Forum home Babies Baby

would you have been happy with a homebirth?

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have been recently calling for a re-organisation of our maternity services so that more women have their babies at home. This is especially the case if you are pregnant with your second child and had an uncomplicated birth the first time.

with an already overstretched service with one to one on the labour ward how is a two to one homebirth going to work? twice as many midwives would surely be needed? as all births are different how do they know that the second is going to be fine, i would presume it would just be gas and air too?

would you be happy with this being option one?


  • this is my worry right now.

    i had a problem free pregnant with a text book birth, no gas and air needed.

    i did however:

    1)have a student MW (do they do homebirths? i found it nice being able to be of help to a student)

    2) stay for 8 hrs (not exactly a long time, didnt take up too much room)

    3) i had a water pool for a while, i couldnt do this at home, i just dont have the capacity for it (water tank not very big, not sure about where it would go etc etc)

    4) i liked being 'looked after' at the hospital.

    so i dont know! i think at the hosp u get 1-2 mws and at home its the same? I live 40 mins from the hosp... if there were complications, its an awful long drive for an ambulance here and then there, thats over an hr. I dont know if i am comfortable with that. :?

    just because no1 was born without pain med, i dunno if no2 will... what if this one is back to back or takes longer (not always a given that it'll be quicker)

    wow im only 11+4 and panicking already. image
  • Despite being an ideal candidate for a home birth, as I had a smooth pregnancy, quick labour - meaning my second will probably be even quicker - in a birthing centre and it will be my second, I still wouldn't want one.

    I don't like the idea of being away from hospital if there were any complications, I'd rather be somewhere with more help at hand if needed. I also don't want to remember a room in my house as the place I gave birth, I like to leave the place of pain behind! lol
  • My birth was very straightforward and the MW said to me after I should have a home birth next time. It really appeals to me because I hate hospitals, they make me anxious and I like being at home where hubby can stay with me and he won't be sent away. Water birth doesn't bother me, I wanted one last time and I didn't get it. I mentioned to hubby I would like home birth next time and he said absolutely not. Only thing that does concern me is being blue lighted in if there is a problem, as hubby wouldn't be able to come in the ambulance with me x
  • Hi Piggypops,

    Home birth doesn't appeal to me at all. I'd rather be at the hospital incase there was a complication.

    My last labour was pretty straightforward and smooth, but I just feel better being at the hospital.

  • Hi piggypops,

    I'm in Canada at the moment and I'll hopefully be having a home birth here. Even though I live in a rural area, I only live 15 minutes from the nearest hospital by ambulance, so that's reassuring for me.

    Presuming all goes well and it's a relatively straightforward situation, quite a few points convinced me that home birth would be great (in no particular order)

    a) If I'm more relaxed by being in my home environment, the baby will not be as stressed coming into a world where I'm calmer, the midwives are calmer, my husband is calmer, where I can control the environment, where peace and quiet rather than the hustle-and-bustle of hospital prevail.

    b) Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, and only a small percentage of that time has there been a hospital option offered. Not saying it's a negative thing, just that sometimes we get swayed into thinking that hospital birth is ''normal'' and ''responsible'' while home birth is ''abnormal'', ''irresponsible'' and ''selfish''. It's no longer the middle ages, where no one understood anything about hygiene and midwives' medical knowledge was limited. Now they are highly-trained professionals who specialise in their area, rather than being generalist medical preofessionals

    c) No upheaval emotionally or physically when leaving hospital and getting the baby home

    d) Not feeling like I'm taking up a hospital bed and medical care that could be given to someone else

    e) Even if there's a problem, midwives are generally experienced enough to recognise if a problem is arising, so a problem can be resolved (at home or by transferring to hospital) ASAP

    f) Midwives come to you - no trying to judge the best time to go into the hospital

    g) The fact that the baby can say ''Wow, I was born here!'' one day, rather than in a hospital (i.e. in years to come, whether we live in this house or move, the baby will always have an emotional connection to the house and area)

    h) The follow-up home-based, personalised care. Here, we are offered 6 weeks' post-delivery care, firstly every day in the home, then gradually tapering off to every other day, then once a week. From day one, someone is right there to help us settle into our new roles, show me how to breastfeed, check up on the baby's progress - all without having to leave the house

    i) Having the midwives to hand when the birth is imminent - they'll be in the house, not attending someone else, not waiting for their shift to end and switching with potentially unknown midwives at the end of their shift

    j) We get to know both midwives who are assigned to attend the birth, long before it takes place - I'd far prefer to give birth in front of people I know and trust than to people who are practically strangers and who have no emotional connection to the birth

    Just a few of my reasons for home birth image That said, if something went wrong or I ended up having a hospital birth, I would be unhappy but it wouldn't be the end of the world. I just like having that as the back-up option though, rather than my main choice.
  • Yes. I would've been very, very happy with a homebirth. I wanted one, desperately, and still feel robbed of it every day. That's not an exaggeration, I think about it at least once a day, how sad is that? In my mind, hospital was there as a back-up if something went wrong, and I trusted 'my' midwife to tell me when that time was. In hindsight, everything possible was done to get me into hospital, regardless of my wishes and needs. At 38 weeks pregnant, tired and scared, I gave up the fight, something with which I've got to live, which just angers me more.

    The whole system needs a shake-up. Homebirths should be encouraged where they are appropriate, and more women should be supported to feel confident that it's just as safe - if not safer - to deliver their baby at home.
  • I don't agree that it is just as safe to give birth at home. I had a totally straightforward pregnancy & birth in a birthing pool in a MW led unit. I felt really happy with my care, it did not feel like a medical procedure in anyway, we were there for less than 9 hours & I didn't feel like I needed to have a dr there, even after my son was born with the cord wrapped round his neck twice - it was dealt with quickly & no other intervention was needed. That said, it was nice to know that if needed there was all the drs & equipment that might be needed in the building next door. God forbid, but had the cord been wrapped round my son's neck for longer & some intervention was needed I would never have forgiven myself for not being in a hospital - even if the MW's had the resus equipment. If we had to be transferred I live 30 mins for the hospital so it could take over an hour to get to the hospital - not worth thinking about in an emergency situation.

