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Home Birth/Ina May/"Hippie" thread

(52 Posts)
LolaAnn Tue 13-Oct-09 22:22:14

Is there a place for this? Who is considering a home birth/has had one/hated it/loved it.. come and share your stories with me.

My GP freaked when I requested it, agreed though and then proceeded to blame all the paperwork on the fact that I was having a homebirth (same paperwork had to be sent to midwives either way...)

Also any other good books other than Ina May's two?

moaningminniewhingesagain Tue 13-Oct-09 22:45:38

Lots of homebirth threads heregrin Nicky Wessons homebirth book is also fab!

mymotherisveryold Tue 13-Oct-09 22:47:54

I had two homebirths following one really sweet hospital birth. I loved the home births. We will not have any more babies now but if we did would absolutely go for another home birth.

We love:

You don't have to travel

You can watch your own telly (in the first stage)

You can have what you want, its your house, if you like a certain type of tea etc, you can have it

The midwives cleaned everything away

I could watch the second part of Waking the Dead in my own bed with my newborn and my dh on hand for snacks and drinks and lots of love afterwards...stretch it out for two weeks if you can.

My house feels more like a home

Have you been reading about the alternative methods of pain relief?

glastochick Wed 14-Oct-09 09:03:02

I'm planning one too, although understand I'll have a find on my hands to get it. GP doesn't have a problem, but it's protocol to refer IVF conceptions for Consultant Led Care apparently and she's warned me they're particularly anit-home birth where we live. Going to look into an independent midwife methinks.

All this is, obviously, as long as everything progresses normally with the pregnancy. It's something I'd really like, but I understand if there are problems I'll need to be transferred.

I'm hoping hypnotherapy will work for me, so will be signing up for something at some point


zazen Wed 14-Oct-09 09:11:11

The later Ina MAy books were a lot more women focused and a lot less include the bearded bloke in the process down on the Farm.
FWIW the Farm experience described in Spiritual Midwifery is very out of date IMHO, as I felt it looked at birth as a right of passage for the blokes - and most of them were terrified. It was all right then, but the later Ina May book is much better, and more relevant.

I went for a home birth as well, and had my birthing pool and everything, but ended up in hospital, being induced, augmented and having a crash section at the end of three days in labour.

So, by all means plan for a homebirth, but also get to know how your local hospital operates, and have a bag packed.

you might find that hypno birthing techniques are more useful to you.

Good luck with the fight for a homebirth - my GP was set against it due to me being 35 and she was right with hindsight - they do know something these GPs, but if you're younger for your first, well you have a better chance of delivering at home safely.

belgo Wed 14-Oct-09 09:12:18

Just marking this, I'll reply late

zazen Wed 14-Oct-09 09:13:13

sorry a lot less likely to include the bearded bloke down on the farm.

4kidsandcounting Wed 14-Oct-09 09:22:15

I had a home birth with my fourth child and can honestly say apart from the pain it was a great experience.Only wish i had my other kids at home to.Great being in your own surroundings which makes you so much more relaxed.Highly recommend it to anybody.

flybynight Wed 14-Oct-09 10:40:00

I'm planning a home birth for my 4th. I had my first at the LGI in Leeds, second two in Australia and there is NO WAY I'm going back to the LGI this time! I'll go to Harrogate if I must.

Do you think the midwives could get me loan of a birthing stool? I've seen one company renting them, but they seem hellish expensive for what they are. You could buy one for that and I don't want to actually OWN one. What would I use it for afterwards?

illuminasam Wed 14-Oct-09 10:45:37

We are really lucky in our area (SE London) that we have several sets of home birth midwives. I am booked in with one set which is attached to Kings Hospital. A lot of the time the ante natal appointments are at my own house and I have had the same midwife for this pregnancy as I had for my last.

My last pregnancy ended at 22 weeks in hospital. I had PTL but had to be induced because of infection. My midwife was with me all through the night at the hospital. For the birth itself another member of her team took over. This lady was very hands off and just gave me pointers like "drink more water" etc every now and again. She also kept all the normal labour ward staff out of the room.

I was offered drugs, ceasarans, the lot, for the induction but refused them and was glad I did as I recovered very fast from the experience - physically speaking - and was glad to have had the experience of a natural birth, even though it was a sad one as my baby died soon after.

For this pregnancy I hope to have my baby at home but I know that it may not happen!

illuminasam Wed 14-Oct-09 10:51:04

Oh, and in terms of being given permission for a home birth - I just rang the midwives direct but then had to get approval from my consultant. The consultant I had is "home birth friendly" and I was booked in to see him by the midwives! My GP has never been involved in the decisions.

Also, I've found age has nothing to do with it. I was 37 for my first pregnancy and am 39 now and have never had anyone mention it might cause a problem or be a reason I couldn't have a home birth. But then again, I've never had blood pressure issues or anything like that (so far).

LolaAnn Wed 14-Oct-09 12:16:09

flybynight I googled and found and old mN thread maybe try buy one from ebay? Or ask around, I'm sure some midwives or antenatal people would lend one...

I'm very interested in hypnotherapy but don't really know where to start, can anyone recommend something?

Also - I'm planning this homebirth in the UK but also starting to investigate having one back home in NZ, where homebirths are much more commonly accepted but way harder to organise from here!!

longwayaway Wed 14-Oct-09 12:24:54

Thanks for starting this thread, LolaAnn! I know there are others existing already but they have mostly petered out.

