I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

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inbloom
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I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby inbloom » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:12 pm

Hi there,
I'm pregnant with my second and thinking of having a home birth this time around. I'm affiliated to St Georges and my first birth was straight forward although I was induced - I realise that if it comes to this again a home birth would be off the table but assuming that I go into labour naturally a home birth is my preferred option.

My husband is dead against. He's worried that we won't be in a safe place if we need medical intervention quickly. He also says that he can't be bothered with the faff of it all, organising a birthing pool, what to do about insurance etc. In addition he is aware that none of the doctors we know would have a home birth or let their partners have a home birth.

Before I decide, and I'm only 19 wks so no hurry, I want to be properly informed and just wondered if anyone had any advice on what to read or who to speak to. I've had a brief internet search but am not sure which sources are reliable and which are biased.
Any help very much appreciated.
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muddyboots
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby muddyboots » Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:02 am

I’m team husband ;) on this one.

Before you seek “unbiased information”, you need to establish if you are low risk first. It might not be the case even if first birth was straight forward.

It’s personal and preference.
It comes down to how you view risk. Put simply, ANY complication that will need medical intervention beyond the midwife and her medical bag means a time delay for you and your baby to get you to hospital.
You put yourself at risk potentially by being at the mercy of getting an ambulance fast enough and to hospital in time for help.

Of course loads of mums could write about their wonderful calm home births but this fact still stands.
Every birth is unique, things can change quickly from uncomplicated to complicated.

As for the argument that women always did it naturally at home for centuries, loads of women died in childbirth which has been greatly reduced thanks to medical intervention.
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Dodo23
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby Dodo23 » Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:54 am

I am also team husband. I was classified as low risk with my first and both my daughter and I ended up needing a lot of help as she got stuck. Why anyone would want to take the risk is a bit beyond me. One of my good friends is a fervent home birth advocate so we fall into this debate often!
The data online is very biased one way or another. Home birth advocates are often quite militant in their views. My advice would be to find an obstetrician you like and trust and discuss it with them.
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faybian
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby faybian » Sun Oct 31, 2021 8:19 am

Hi, I have had two home births with both my first and second child. 

This from the NHS website (link below):
'If you’re having your second baby, a planned home birth is as safe as having your baby in hospital or a midwife-led unit.'
https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and ... e-options/

It is simply not true that you are putting your child at risk by having a homebirth as long as you have had a normal pregnancy and have not been advised against it because of a serious issue. Only 2% of second birth homebirths end up being transferred to hospital and generally not for an emergency. There is more likely hood of medical intervention being required in hospital as being in hospital surroundings can slow or even stall labour depending on the circumstances, and then of course medical interventions are required, whereas the relaxed environment of home tends to lead to an uncomplicated birth that does not require medical intervention.

You do not need a birthing pool, a warm bath will do just as well up until you actually give birth.

In terms of faff, after the birth of my second child we all woke up in our own bed and had breakfast, which was a lot less faff than being in a hospital.

I'm sure your childs birth will be fine wherever you end up having it but people are wrong to suggest that you are in any way risking your child's health by choosing a homebirth.



 
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firsttimerSW11
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Sun Oct 31, 2021 11:24 pm

"It is simply not true that you are putting your child at risk by having a homebirth as long as you have had a normal pregnancy and have not been advised against it because of a serious issue."

The above statement can't possibly be true. 98% of women won't have a problem - per the above statistic, I have no idea -  but 2% may have complications.
You may be fine with that statistic and many women are, and no judgement here. Know lots of people who have had one and been absolutely fine.
But there absolutely is a risk. It may be very tiny but it is nevertheless there. Do not be under any illusion that if your baby needs immediate, life saving medical care, you are an ambulance ride, potentially in traffic away from specialist care. That's the main reason I'd never have a home birth because I personally wouldn't take the risk however small. But as I said, many women weigh up the options and decide that the risk is minimal/worth taking and do it with no problems whatsoever.

(Team Husband)
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rjb05
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby rjb05 » Mon Nov 01, 2021 5:57 am

Hi inbloom,

Congratulations on your pregnancy, how exciting!

I can only speak from personal experience, but homebirth for my second baby was the best choice I could have ever made.

I had a horrendous first birth - resulting in 48 hours of labour and an emergency c-section where I was 30 seconds away from a hysterectomy to save my life. It was awful. Full of coercion from the consultants and left me with severe ptsd which I needed therapy to move past.

Going into my second pregnancy I knew I didn’t want to go near a hospital again. I found an independent midwife and doula and had the most relaxed and calm pregnancy and then a water birth at home. It was simply incredible. Especially as it was a vbac. Being able to give birth in your own safe environment and then simply snuggle up in your own bed immediately after is just wonderful. Due to my first birth it was a life changing experience for me.

Ultimately, you are the one who will be giving birth so you have to decide what is right for you (my husband wasn’t even in the same room as me for my second birth - I needed my own space with only the support of my midwife and doula).

Birth-Ed is a good resource for giving a balanced view on things.

