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I am as sure as I can be now, that I would like to give birth at home with this baby.  I have only run the idea past the midwives when I had my booking in visit at 10 weeks and although they didn't seem negative, they weren't exactly positive either and did point out that I had a slightly increased risk of bleeding because it was my fifth baby.  Well, I've thought about that and would still like to go ahead with the home birth and on Thursday I have my next checkup with the midwife.  I suppose I'm worried about bringing the subject up again for fear that they'll scare me out of it.  I've had four really good and pretty fast deliveries in hospital, with no intervention once labour started, apart from the bleeding thing, what else are they likely to say to put me off if they are going to?  I have been reading 'Home Births', an excellent book filled with home birth case studies and it struck me how many of the cases faced hospitals putting the women off with excuses such as lack of midwives in their area, poor weather for travelling to hospital in an emergency etc and I wondered had anything like this happened to anyone here.

I'm not a very pushy person and I find it hard to go against medical experts sometimes as I'm not medically trained at all.  Recently, in a nearby county, a male midwife was struck off when he attended a home birth after the woman being told she couldn't have one due to staff shortages.  Can anyone give me some moral support!!   :'(

Home educating Mammy to DD aged 13, DS aged 12, DS aged 10, DD aged 7, DD aged 3 and DS aged 2 weeks!!  grin

I saw at least 9 midwives when I was pregnant and got a different view from each of them - but I came to the conclusion that they felt they could not be seen to actively encouraging a home birth, so they outlined the risks fully and this appeared at first to be a bit unenthusiastic. I don't think they were excuses - they were just explaining what the risks might be. I think distance to the hospital, risks of poor weather etc are real factors to take into consideration when you are weighing pros and cons. In retrospect I really don't think they were being unsupportive - just treating me as an adult and letting me make my own mind up. I was 38 and having my first - so some people would say that I shouldn't have risked a hb.The exception to this was the ante-natal teacher at the hospital who was very encouraging and said go for it, but more importantly gave me concrete reasons why a hb might be preferable to a hospital birth.Once I made it clear to my midwives that I had decided and the birth was becoming imminent (and I had had a good pregnancy) they were incredibly supportive. When I went into labour over 2 wks early (and therefore shouldn't have really been allowed to stay at home) they were wonderful and said they would do everything they could to keep me at home - which they did. 

What I'm saying is that they need to be careful - everyone is always out to criticise the nhs and if something went wrong and a midwife was construed to have encouraged you the s/he might be accused of leading you in one direction or another.  If they were just unenthusiastic last time there might not be any reason to think they will want to scare you out of it. My epxerience was wonderful and I would really encourage anyone to have a hb - but being pretty much a newbie I don't know what they might say about increased risks of having a 5th. If one midwife is not keen you could maybe ask to speak to another? Hope that you have a good appointment.

Wodgehog I strongly recommend joining the homebirthuk yahoogroup, an amazing kick-ass bunch of people who've seen all sides of home birth, the good the bad and the downright horrid.  And they will support you every step of the way.  Oh, and I think I'm right in saying that your mws are talking out of their derrieres regarding the increased risk of pph for 'grand multiparas' :|

The other thing is to see if there is a homebirth group near where you live that you can go to, perhaps speak to a IM or doula near you who can put you intouch with homebirth groups and give you mor support and advice.  Although there maybe a rick of bleeding the midwives will had syntometrin with them so they can inject you to stop/reduce/prevent bleeding. 

I'm trying to get a friend of mine to jon the group she a fab green parent and midwife, she'd be good for yout o chat with.

It may have been that the midwife you saw did not have a lot of experience with home birth.
They do have to point out the pro's and cons and try get a bit more info about the increased risk of bleeding following fifth birth.
I had 2 at home my third I had to have in hospital as they would not allow me in italy and it was the most horrible experience of my life.
Not all midwives are enthusiastic about homebirths.

I have some experiance in this area ( i am not a midwife though)

The best direction to broach this subject is to ask about home birth in the area, is it possiable ?? do they have a home birth team of midwives? What are the risks of normal delivery with No. 5.
If you take the i have not made up my mind approach they are more likly to be forthcoming with information. If you take the this is what i want regardless approach you are more likly to hit issues. You need to play there game. Extract all the information out of them as possiable, if they give you risks such as increased risk of haemmorage then ask what is the risk in number figures, for expample. If you are not happy with the number they give you or they cant give you one then ask if there is any research papers you can read on it so you can make an informed desion.
After you have extracted all the information they are will to give then go to hopefully a pro home birth midwife, hopefully on a home birth team and say,' i have read and understand all the information and this is what i choose'.

Hopefully after that you will recieve positive help. If you are still facing negativity you then need to go to your superviser of midwives armed with some research on points riased by midwife at the first meeting ( such as the heamorrage issue) And again repeat that you have read all the information understand it and believe home birth is the right way for you.
If you are still facing problems there may be a consultant midwife working in your area you cna contact via the anti natal clinic. Or contact the head midwife at a local midwifery led care unit who should be able to advise you where to go next.
By this time they will all know your name address and background and you will find some one to support you.

