Back in ‘the day’ home birth was the only choice!! Since then we’ve become used to the idea that babies are born in hospital, we go to the care rather than the care comes to us.
I have always had a fear of hospitals after every time I went to one as a child a relative would die. The smell & the sight would make me anxious & tense. When Big Critter was due the choice to have a home birth was an easy one. I had met a few people who had chosen this route one of whom lived up the road & agreed to be my birth partner.
I purposely didn’t tell my family as knew they would worry which brings me to the point of this blog why the view that homebirth is dangerous & it is so much safer in hospital.
Before I go on I would like to add Baby Critter & many babies I know we’re better off with medical intervention & I personally believe would not be here without however I would still like to outline why I believe during a ‘normal’, low risk labour why home birth is safest.
ONE TO ONE
This is the main most obvious reason. During Big Critters labour I had a midwife with me for 15 hours of the 20 hour labour I had. This was my choice I could have had her there the whole time but I chose to do first part alone in the hope I would have progressed by time she was back. Many chose to not call till birth is imminent that’s their choice.
During the actual birth part I had 2 midwives there 1 to look after 1 for baby.
Your most comfortable in your own home especially if you’ve chosen to do one of the biggest things you’ll ever do there. This in itself causes your stress levels to be lower which can only help progress your labour which is less time in hospital. You can also have access to food & water & home comforts without relying on anyone. You also have free run of more than one small area.
The midwives that come to your home bring what they can now my memory isn’t the best but the basics were oxygen for baby if needed it, ‘suction thing’ to help clear mucus ( I’m unsure they do this now) scales, gas & air, thermometer, doppler & soak up pads. No monitors, no consultants telling you something is wrong just you & the midwife. This again will lower stress levels. Of course in hospital you can refuse what you wish but there is less chance at home.
LESS PAIN RELIEF
Now you may be thinking whattttt!!!!! But this is a valid point. Some of the pain relief methods we know are tens, gas & air, pethedine, diamorphine & epidural.
When I was pregnant I purposely decided gas & air was only method for me firstly because couldn’t afford a tens not even to hire but main reason the other drugs you can receive have various risk levels of affecting babies after birth.
I’ve seen too many babies born on telly come out blue & limp from diamorphine to ever wish that.
They can make baby sleepy & slow. This can affect breathing, holding body temperature & importantly that first feed. Many women have no issues but for me the risk was too high.
This sort of goes back to point one but its important. The midwives have more time to fulfil your wishes & give you attention reassuring you along the way calming you when the experience takes you away a little.
You may have thought she’s already said hospital intervention saved her baby ( may be dramatic but my belief all the same) yet she’s saying home birth is safer. This is because of Baby Critters delivery that I firmly believe this.
My room was tidied within about 30 seconds literally can’t ask for more. My midwife for labour was also same ante-natal midwife. Was a fab experience.
So I guess I should outline why.
Baby Critter was transverse, breech & oblique for around 6 weeks happily spinning round. Before a plan could be determined to his delivery my waters went. Because baby wasn’t confirmed as head down we had to head to hospital. After 2 hours baby decided today was day to turn head down we were all set for natural delivery but had to stay in which we agreed with incase he turned back.
We were checked after 3 hours on labour ward all was ok. At no point between 1pm & 10.30 pm was baby’s position or heart rate checked which we were told was whole point of being there. We buzzed midwife & it took 45 minutes before she appeared. After a loud visiting time with me in pain & shivering uncontrollably we lied saying I was in too much pain & needed drugs! Naughty yes.
So we were transferred had nice quiet room but more attention. They stated I wasn’t further enough along as was only 2cm & had to go back to ward. Before we went we asked for heart rate to be checked. They dutifully did so all was ok.
At some point it was decided a monitor would be good idea whilst we waited seen as it hadn’t been checked regularly enough. This is where heart decelerations were spotted to cut longer story short I had an infection, cord was around baby’s neck & my labour wasn’t progressing so emergency section it was. Baby Critter was born blue but strong heat & soon pinked up beautifully giving us a huge cry.
If I had been at home Baby Critter’s heart decels would have been spotted a LOT sooner. My 6 hour shiver would have been also picked up. It would only resulted in him being born sooner & he had no ill effect of being born later that was just his luck & not the case for all babies. I would have been to ask simple little questions I couldn’t ask considering it was 45 minute wait for an answer.
However to add if i had stayed at home with no medical help Baby Critter may have gotten very very ill & potentially not made it.
So to conclude hospitals have their place & VERY important place. Some people feel safer in the which helps their stress levels just don’t say no to homebirth without thinking.