The publication of the new NICE guidelines Intrapartum care: care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth, which recommend that women with a low risk of pregnancy complications would be better off giving birth at home or at a midwife-led unit, rather than at hospital, has got me thinking about Rosalie’s birth, and what I would do next time around.
If my experience with Rosalie has taught me anything, it is that plans don’t always go, well, to plan! I had hoped to have a calm and relaxing(!) water birth at the midwife-led unit, but when the time came R was either going to be arriving in the car or, as she did, at home on the living room floor.
I haven’t really given a possible baby #2 much thought, but hearing the new NICE guidelines about home births being better for many, did make me stop and ponder whether I would opt for a home birth second time around.
Things that I loved about having Rosalie at home:
- Not having to trek out in the cold and wet to get to the hospital
- Being surrounded by familiar things
- Getting to have a shower afterwards in my own bathroom
- Climbing into my own bed to ‘recover’
- Not having to listen to other labouring mothers!
- Having a wonderful story to tell Rosalie when she’s older
I think speedy labours might run in my family, my sister also had a fairly quick delivery with my nephew, her first baby, back in May; although, unlike me, she did make it to the hospital! My mum also mentioned her first labour, with my sister, being quite fast for a first baby. So with this in mind perhaps a home birth would be a good option – that way we are actually prepared at home.
Things we would be able to do differently with a planned home birth:
- Jim could be by my side instead of running around the house collecting items as instructed by the ambulance person on the phone.
- We would have all the blankets etc ready for the baby, so they didn’t get cold like Rosalie did.
- I’d get in loads of those absorbent sheets to contain the mess!
- With Midwives present for the birth, hopefully I’d do less damage to myself…
- Hopefully being planned would mean I’d get better immediate post-birth care
- I’d be more prepared for skin-to-skin and giving the first breastfeed as soon as possible after the birth.
Obviously there’s no guarantee that I’d be able to have a home birth, or that we wouldn’t still have to go into hospital (as with Rosalie), but at least if you plan for a home birth then you’re prepared, and being prepared always makes me feel more calm.
What about you? Have you had a home birth previously? Would you have one again? Has the publication of the new guidance made you more likely to opt for a home birth next time around? Let me know in the comments, or via social media.