    Also I liked getting to the hospital (in hindsight!), liked being admitted & then loved taking my baby home. It was all part of my experience.

  • It's all about how you feel - if you feel safer at home, that's fine. I don't think any mother wants to put their baby at risk, they do the safest thing, and mothers who give birth at home aren't doing something unsafe.
  • Totally agree it is all about how you feel & I certainly wasn't implying that mothers who are having home births are doing something unsafe - I was just replying to what you, EmCB had said about homebirths being just as safe, if not safer than hospital deliveries - that I totally disagree with!

  • Statistically it's just as safe, no study has ever found it to be less safe at home. In fact, several studies have come out with lower mortality percentages at homebirths than hospitals. These figures are hard to interpret though, as we thankfully have such low infant mortality rates in the UK. Depending on whether you're interested in induction rates, intervention rates and c section numbers, homebirths have lower percentages of these too. There's loads of info on, they have a lot of research collated to show it's just as safe. To be honest, and this is only my opinion, the cleanliness alone scares the living daylights out of me in hospital. My home is definitely safer and cleaner than the hospital when I was in labour!
  • mmm - well i am in my 2nd atrocious pregnancy with a planned c section at 37 weeks.

    I am not sure about the safety of homebirth - i wouldnt want to even if i could as i would def. want the back up.

    With regard to is it safe, well there are less deaths in birth now than before so whilst i dont have exact numbers the basic statistics that are available seem to point to the direction that hospital births seem to be safer.

    That said, it is a totally personal choice, this is just my opinion x
  • interesting

    it wouldnt have applied to me as i was a vbac but i still am uneasy about homebirthing, more so the pain relief aspect, i had pethadine with my first then a spinal and if my second wasnt in distress i was for a epidural neither which i could have recieved at home, and also the resus side as my baby was poorly,

    a good friend of mine had a home birth recently which went swimmingly but her baby had breathing difficulty and had a 30 min ambalance drive to the scbu, something that makes me very uneasy

    my main worry is that a woman would not have the mw there, with lower univertsity places and a huge gap to come in trained staff how will they possibly staff it? if your mw is with another woman then what happens?

    that said i think they should be encouraged to those that want it but not pushed for everyone, it would lessen the hospital workload but put extra pressure on an already stretched community service
  • I would agree that it's a totally personal choice, based on research (personal, academic and publicly available stats etc.), instinct, your health and your baby's health, distance from hospital as a back-up option, and discussion with professionals. Once you've made your INFORMED decision, then even IF things go wrong, I don't think you should blame yourself or be made by others to feel that you've done the wrong thing. Things can go wrong in hospital as well as at home after all.

    I just don't like it when it's suggested that you're totally wrong for even considering a home birth (or, vice versa, a hospital birth if that's what you've chosen) - basically that's just saying that your informed choice is wrong because you don't agree with them, which is not a very rational or rounded argument.

    The key word is being INFORMED about the choice you make (and that goes for all decisions in life image, and then you just have to go with it from there image
  • I'm planning a home birth this time and after reading all the literature do feel that it's just as safe as a hospital birth!

    You have the undivided attention of 2 midwives who will make a call to get you to hospital as soon as they pre-empt a problem!

    I for one can't wait to snuggle up in my own bed with baby after having been in my own clean shower, unfortunately this countries statistic when it comes to hygiene in hospitals isn't up to par with other countries! I don't think anyone would put themselves or babies at risk but wether you choose to give birth in hospital or at home there are the up and down sides!

    You have to decide what is best you for!


  • what does happen if the 2 mw's arent available?

    what if another woman is in labour at the same time? do they have an unlimited amount of mws ready for homebirths?
  • That's a good question rosemary20uk - I guess the answer to that would be to ask your midwife, as the response to the question might be different in different areas.

    It's also a genuine question that could be asked of hospital births, where a far greater proportion of women are probably giving birth at any one time and resources are more stretched (also, what happens if there's an emergency situation in the area and more resources than usual are needed to cover that?).

    Although in both scenarios the likelihood of someone being unavailable is very low (we have to assume that hospitals / midwives, as professionals, have got back-up plans for such situations), it's a good question to ask about a home birth as well as a hospital birth, as part of an informed decision-making process.
  • There are bank midwives in every county, they're called in to help if there are shortages.
  • ah thats ok then.

    we have a pretty good hosp, its the princess anne and i have found it to be well staffed.

    i did wonder, what if too many women need a c section and they didnt have enough rooms?
  • when i had dd in july the midwife i had was a community midwife on call for home births that had been called in to the hospital as they were overstretched, she had worked all day and was due to go back in the morning, luckily for her i had a section at nine pm so she could go home, hopefully not to be called to a home birth, midwives are not just on call for homebirths they work in the day too, so i would presume if the are at work they cant hop off to a home birth?

    there is due to be a shortage of midwives over the next few years too

    c sections are catigorised, the most needed first, a theatre was opened for me as there wasnt time to wait for the ones being used, smaller hospitals have a closed door policy if there full they transfer you somewhere else, one of the reasons i went for the large hospiatl
  • I think that's the scary thing, the overstretched maternity provision across the country. It's terrifying! Something needs to be done, and soon. I know it costs the NHS a lot less money for a homebirth, so maybe more women should be offered this option in an effort to save money that can be put towards more midwives? It's a vicious circle, really!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions