1st Trimester

Anyone considering a home birth?

DH & I have recently watched "The Business of Being Born" and have been reading up on it. I contacted a friend who is doing a home birth and she's helping me out in the research front and help finding midwifes in my area. Just wondering if anyone else is doing this or thinking about it? We're not 100% doing it, I have an appt in 2 weeks at a practice with 4 OB/GYNs and 3 midwives so we will probably decided before then what we want to do.
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Re: Anyone considering a home birth?

  • I have friends who have done it and in our state, it requires an OB be present.  That's frustrating for them, considering the reasons they want to do it, obviously, are tied to those presented in that documentary.

    However, I'm not interested.  It sounds messy and stressful to to me.  Additionally, in some states, certain equipment for water birth has to be rented anyway, and I like that our birthing center at the hospital has a tub, etc.

  • We're using a midwife, but birth will take place in a hospital. ?I'm sure if you meet with a midwife she'll answer any questions you might have. GL!
  • Not really.  One big and one (kinda) small reason:  we want to be close to medical care if need be and the MESS.  All the fluids, great chance of pooping yourself, blood, blood, blood.  I'm good with letting the hospital do all their own linens and clean up their own floor while I snuggle with my newborn.

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  • Hi! This is my first ever post :) I was actually just looking on here for some home birth discussion. Thanks for starting it! My hubby and I, too, have just watched TBBofBB, after discussions with lots of our friends at church who use a certain midwife in town for their home births.  I actually got to attend a home birth of one of my best friends a few weeks ago, and it was amazing.  We are seriously considering it, but in my state, too, a midwife is not legally able to deliver without being "under" an OB.  However, there are several under the table midwives that do a great job.  That's not for me, though, so we're a bit stressed about how to achieve what we really want.  I have my first prenatal appt with my hospital-ified midwife next week, and am REALLY stressing about whether or not I should go or try to find some other alternative.  I'd love to discuss with you!!

     

    Good luck in your decision process! :) 

  • My choices are limited since I'm pregnant with twins, but before...I would have been comfortable with a midwife attended birth in a hospital, but never at home.

    Too many things can go wrong, go wrong quickly, and I want to be somewhere with an OR down the hall to get the baby out within minutes if it's needed. Only takes 4 minutes of oxygen deprivation to cause brain damage or death.

  • Not to scare you, but my daughter was born blue, not breathing with the cord around her neck. She was whisked away immediately to the NICU. Everything was fine, but she needed immediate medical attention. I shudder to think what may have happened had we been in alone with a midwife in our home bathroom. And I had a very easy pregnancy. Nothing prepared me for that kind of emergency at delivery.

     

  • image NeverKnew:

    Not really.  One big and one (kinda) small reason:  we want to be close to medical care if need be and the MESS.  All the fluids, great chance of pooping yourself, blood, blood, blood.  I'm good with letting the hospital do all their own linens and clean up their own floor while I snuggle with my newborn.

    This, along with the fact that I'm scared I could go breech or something and wouldn't know, unless you get all that stuff to your house, which by then you might as well be at the hospital..

    Also, in Alaska we have a medical center here just for Alaskan Natives and if you're over a certain percentage of Alaskan Native then you get all (and I mean EVERYTHING) your medical for free. I'm over that percentage and my kids will be to, so I figure if it's free I might as well use it..

  • image MarisaC:

    Not to scare you, but my daughter was born blue, not breathing with the cord around her neck. She was whisked away immediately to the NICU. Everything was fine, but she needed immediate medical attention. I shudder to think what may have happened had we been in alone with a midwife in our home bathroom. And I had a very easy pregnancy. Nothing prepared me for that kind of emergency at delivery.

     

    Not doing it for exactly this reason - why tempt fate.
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  • I know lots of people are afraid of things going wrong, and you hear horror stories (which I'm definitely not saying are false), but truly 95% of women have normal pregnancies which are low-risk enough to have a successful home birth. Especially when you take out the risk from all of the meds that are given in the hospital, it makes sense that giving birth really is more like an athletic even (think marathon) than it is a medical event.

    Just some things to think about :) 

  • You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.
  • I can see having a midwife in a hospital. I can't see risking a baby's life to be more comfortable at home. Sure, lots of women have uncomplicated deliveries and healthy babies. But lots of other women don't. I work in a NICU and see the "worst case scenario" every day. I could never forgive myself if something happened to my child that could have been prevented if I was within 2-3 minutes of an OR, etc.

    Just my thoughts.

  • I live about 4 minutes away from the hospital

    My 1st delivery was super easy

    I've thought about it

    I would not do it!  I have seen how quickly bleeding can get out of control and how you don't know if something may be wrong with baby (cord around the neck).  No way!  I'd love to have access to a birthing center where things were not exactly a hospital but not gonna happen.

  • image helovesmelots*:

    but truly 95% of women have normal pregnancies which are low-risk enough to have a successful home birth.

     

    Is this an actual statistic?  95% of pregnant women, who have no pre-determined condition that would necessitate a c-section, deliver vaginally with no additional medical care needed?

    image helovesmelots*:
      

    Especially when you take out the risk from all of the meds that are given in the hospital,

    Can you not control which meds are administered and refuse them if you believe this to be true?

