Home Birth – A Choice

From the get-go my husband and I have said we’d like a home birth. This is for a variety of reasons and one that was made following some research. It wasn’t just some plan we plucked out of thin air.

We looked at the Working with Pain Approach – HERE

The key points being:

• According to the working with pain approach, given support and encouragement, women are able to cope with normal labour pain.

• Privacy, peacefulness, and absence of distractions promote the production of the body’s natural pain relievers, endorphins.

• Epidural use is decreased where there is continuity of care and continuous support in labour from trusted caregivers and birth companions.

• Birth planned at home or in a birth centre is associated with reduced epidural use.

• Immersion in water, choosing comfortable positions and other self help techniques help women to cope with pain in labour.

• Feeling emotionally supported and in control affects most women’s satisfaction with labour more than the experience of pain itself.

We read other reports, the NICE guidelines and spoke to the midwife at the hospital (where we lived when we found out we were pregnant). Overall we felt with a home birth I’d feel most relaxed which ideally should promote the right hormones to keep me going, also interventions appeared to be less common in home births and recovery appears to be better as well (for mother and baby with less post natal depression). All round it sounded like the most sensible option.

The midwife in the city we originally lived was very supportive of home births. However, once we moved the new midwife wasn’t as keen so this threw me a bit.

I started questioning what we had planned.

  • Was I being naïve in planning a home birth when we were 45 minutes from the hospital?
  • What if something happened?
  • Was I doing what was best for the baby?
  • Was I doing what was best for me?
  • How would I cope with the pain?
  • How you my partner cope with seeing me in pain? Would he be traumatised?

Thankfully my partner who has already been my rock throughout was able to offer more reassurance.

He reminded me that while the hospital is 45 minutes away the ambulances are not stored there and I should be able to find out where the nearest depots were. If something happened it wasn’t going to happen suddenly and the midwife wasn’t daft. She’d advise us to transfer well before there being a real emergency. Also, if I gave birth in the midwife centre they’d have to transfer me if there were complications anyway as they were not equipped to deal with it there. The baby would benefit from being born in an environment that was safe, but also one where I was the least stressed. The only way to eliminate the pain would be to have an epidural and that’s the bottom of our list. My husband reassured me that he was there for me before, during and after the birth.

I am still confident in my decision with a home birth, but, like I have said all along, if things change I am happy to go with the flow.

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