Home birther considering hospital — The Bump
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Home birther considering hospital

I had my first child at home after a quick 7hr labor back in April. I had an awesome water birth with a wonderful midwife,and my partner and I are thinking about trying for baby #2 in June. After some thought I'm considering a hospital birth for the next baby. My labor was very quick with the first,I was literally pushing within 30min of my midwifes arrival. She lives 1+ hrs away,and that makes me nervous for my next labor. Additionally I feel like since having my daughter I've become a bit of a worry wart and I'm concerned I won't be as relaxed during my pregnancy/labor with baby #2,im already worried and I'm months out from TTC. Am I crazy for wanting to try a hospital birth even though I had an awesome home birth previously ???
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Re: Home birther considering hospital

  • raindrop808raindrop808 member
    edited January 2015
    Giving birth in a hospital your more likely to have interventions vs. home birth. Those interventions are the leading cause for c-section. As long as you understand or can find a doctor who is on the same page as you. Then I say go for it.
  • Hospital births can be just as wonderful and intervention free as a home birth.  You need to do your research and find a good care provider and a good hospital to deliver in, just like you needed to do your research to find a good midwife to attend your home birth.  IMO they both require the same amount of research and have the same amount of pros and cons, they are just different.  My hospital didn't even require an IV, they didn't check me a million times, they didn't hook me up to monitors, didn't tie me to a bed, etc.  It was basically like being at home except their bathroom was 10x the size of mine (and I don't even think I'm exaggerating there).  Hospitals like that exist in many places, hopefully you can find one!

    With my first I wanted a home birth, but have didn't live in an area serviced by home birth midwifes and never had insurance that covered it.  But since having my hospital birth I have discovered that it was an experience I really enjoyed.  I am with you in that I think I will be more relaxed at a hospital than at home.  Plus I kind of like the idea of having someone basically serve on me in the hospital after the birth.  I didn't have to clean, worry about food, etc.  If I wanted something I just had to hit a little button and someone walked through the door and gave it to me.  Being able to just lie there and focus on my new baby was pretty awesome.  I did leave the next morning since I got a little stir crazy, but I think this time I'll take advantage of my insurance approving a 2 night stay no matter what and enjoy it a bit more.

    B born 7/15/13, C born 3/2/15, #3 on the way May '17

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  • It's not crazy - the important thing is that you do what is comfortable for you. There are pros and cons to home births as well as hospital births, and you just have to weigh your options. Do your research, though, and be really familiar with the hospital and its policies. Not all hospitals are created equal and that's why some people have beautiful experiences and some have terrifying ones.

    As long as you're happy with your choice, I don't think anything else matters.
  • Thanks ladies,I have heard good things about a few local OBs so I will definitely look into them further. I plan to have the same doula I used for my first birth and she is fabulous and really knows her stuff,so that's a huge plus I have going for me.
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  • OP- I just finished reading Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel and I highly recommend it. Great advice on how to advocate for yourself if your hospital is heavy on medication/inducing and tips on how to win your OB's and nurses over if they start to press anything you don't want.  I also agree with PP that you should do some research.  Find out if there are "baby-friendly" hospitals near you. I found a great one near me that supports non-medicated births and they have about 10 water birth rooms!  So excited!
  • pixieprincsspixieprincss member
    edited January 2015

    I think that hospital staffs are more apt to respect the wishes and trust the voice of a woman who has given birth before. The woman across the hall having her third unmedicated was spoken of with great respect by the same nurses who didn't even trust me to go poop because I might accidentally give birth to the baby since it was my first. I went into my birth very well-researched, very articulate, and with a doula but it still was not a fit for me. For me, after doing hospital then out for the second I can't imagine ever going back (even despite paying considerably more to birth at home). The model is so different in prenatal care, birth, and post-partum care, so just think through your desires for pre and post as well at the birth. For example, how will prenatal care vary? Will it be easy to accommodate your child at appointments (if that is a goal for you)? Some other details outside of birth wishes vs. hospital policy on things like a hep lock or monitoring, will nurses come to your room and massage your uterus, even if you are trying to sleep? What about other lab work/ Do they come at all hours? Can you keep baby in bed with you (if desired)? Will older sib be able to visit (think about seasonal flu restrictions, too)? If you have special wishes for your placenta, can the hospital honor them? Will they be high-pressure for a bath for baby or separation for any reason? If you decline, will you still get respectful care? Will you need to take your baby for the newborn check-ups in a doctor's office with sick people in the waiting room vs. a non-sick environment with a midwife?  

