with the community midwives where ever your giving birth, you have plenty of time to tell them where you want to give birth, i knew and told them at 8weeks.. it wasnt till about 30 weeks when we started talking about what i would need exactly.
The midwives should operate an on call system for home births so it could be any midwives in the area, i think it varys depending on trust but im sure your midwife will talk you through it when you see her.
In my area you make a midwife appointment at about 6 weeks and will have roughly 10 further appointments with her at the surgery. You will be asked to choose a hospital for scans if you are having them. You can say you want a homebirth but it will not be booked in until much later (30+ weeks). Its not always easy. I was told homebirths were cancelled in my area due to lack of mw but that was changed when I was about 36 weeks. I don't think it is the community mw who attends but I changed my mind and went for a mw led unit instead so I didn't get that far.
You don't have to see your GP first, but you may want to - we get on with ours pretty well so it was quite a nice visit to go and tell him the news. We also didn't know how the system worked and so it was the obvious port of call. It can be useful (instant appointment to get a reminder of what you can and can't eat, and an overview of how maternity care in your PCT/GP practice is usually arranged) but isn't be necessary - you can either book direct with the MWs (make sure you ask for a booking appointment as they're much longer than the normal 10 mins) or go through your CMW team (through the hospital) if your surgery tell you you "have" to see the GP first and you don't wish to.
Re. a HB, I had DD (my first) at home and it was a lovely experience. If you haven't come across them you'll probably find the www.homebirth.org.uk site and the homebirthUK mailgroup worth a look and/or joining. How easy it is to book a HB seems to be a very variable experience, sadly, often driven by your location. Neither my CMW nor my GP were keen on the idea for a 1st baby - in the end we wound up with IMs for a whole variety of reasons, but it did avoid a lot of potential angst on having to continually push to get a HB. If you don't get a +ve response (or they won't "let" you book a HB), you can write to the supervisor of MWs stating that you are planning a HB and are due in ** and that as your CMW doesn't seem keen to put this in writing you are letting them know directly.
Who attends will depend on how HB cover is arranged in your area - my NHS CMW was in a team of more than 20 from all the surrounding hospitals and the on-call rota was drawn up from those 20 MWs. In other areas they keep things much smaller, and some CMWs will go out of their way to be on call for women that they have provided ante-natal care for. If you join the homebirth mailgroup there will probably be at least one lady that could give you local advice.
Good luck in TTC and fingers crossed for a straightforward pregnancy and a good birth experience
I'm also in Cambridgeshire, and first went to my GP when I found out I was pregnant. From there they referred me to a midwife, who I've been meeting with throughout the pregnancy. I told her I wanted a HB and she responded very positively. But basically you don't do anything one way or another until 36 weeks, at which point she'll do a home visit and you'll discuss your options.
As long as you're still low-risk at 36 weeks, and your home is suitable, it shouldn't be a problem - as far as I understand, Cambs has an excellent midwife team with lots of homebirth experience.
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