If you need any other help please just ask. And i will see what i can find out for you.
Good Luck

when life gives you a rainy day play in the puddles !!!
mum to 4 sons 13,7,4 and 2
a daughter 8 years ,
and always in my heart my angel xx

I would also agree about the homebirth uk yahoo group (im there!) as a wonderful place for help, support, guidance etc. I have had 3 planned hb's (2 were waterbirths 1 was an emergency transfer) and the first one was the first waterbirth in my county (12 years ago!) let alone a home version! and I had a pph so trying to arrange the second time was also a battle.

I could rant on, but its better to deal with specifics - which is why the yahoo group is good cos you can post specifics -and get specific stuff back, included letter templates and things to say at highly stressy meetings with know it all health care professionals!

Oh, and of course you could always pm me!

FWIW I will be booking a hb for baby#5 (if and when!) despite a pph for baby's#2 and 4 and baby#4 becoming an emergency transfer due to deep transerve arrest! mmmmmmmmmm I must post by birth story at some point lol!


Nic, with 5 boys and counting…...

Look under, "You can't have a Homebirth if…"

Also recommend the Association of Radical Midwives for thorough birth-preparatory reading.  smile

Living, loving, learning, laughing, growing, with
8yo Jenna (August 04)
6yo Morgan (December 06)
4yo Rowan (April 09)
and toddling baby Talia (December 11)

GP LETS number 17

You've given me some brilliant help, thank you!!  There's a lot for me to look into and I will definately try and join the yahoo group.  I had my midwife app this afternoon and I brought up the subject of HB.  The midwife was actually the one who delivered my yongest ds and she said pretty much the same as the other midwife did.  That I wasn't exactly home birth material due to being on baby number five and that there was the slight increased risk of pph.  She also mentioned that I had had pretty big babies (two of them over 10 lbs), but then said that all the births had been very straightforward, so size might not be a problem.  I aksed her how many homebirths in general this area had and she reckoned about one a month!!   :-\   The student that was with us was quite enthusiastic though and both midwives agreed that where they had attended home births, they had all gone without a hitch and they'd been very happy with what they saw.

With my previous births, I was always told that I would need the injection to expel the placenta (sorry, can't spell it!) rather than let it stop pulsing as they said I bled a lot, but I don't mind about this if it's what has to be done.

So, I feel happier with my appointment over.  The midwife was cautious, but I got the feeling that it wasn't particularly me.  She said that although I didn't fit in with the criteria for homebirth, she said that most women probably don't!  She also said that if I was aneamic, they would have issues about me giving birth at home and that this would probably be more likely with a fifth birth.  So as well as upping iron-rich foods in my diet, would anyone recommend that I took Spa Tone supplements?

I'm still only 22 weeks pregnant, lots more time for more research!!  All your help has been invaluable though, thanks so much!  smile

Home educating Mammy to DD aged 13, DS aged 12, DS aged 10, DD aged 7, DD aged 3 and DS aged 2 weeks!!  grin

I've never taken Spa tone but wre you likely to be anaemic (based on you personally?). I had some blood loss becasue of my EMCS and they prescribed iron tablets (ick!) but I corrected it entirely by diet alone which was more than enough (dried apricots/avocado etc etc)
They can give you the injection for 3rd stage at home you don't need to be in hospital for it  wink

DS1~05 DS2~08

I used spa tone for this last pregnancy and my iron didnt drop at all! So would recommend. One sachet in a small tumbler of OJ every other day did the trick for me. Plus didnt get the usual constipation issues…..

Nic, with 5 boys and counting…...

but there's no correlation between pph and anaemia, except that it might take you longer to recover in the unlikely event it did happen.

My homebirth was reliant on having a hb level above 10…it was thankfully and all went smoothly.

‘If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves’  Thomas Edison might be a useful read for anyone with iron issues in late pregnancy.  One answer is to not get blood tests unless you feel unwell and want a diagnosis.

Floradix is a much nicer eqivalent to spa tone.  Everything in it is extracts of fruits/vegetables and herbs.  No gak or synthetics at all.  and tastes yummy, so bonus!

I've had all five of my children safely at home.  I met with problems with youngest dd, now 7 months, at the outset booking appt with the midwives in our area as i'm 39, and broke my back 12 years ago, so am considered high risk.  My solution was to sack the midwives and birth unassisted, at home, with no complications whatsoever.  That was the best, quickest and nearest to painless birth i've had (so far!!).

Not a solution that would suit everyone, but was perfect for us. 

Skye x

IME, the best way of having a homebirth on the NHS is to have already had one. Failing that, I'd suggest you use the politely worded letter from HomebirthUK to the supervisor of midwives at your local hospital requesting midwife cover for your homebirth.  
I'd find out exactly how much blood is "a lot", but I have a homebirthing friend who transferred into hospital for PPH. If she has a third, she's having it at home. It's nice for your midwife to be concerned about you, but at the same time a homebirth isn't dependent on arbitrary iron levels. You might want to consider increasing the range of vitamin K-rich foods in your diet now, as well as spatone. I've been taking a couple of doses a week for the last month and I have got more energy.

Skye, did you have any problems with things like registering the birth after your UC? Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'm curious about the experiences of people who've btdt already (currently sitting on the fence.)

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