I'm now 34w and planning a homebirth in Cambs, where the community midwife team apparently has a lot of experience attending HBs. My MW actively encouraged me to pursue one, although it wasn't until I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth that I became convinced it was what I wanted. (It's our first, btw.) DH took a little more convincing but he's on board now too.

I don't want to feel like a failure if we end up in hospital, so I'm trying to think of the plan as keeping my options open - I'm going to stay at home as long as possible and see what happens.

longwayaway Wed 14-Oct-09 12:29:15

Oh, also wanted to add that I just attended an Active Birth Workshop led by my antenatal yoga teacher and she highly recommended Birth without Violence by Frederic Leboyer, as well as the work of Michel Odent.

LolaAnn Wed 14-Oct-09 12:30:15

longwayahead that is exactly my attitude too and I think it is the best one to have. The more you have a strict plan the more distraught you are going to be when it all changes.

flybynight birthing stools can be hired from Mamma Works for 25 pounds

Rolf Wed 14-Oct-09 12:32:04

I had an unplanned homebirth with DC4. It was wonderful, best day ever smile. I had learned hypnosis techniques and they helped me stay calm in what could have been a frightening situation (v fast labour, breech baby). Lovely calm midwives who I already knew well, one in particular who was a big fan of gentle childbirth and had the most lovely quiet manner. Even when she asked DH to call 999 and ask them to put a blue light on, I didn't panic. Being at home meant that I was still me, rather than me in hospital/formal/patient/tense mode, if that makes sense. Honestly, it was the most magical day of my life.

LylaB Wed 14-Oct-09 12:43:42

Apologies for hijacking but I am reading this thread with great interest as I am a HUGE Ina May fan and have attended doula training with Michel Odent and Lilian Lammers.

Longwayaway - you will never be a failure if you end up in hospital ! Labours vary and complications can occur - the most important factor is that you did what is best for you and your baby.

Another great book to read ahead of birth is Stand & Deliver - by Emma Mahoney. I recommended it to a couple of clients who completely changed their birth plans after reading.

ib Wed 14-Oct-09 12:45:33

I had a home birth with ds1 - water birth, peaceful, great experience. Intense, but by no means unbearable in terms of pain or anything else. I am hoping to have another with ds2 (due in April).

MonstrousMerryHenry Wed 14-Oct-09 12:49:41

Am adding this thread to my 'watch' list.

This may sound an odd question, but we're renting our house at the moment and want to run the HB by our landlord out of courtesy - so that I can prepare, is there any reason you can think of why he might be uncomfortable with this?

Rolf Wed 14-Oct-09 12:53:17

Lyla - my doula trained with Michel Odent too! She's a big fan!

Lulumama Wed 14-Oct-09 12:54:06

Ina May is my absolute inspiration and i wish i'd discovered her before I'd had both my children ! but i recommend her and use her books all the time.

belgo Wed 14-Oct-09 14:29:11

LolaAnn- I have had three natural births, one in hospital, two at home. Firstly, I was lucky that my body knew what to do, and secondly I had great midwives supporting me. I went to an antenatal class but didn't do any hypnobirthing or any special relaxation.

There is no gas and air or pethidine available in the hospital where I gave birth, so psychologically I was prepared not to have pain relief, and if I really needed it, I knew epidurals were available. What I found was that I went into a a natural self hypnotic state, and I coped with the pain far better then I normally would.

MonstrousMerryHenry - if you are planning a water birth at home you may want to consider the strength of the floorboards if the house is old - that was our biggest consideration, as our house is 100 years old. All was fine thugh, I've had two home births.

Your landlord may also be concerned about any possible mess, especially if he has carpets. You can use old shower curtains to protect the carpet.

But in my opinion, you have no need to tell him, I told no-one when we were planning my first home birth, as people can be very prejudiced about it and start saying things like 'I'd have died if I had had a home birth', which forces you to be defensive, and can put doubts into your own mind.

MonstrousMerryHenry Wed 14-Oct-09 14:37:50

Belgo - thanks for your thoughts. Lovely to read your birthing stories.

I'd love a water birth but won't risk it on someone else's floorboards! Will have to sit in the bath for as long as I can instead grin.

The mess thing is what I was really wondering about - they have kids but I'm assuming they did the hospital thing since most people do. We don't have old shower curtains but I'll find something to cover the carpets (and our sofa!).

It's actually DH who wants to tell him, I'll give it some thought as I agree that as long as we keep everything clean it shouldn't affect him.

longwayaway Wed 14-Oct-09 14:45:15

I'm not telling my landlord - don't feel it's any of their business. We'll take all possible precautions to protect the carpet, etc, but if we cause damage we'll be liable for it the same as if it were any other mess.

belgo I've had a couple people give me that 'I'd have died if I had had a home birth' line. I've stopped telling people unless I'm confident they'll be supportive. Too many people have completely prejudiced, uninformed opinions and I'm just not interested in discussing it with them.

belgo Wed 14-Oct-09 14:51:55

longwayaway - what many people really do not seem to understand is that a home birth is not the same as an unassisted birth. They just don't realise that midwives at a home birth at very well trained and have all the necessary equipment, and at the first sign of a problem that the midwives cannot deal with, you go to hospital. I felt safer giving birth at home because I had two midwives all to myself, whereas in hospital the care you get is unfortunately pot luck.

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