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  • image Jennicap:
    You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.

    Additionally, if you've seen TBOBB, you know that the director's planned home birth turned out to be an emergency c-section, but that she'd watched dozens of safe and healthy home births while filming.  So intervention is possible and midwives can detect these situations.  Good luck with your decision!  I know my friends who have done this are advocates and loved every part of their experience. 

  • I'm with you 100%.

    Are homebirth midwives "legal" in Connecticut?

    We don't even have a natural labor facitility near us, but have 3 major hospitals within 5 minutes, too. I feel like I have limited options.

    One thing about being low risk... Don't freak yourself out about that.  What a lot of my friends say about midwives is - they go into it expecting you to be normal.  Only if they find a problem do they do something about it.  That is a lot different than doctors who seem to make lower risk problems bigger deals than they need to be.  Homebirth practitioners will monitor your pregnancy to make sure nothing goes wrong, but they usually won't try to make something wrong when it's not a big deal.  I have even heard stories of babies being born breech at home and being 100% OK...

  • image Jennicap:
    I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital.

    what are you looking for exactly?

  • I am.  In my state homebirth midwifes are all licensed and covered by (most) insurances.  They are trained to spot high risk pregnancies and treat the whole person to ensure peak health during pregnancy and childbirth.  I have had 2 appointments so far.  I like that I see her for every single appointment and she will be there for the entire birth.  Between her and her assistant they clean up everything - so I'm not concerned about the "messy" aspect at all. 

    Some friends of ours recently had a homebirth with our same midwife and nothing but positive things to say (their first birth was at a local hospital). 

    I like that I will be free to move around, change positions, and do what is natural and right for my body as we learn what that is during labor.  I envision a quiet, dark, warm, and peaceful labor environment - something I do not see happening at a hospital.

    We are close to a hospital and I wouldn't hesitate to go there if the need arises, my midwife's emergency transfer situations are really rare though, usually an instance of high risk is spotted prior to labor.  In cases of failure to progress (again pretty rare when the mother is calm, relaxed, and able to move around and find her own labor method that works) there isn't an immediate urgency, the couple can usually drive themselves (and the midwife comes too).  My midwife has a good relationship with a local OB.  Also because the practice is regulated in my state the midwife can order any and all prenatal tests.  I like that all the decisions regarding testing and procedures are talked about at length, she goes over pros/cons and encourages questions.

    My husband was not on board with homebirth in the begining, but after our intial consult and 2 appointments he is really supportive and excited.

  • I would hate to be that 5% statistic and something does go horribly wrong.
  • image NeverKnew:
    image helovesmelots*:

    but truly 95% of women have normal pregnancies which are low-risk enough to have a successful home birth.

     

    Is this an actual statistic?  95% of pregnant women, who have no pre-determined condition that would necessitate a c-section, deliver vaginally with no additional medical care needed?

    ***REPLY: This statistic was given in TBOBB as well as by my doctor's office when I went for a consult before pregnancy.  I'm not saying that people don't have pre-determined conditions. I myself have a form of Muscular Dystrophy, but I do not believe that it will interfere at all in the labor/delivery process.

    image helovesmelots*:
      

    Especially when you take out the risk from all of the meds that are given in the hospital,

    Can you not control which meds are administered and refuse them if you believe this to be true?

    ***REPLY: I do believe that you SHOULD be able to refuse meds. However, I have seen births of friends that have gone against their original wishes because of interventions.  Their doctors said they had to induce (which was debatable in their situtations), and once the induction didn't work, they had to use other meds to get the baby out since labor had already started. It is a horrible sight to see your friend/family member trapped in a labor when baby maybe wasn't ready yet. And then to see them have to get meds that they fight against because doctors threaten either meds or c-section. I just know that I don't want that for me or my baby. :(

     
  • image Jennicap:
    You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.

     

    How is death a small issue?

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  • I had a homebirth with the last baby and will have a homebirth with this one.  I think a lot of people are quick to say its risky or if I had delievered at home my baby would have died.  However, most (and again, I said most) of those situations are due to unnecessary medical interventions.  I don't want to start a debate but like I said I think people are quick to make negative remarks about homebirth without being educated.  Homebirths are as safe (and some stats say safer) than hospital births.  And of course, a highly trained midwife is a must. 

    As for the mess, I had a water birth so there was no mess at all.  My midwife and assistants did the clean up and laundry.  I loved the experience I will do it agan.  I loved that I was in control of the birth- movement, eating, etc.  I recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, anything by Ina May and also the Bradley Way.  I also read the booked Pushed with has a lot of stats in it. 

  • You have the right to refuse any medication in a hospital.  ANY medication.  Doctors & nurses generally try to guide you towards the best choice because they have degrees in medicine.  The only time a medicine can be given without your consent is if the situation is life and death and it is given to save you.
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  • I'm going to have to stop reading this thread, but before I go, I do want to say - be careful to not put much stock in statistics that don't come from controlled studies.  It's really easy to take data from other sources and bend it to suit your cause.  Hell, it's easy to take your own data and bend it to suit your cause.  Always question, always.  That's for homebirths and beyond.