Oh and if you do decide to go for a homebirth, remember that you can always change your mind..if something doesn’t feel right during labour you can transfer into hospital.

Good luck and I hope you have the birth that you are happy with!
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Leoniel
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby Leoniel » Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:28 am

Hi there

Have you read any of the hypnobirthing books at all? I read the one by Katherine Graves I think it is (forget her surname now but she’s the major voice on it in the UK). I found it extremely helpful for both births. I think first up you and the father need to read that if you haven’t already.

As a result of informing myself about birth/hypnobirthing, I was thinking of a home birth for my first child but it all happened very quickly, slightly early so I didn’t have time to organise it.

That was all very straightforward at hospital so I was keen for my second child.

I had lots of chats with midwives. To my mind it was an easy decision.

I would do it again every time. I had another extremely straightforward birth and I delivered in my bathroom, largely alone until the last 10 minutes. The midwife arrived shortly after the birth. No problems at all. It was quick and it showed me how hospital was entirely redundant in this situation (for me) as it had been with my first baby.

It felt exactly how it should be. No complications, interventions etc. I could’ve given birth to a healthy child that night if I had been in the Sahara on my own. It was a force of nature that nothing could’ve stopped.

All this talk of risk is fine and important. I had those conversations too. There are two things to keep in mind;

- Childbirth has become increasingly medicalised over time (I think from the 50s onwards) which hasn’t necessarily been because it needed to be or because it’s better for the mother/baby outcome.

- And no one is going to put you or a baby at risk. That is number one in all the professionals’ minds.

I’m going to assume you live near a hospital - probably St. George’s. In that case if something happens to mean they want to send you in, you’ll be there in minutes. They do not hang around. They do not ring 999, they don’t wait around in a queue waiting for paramedics. They have a special number and a special conversation they have on the phone that the midwives will explain to you in advance. They take it all extremely seriously.

If something were to go down a road where you may need more help, you will be rushed to hospital as a priority. No one will hang around.

As it turned out I had to go in after the birth (to do with the placenta which they take very seriously too) and from the time it was decided we needed to go, the first paramedic was with us I’m sure within 5 mins. I couldn’t believe how quickly they arrived in the kitchen. Then another two arrived in an ambulance. It was phenomenal.

I am an advocate for home birth for many many reasons and I think we are moving back to giving birth at home for many positive reasons. You are not ill, you body is producing a new life which it is designed to do. For me, giving birth at home in my own environment, with only my own germs around was definitely the best thing to do at the time.

Anyway, I’m very happy to chat on the phone because I am well informed and have first hand experience of exactly what you’re going through. I have had two births, both completely naturally, without pain relief and without any complications. As a result, my recovery afterwards was also quick and straightforward. I am very keen to share my experiences to allay fears and to counter the negativity we’re often faced with in the media around childbirth.

Anyway, feel free to message me, but if we don’t speak, I wish you all the very best!
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MrBalham99
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby MrBalham99 » Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:36 am

Firstly, congratulations! What an exciting time. Your birth options depend a lot on your risk factors but also about the communication between you and how you can get fully comfortable with either option. The statistics exist but I can no longer find them. They are also incomplete because they don’t have the breakdown of interventions needed. I would say bluntly that it depends on your age and your medical profile. The mother of my eldest (now 18) wouldn’t be here today if we’d had a home birth: it’s that blunt. Even the junior obstetrician didn’t recognise what I sensed just after birth, that she had a severe haemorrhage and was in theatre within 4 minutes once I had insisted on a consultant. I know of too many other mums who have had problems at home and if we had another, I would not even countenance it. Put simply, birth is by far the most medically risky even in most women’s lives and you need the intervention immediately available if something happens. For you AND your baby. Good luck! St Georges is great.
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dudette
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby dudette » Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:07 am

I’m with team husband for the same reason that every time I go in the car I put my seat belt on even though statistically it’s pretty unlikely I’m going to need it. Even if you win the argument I would suggest you don’t get too hung up on it - as you say there are lots of reasons why you will need to go in. I had an induced labour with my first. My second was born before my due date but I had meconium in my waters so we had to go in and I was monitored throughout labour. Two things you can do though - firstly get a doula. They’re simply fab and become your advocate when you can’t really speak for yourself. And secondly hypnobirthing is just brilliant. I can’t recommend it highly enough - I had both my children without pain relief and I used the techniques I learnt years later when I had a skiing accident to deal with the pain. It also takes away any fear you have and so you approach the birth feeling calm. I think if you get a doula and learn hypnobirthing the reasons for wanting a home birth (which I fully understand) will be less important. You should feel calm, relaxed and supported even in hospital.
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esp78
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby esp78 » Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:53 am

You can ask the hospital if their home birthing teams provide an info session? The home based midwife teams usually operate on a postcode basis and appts take place mostly via community health centres. After a hospital birth with my first, I was keen on a home birth for my second but husband was also not sure. Valley midwives offered an info session explaining process and a couple who had had a home birth spoke. We ended up having a home birth for my second which was great. There is obviously a bit more cleaning up to do for the partner than in a hospital but you can get all this info from the home team. They actually operate at a much lower risk threshold than perhaps in a hospital, as they have to be very aware of all the risks to keep the service for women who wish to birth at home running. Plus in London we are lucky being so close to so many hospitals. At home, you usually get one midwife with you throughout labour, and one when baby arrives with you the whole time which is not always the case in the hospital system. The midwives are usually very experienced which is also not guaranteed at the hospital. 