    Those were the  details that surprised me about a hospital birth--that is was more than just the delivery rules (which weren't up my alley anyway). Again, I think that some L&D people talk to fist time moms like they are clueless and so you'd have built-in credibility based on already having a child, but I just wanted to throw some other thoughts into the mix.

  • Absolutely do what is right for you. There is no rule on the "right" way/place/time to give birth. There is just you knowing what suits your situation best.

    Having said that, I do think the nature of the hospital has a big impact on people's experiences, so it would be worth doing some investigation.

    FWIW my second birth was an unplanned home birth. My husband delivered the baby. There are many aspects to the experience that were just great, and in someways better than my first hospital birth, and my mw was all, "you'd be a great candidate for a homebirth next time." 

    But the answer for me is no. For all my own reasons, I would not choose to birth at home. I don't care where other people give birth, but hospital is what suits me.
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • I don't think you're crazy at all! Having had a successful natural birth before, I think your odds of intervention are much lower than someone who has not. It's also all about feeling comfortable in your birth setting, which if a hospital will make you feel safer you may labor better there. 

    I like pp's suggestion of considering the whole package. Prenatal care, birth, and post partum because in my experience the midwife model of care is a whole other ball game from OBGYN. But you may have midwives that deliver in hospitals near you, I don't have that option. Would it be possible to just have your midwife come over as soon as you are having consistent contractions? Knowing your first birth was 7 hours and second births tend to go faster, I would think she would high tail it over there asap. 
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  • I had an amazing hospital birth! Completely natural, not even an IV. I think maybe two checks in the whole 8hrs I labored there (did the first 14 at home) and just a handful of times with the Doppler but they used that while I was in the bath or birth ball.
    The only thing I didn't like was AFTER the birth. It was one of those units that had separate delivery and recovery rooms. So just 45min after birth I got moved to a tiny, dark little room on the other side of the hospital. There was literally someone in and out of my room every hour or more. Just stupid stuff like hospital guest services and the photographer and things I just didn't care about. It made it impossible to sleep! I had to stay for the baby for 24hrs in order for it not to be AMA but literally hr 23 I was waiting at the door to go.
    I had a doula and a new nurse who wasn't pushy and a CNM who was willing to let me do whatever. I think all of those things worked together to give me a great experience.
  • WDDCHWDDCH member
    Just my 2 cents: if you feel worrying and stress will stall labor at home imagine it magnified in a hospital. You're in a cold, bright, noisy and unfamiliar place. Often the change from laboring at home to showing up at the hospital can slow or stall labor until you get comfortable again.

    I had three hospital births and one birth center birth before having a homebirth. The hospitals were down the street but the birth center was about 30-40 minutes depending on traffic. The stress of being in labor/pain on the highway was a huge factor in choosing to finally have a homebirth with my fifth baby. It wasn't the only reason but it was a big reason.

    You have to weigh the pros and cons of each birthing place and decide what is best for you. A birth center may provide the best of both worlds if you are still unsure.
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  • what about a birthing center? kinda a nice mix of home birth and still having the comforts of the hospital
  • I can definitely relate to the feeling of being more worried about the second one than the first. My first was in-hospital and intervention free, but this time i am doing a home birth. my MW lives about 45 minutes away and same like you, my first was 6 hours start to finish. so yeah, as soon as contractions establish a pattern, she is hightailing it over here. 

    whenever i start to feel like, is this riskier? i just reassure myself with statistics - it really is safer overall for someone low risk like myself, compared to the potential for interventions / complications i would get in hospital. i personally just cannot relax in hospital. not to mention i don't have a single story from anyone who recently came from a hospital that didn't have a truly awful nosocomial infection. 

    i would really take time to examine and voice your concerns - don't gloss them over. talk to people you trust. then trust your gut. best!!!
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