    I am really impressed that there are women who are willing to do this.  Whoever does end up birthing at home, I wish you the best.

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  • image MissFeather:

    image Jennicap:
    You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.

     

    How is death a small issue?

    This is such a rare extreme case and I was referring to someones post that they won't do it b/c its messy. You should do a little research most midwives carry all nessacary equipement that even if mother or baby isn't breathing they can work on them in emergency situations, AND for the most part (from what I've learned) a midwife would spot an issue before it is taken to extremes and I would transfer to my local hospital.

  • image MarisaC:

    image Jennicap:
    I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital.

    what are you looking for exactly?

    I am looking for as little intervention as possible, I would like to be able to do as I wish and allow my body to do the work it was naturally designed to do.

  • yes, what are you looking for exactly? I used a very natural labor friendly hospital and it was a perfect experience...and is this your first baby? It very rarely goes the way you imagine it will in your head...I mean you should plan the birth experience you want but understand that you are not doing anything differently than a lot of other women before you have done...

  • We're planning a homebirth.  Over on BOTB, there is a post going right now in which I address a lot of the things brought up here.

    -Homebirth is for low-risk women who are low-risk at the time of delivery.  A good caregiver will 'risk you out' if you are not in that category.

    -Homebirth has been proven statistically to be as safe or safer than hospital birth, when done appropriately - by which I mean the woman is low risk and is attended by experienced, trained personnel who have the appropriate equipment with them and they are within safe transport distance of hospital.  These are world-wide, multi-year studies.

    Additionally, those countries with higher homebirth rates also have lower maternal and fetal mortality rates.  Something to consider.

    -Do your research and find a qualified and experienced midwife.  It is worth it to know you are in good hands that can assess an oncoming issue unfolding with labor and can deal with an emergency situation.  

    FWIW, my mw also runs a birth center.  The same equipment and personnel are available to me in either my home or the birth center.  The hospital is actually closer in my home.  So why drive across town to deliver in a birth center, when it is otherwise exactly the same?

    My mw also cleans up the birth mess, just fyi.

    I'm not trying to say this is the only way to go or what everyone should be doing.  Obviously - homebirth isn't for everyone for a multitude of reasons.  But most of us who choose this route are highly educated about everything that can go wrong and are making perfectly reasonable, rational decisions - the same as the women who opt for hospital births.


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  • image Jennicap:
    image MissFeather:

    image Jennicap:
    You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.

     

    How is death a small issue?

    This is such a rare extreme case and I was referring to someones post that they won't do it b/c its messy. You should do a little research most midwives carry all nessacary equipement that even if mother or baby isn't breathing they can work on them in emergency situations, AND for the most part (from what I've learned) a midwife would spot an issue before it is taken to extremes and I would transfer to my local hospital.

    I  don't want this to sound irreverent because I am not necessarily the most educated on home births but if the midwife would transfer one to a hospital if an issue came up, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of an at-home birth?  Why not just already be at the hospital with a midwife or provider of choice as an appropriate precaution?  The relationship between the provider and patient seems to be the most important as opposed to the environment per say.

  • image witoga:

    yes, what are you looking for exactly? I used a very natural labor friendly hospital and it was a perfect experience...and is this your first baby? It very rarely goes the way you imagine it will in your head...I mean you should plan the birth experience you want but understand that you are not doing anything differently than a lot of other women before you have done...

    I stated above what i'm looking for and yes this is my first. I realize that things can go much differently than planned. I'm in the research phase and learning about home births. I see nothing wrong with this and I don't understand the meaning of your last sentence about how lots of other women have given birth before me. Obviously I know this, women have been giving birth for 100's of 1000's of years and only in the last century have they taken place in a hospital and directed by a surgeon!

  • image lovinfall:
    image Jennicap:
    image MissFeather:

    image Jennicap:
    You won't scare me, in some cases medical intervention is needed but in 95% of all births there is no need. I am 5 mins from a major hospital and 20 from a major children's hospital. Most midwives today will carry with them all the needed equipment to handle emergency situations like a wrapped cord. I feel that what I am looking for in birth and labor can't be achieved even by going to a natural labor friendly hospital. I have also heard that there are requirements and you have to be low risk to have a home birth, not just anyone can do it. But I don't think its something to disregard over such small issues.

     

    How is death a small issue?

    This is such a rare extreme case and I was referring to someones post that they won't do it b/c its messy. You should do a little research most midwives carry all nessacary equipement that even if mother or baby isn't breathing they can work on them in emergency situations, AND for the most part (from what I've learned) a midwife would spot an issue before it is taken to extremes and I would transfer to my local hospital.

    I  don't want this to sound irreverent because I am not necessarily the most educated on home births but if the midwife would transfer one to a hospital if an issue came up, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of an at-home birth?  Why not just already be at the hospital with a midwife or provider of choice as an appropriate precaution?  The relationship between the provider and patient seems to be the most important as opposed to the environment per say.

    That's like saying I should never go snowboarding again b/c I MIGHT hurt myself so why not just avoid snowboarding again so IF something bad were to happen I would be safe.

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