Good luck and usually babies arrive how they want - I had a home birth planned for #3 but it wasn't to be and we ended up at St thomas which was also a lovely experience. 
 
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curly
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby curly » Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:16 am

Well you are going to get a lot of opinions on this one and each of them are right for themselves. No one can decide but you.

I had a hospital birth for the first one and a home birth for the second. The only thing I will say is that my body was MUCH more relaxed for the home birth as I was in familiar surroundings and felt so much less stressed. I think this helped enormously to have an easier birth.

For my first I was in a birth centre which was next to the hospital and I still had to get an ambulance to the hospital when there was a complication. It was quick and easy to get to hospital and at no point, did I feel that my child was in danger. The midwives will transfer you immediately if they think there is any reason why you should be at the hospital rather than at home.

If a home birth is what you want, then maybe start with the home birth midwifery team so they can educate your husband from knowledge, rather than heresay. At any point you can change to the hospital team but the good thing about the home birth midwife team is that they come to your house for appointments so you don't have to schlep to a hospital!!

Good luck. Whatever you do will be the right decision for you.

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AltenburgMum
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby AltenburgMum » Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:46 am

I’ve also had both my second and third child at home (attached to St Thomas’s) and for many reasons others have mentioned it was the best decision.

I’m happy to chat more if helpful just DM me. As per the thread it’s quite emotive even amoungst the medical community (I met both Consultants and midwifes along my pregnancies who were against the decision), but to reiterate two really important points made above. For second low risk pregnancies there is no greater risk posed to mother or baby in a home birth. There are two midwifes with you to monitor you and the baby, and they check in with the hospital throughout. Secondly, If things aren’t progressing or they are getting worried or you or the baby are in distress they will transfer you immediately and at category 1 for the ambulance (same as cardiac arrest etc) to the hospital.

I’ve got a few slides the midwife team gave me that includes some of the stats, protocols etc. I can dig them out if they would be helpful. Just let me know

Goodluck!
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sjcg
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby sjcg » Tue Nov 02, 2021 5:02 pm

The NICE guidelines (which healthcare professionals are supposed to follow) say:

"Women expecting their second, third or fourth babies, who are at low-risk
of complications, are advised to plan to give birth at home or in a
midwifery-led unit (freestanding or alongside). This is particularly suitable
because the rate of interventions is lower than in an obstetric unit and
the outcome for the baby is no different compared with an obstetric unit"

You can also google the "Birthplace Study" and look at the evidence that this recommendation is based on.

So given that all the evidence says that it is safe and it is in fact officially recommended, why is your husband still against it? What is he really worried about? Often it is the feeling that *he* himself would have a much greater responsibility for your (plural) safety and that can seem quite overwhelming.
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gail0810
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby gail0810 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:21 am

I was in exactly the same situation with my second birth (first was induced, but straight forward). I choose a home birth the second time and the experience was a million times better.

I was under the home birth team at St George’s - who were fab and I saw the same midwife the whole way through after the booking appointment - which I loved. She came to the house for my appointments which made life so much easier with a toddler!

You can change your mind at any time so if you did decide nearer the time you want to go into hospital you can. They do a risk assessment of the house beforehand and deliver the equipment to your house - gas and air etc.

On the day of the birth the midwives arrived at 8pm and told my husband off for not getting the pool filled more quickly! I was in the pool about 9pm and the baby arrived at 10pm. I did have to go into hospital afterwards as I had to have a catheter fitted as I couldn’t go for a wee afterwards - which was annoying - but when I got home, they said I should have had it fitted and stayed at home and they could have checked on me there.

I personally loved it - it was so much more relaxing and second time around you know what to expect. My husband didn’t have to do much, but found filling the pool and draining it afterwards a hassle - I said I would have swopped places with him in a heartbeat and then he shut up after that!

I think though that he has to be on board as he will have some work to do and it will end up being more stressful for you if he is worried and defeat the purpose.

Maybe arrange an appointment with the home birth team and get him to be there for that and he can talk things through with the midwife.

Good luck in whatever you choose.
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frenchorchid
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Re: I want a home birth but husband against. How do I get unbiased information?

Postby frenchorchid » Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:15 pm

I had the same situation, but it was my husband who wanted me to give birth at home, and I was afraid of it and was against it. I thought it was very dangerous and that my baby could be born unhealthy. My husband never succeeded in dissuading me. I gave birth at the maternity hospital. But thank you to all the girls who answered you in this thread! I registered because I found this topic on google!
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