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Have you thought about a homebirth

5 CommentsWednesday, 5 November 2014  |  Admin

As a Midwife and a Mummy I’ve got quite strong opinions on homebirth. If it’s something you’ve ever thought about in the past then please read on, maybe I can help you decide one way or the other.

I was lucky; I was a midwife before I had my own babies, and so I already had all the research to hand and had been honoured to be present at many births, both at hospital, in birth centres and homes. And then I was blessed enough to have all three of my babies at home in the water. So I feel quite passionate about this, and that in the right circumstances, for the women who want it, homebirth is AMAZING.

Most hospitals have a labour ward which is consultant led and a birth centre (either attached or separate) that is midwife led. There are good, clinical reasons why your midwife or consultant may advise you to use one of these rather than a homebirth, they will know your personal obstetric history and are therefore best placed to help you decide for your babies’ birth. Listen to this advice and choose for yourself.
If one of the options they suggest as being appropriate for you is a homebirth, then read on! (If you’re not sure, ASK them)

Research has now proven that for healthy women with a healthy, term pregnancy who have had at least one birth before, a homebirth is equally as safe as a hospital or birth centre. JUST. AS. SAFE.

When chatting to women, I understand that their main concerns are:

“Drugs. What about the drugs??!”

I hear you. And let me reassure you that the midwife has some. You can have pethidine/diamorphine (depending on your local Trust), Entonox (gas & air), massage (better than you think) and water, lovely lovely water (that’s a subject for another time but the best pain relief EVER in labour!!!) You may find this hard to believe, but one of the other amazing things about homebirth is that it is proven that women need less analgesia. The reason being that you will feel safe, secure and more relaxed.

“But what if something goes wrong?”

Yup. Good question, I hear ya. But what you may not know is this, as Midwives we are rigorously and regularly trained in dealing with any maternal or fetal emergency scenario… plus fire-fighting (I kid you not) conflict resolution (seriously), what to do in a nuclear accident – and a whole host of things that make us feel like superheroes. But seriously, we’re trained, we know what to do whether we’re in a hospital, at home or in a bowling alley – we will look after you. A community midwife carries life saving equipment (as well as her hands) at all times. Besides, at the first hint of any worry she may have about the well-being of you or your baby, she’ll have dialled 999 and a lovely big white bus with blue flashing lights will be there to whisk you to hospital.

“What about all that disgusting mess?”

Another fair question. But worry thee not, my friends, as the midwife is like a cleaning ninja. Whilst you are gazing into the eyes of your beautiful newborn baby and revelling in that precious moment, the midwife will stealthily be sneaking around cleaning and clearing up the crime scene. She will then make you and your birth partner (and herself!) something to eat and drink, then snuggle you into your own bed with your baby. She’ll then sneak out of the front door, leaving you and your new family to enjoy this special time. But fear not, she’ll be back in the morning to make sure you’re all ok and help where she needs to.

So I hope that I’ve not confused you even more if it’s something you were thinking about, but all I can say is talk to your midwife, find out if it’s an option for you and if so, go for it and good luck!

I’d be interested to hear if you have any good or bad experiences of homebirth, or wanted to know anything that I haven’t mentioned.

Thursday, 6 November 2014  |  18:54

I would love a home birth next time . I had a perfect Waterbirth in a MLU this time

Monday, 10 November 2014  |  20:41

Go for it! It's so lovely to hear someone describe their birth experience in such a positive way. I bet you'd be a great homebirth candidate x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014  |  18:26

Thanks for sharing your opinions on home birth.l'm 32weeks now and planning a home birth with my 3rd .l wasn't sure of what to expect but reading your thought ,l am more confident to go ahead with it.Thanks a million.

Saturday, 6 December 2014  |  15:10

That's a great summary of what to expect when having a home birth - my second baby was born at home and my two midwives were amazing. I felt so much more relaxed being in my own environment and it was so lovely to have a nice warm bath afterwards and get into my own bed and snuggle with my baby x

Michelle Gage
Thursday, 1 January 2015  |  10:23

I had a wonderful home water birth in the summer and it was the most wonderful time of my life. I was determined that my second birthing experience would be completely different from my first hospital one - I had to let go of all my fears and believe I could do it. Its true you are so much more relaxed and calm at home - you might not need the pain relief you think you need. I kept reminding myself that that in the not to distant past (my dad and my grandparents etc) all babies were born at home with no drug pain relief. There are lovely alternatives such as good aromatherapy and music. I hired an independent midwife which is a great way to build up a trust relationship throughout the pregnancy. I say none of this lightly - it took me years to gather the courage to try for another baby because I was fearful of the birth again and I wasted all the years. I thoroughly recommend home birth if it feels right for you.