Should I choose a home birth?

Should I choose a home birth?

When you're pregnant, particularly with your first child, labour is a huge focus. It's such an unknown and you want to make the right choices for you and your baby. We talked to some mums who chose home birth about why they made that decision. And yes, two of them had a home birth for first baby! We hope it helps you make your choice x 

Home Birth with first baby

Lottie, 2 births, both at home

To be honest, before I had completed my NCT course - a home birth hadn't entered my thoughts. Like many women I'm sure - the idea of birth was imprinted from movies - go into labour with waters breaking, go to hospital and have the baby and do lots of screaming at everyone - with a slightly useless birth partner beside me! However, knowledge truly was my power - as was the luck of the draw that my body decided to do what it did and I had a wonderful birth partner. Therefore, I was very lucky indeed to have had two wonderful home births.

The decision though, was based on the science! For a positive labour - I knew I needed lots of oxytocin. The best way for me personally to achieve this - was to be as comfortable as possible and this meant being in my own space

The truth is, I'm not particularly a fan of hospitals, prefer to have as little interference as possible (I REALLY hate smears and the like) and I really wanted a water birth, so the idea of turning up at hospital and there not being a pool available was a cause of anxiety for me. 

I also immersed myself in positive home birth stories, did hypnobirthing from a CD, imagined myself as a birthing warrior and of course made my peace with the fact that going into hospital was a potential. I can go on if you like... but in a nutshell... I had confidence in my strong body and I quite simply MUCH preferred the idea of being at home. I would say though - that any way the baby comes out and as long as mum and baby are safe - is the best birth! 

Sherina, 2 births, both at home

Learning about how birth works was revelatory, and yet made complete sense. For a woman to be able to give birth as smoothly as possible, she needs to be full to the brim of oxytocin! Creating the right atmosphere is of course essential. For me that meant being at home where we could (in theory at least) make all the choices we wanted: lighting, sound, people and pool to name a few.

I also felt very reassured knowing there would be two midwives present in the later stages of labour, and that- if any more intervention was needed- we were only a ten minute ambulance ride to the nearest hospital. Not having to concern my mind with making a decision about when best to head to hospital during labour made me feel more at peace, and I wasn't keen on the idea of being in a moving car during labour either.

Neither of the births went completely 'to plan' but both were magical and felt very natural, empowering, supported and grounded.

is home birth safe

Sherina, 2 births, both at home

Learning about how birth works was revelatory, and yet made complete sense. For a woman to be able to give birth as smoothly as possible, she needs to be full to the brim of oxytocin! Creating the right atmosphere is of course essential. For me that meant being at home where we could (in theory at least) make all the choices we wanted: lighting, sound, people and pool to name a few.

I also felt very reassured knowing there would be two midwives present in the later stages of labour, and that- if any more intervention was needed- we were only a ten minute ambulance ride to the nearest hospital. Not having to concern my mind with making a decision about when best to head to hospital during labour made me feel more at peace, and I wasn't keen on the idea of being in a moving car during labour either.

Neither of the births went completely 'to plan' but both were magical and felt very natural, empowering, supported and grounded.

home vs hospital birth

Emma, 2 births, 2nd at home

I had my first son at hospital because I felt quite anxious, and to me at that time, the hospital felt like it was the safest option. It was a good experience overall, but with baby 2 I knew I'd prefer a home birth. There were some things I really didn't like about the first birth which I knew I could avoid if we stayed home; having to get dressed to go to the hospital while contracting, the car journey, the transition from the car to triage to labour suite... There was a lot of interruption which really didn't help keep me in my zone.

I spoke to the community midwife about home birth and I was sold when I found out I would have a dedicated midwife, could have gas and air, and if at any point I wanted (or needed) to go to hospital, they'd take me straight there in the back of an ambulance. A big pack of incontinence mats and some old towels helped my husband feel comfortable about possible mess! 

I had the most lovely second labour, starting in the bath, and then moving to my bedroom, where my son was born within 3 hours of my first contraction, and I spent the day on my sofa having cuddles, before introducing him to his big brother when he got home from nursery. It's a very personal choice but I would definitely recommend it.