Planning a home birth for my second baby
I’m a little over 20 weeks into my second pregnancy, and I am planning my second home birth. Despite having already birthed a baby in the home where we live with a very positive experience, I anticipate (and hope!) parts of the experience will be quite different. This is because we moved into our house less than three weeks before my first baby was due… and in true nesting fashion, I was on a mission to get it sorted before the baby arrived- we had a wall down the day we moved in!
Having said that, it was an absolutely amazing experience, you can read my full birth story here.
View this post on Instagram
We did a lot of research on deciding where to have our baby, and safety did come into it but I have to admit, being only a 15-minute drive from the hospital the safety element was actually a pretty small part. The thing I loved about my first home birth mostly was how normal it felt, there was no ceremonious bringing our baby home, putting her in the front room, and thinking ‘’now what?!’’. It was like she had always been here ❤️.
What’s the difference with antenatal care if you have a home birth?
This time that feeling of normality has already started so much earlier, one of the massive benefits of having a home birth in my local Trust is that all of my antenatal appointments are at home. With the same midwife, who sends me a quick text before she’s coming over. She even remembered my birthday and sent me a happy birthday message! During the appointment I wee in a pot in my own bathroom, lie down on my sofa to hear the baby’s heart rate… it is what I would determine as real community midwifery, it all just feels so normal. In truth birth is normal, it is an everyday event. I made my birth mindset a priority the first time around, and because it’s a practice, I know I’ll need to prioritise my mindset the second time around too. Because I could only approach my birth in this way if I was free from fear about birth if I truly believed that I had the ability to birth my baby.
View this post on Instagram
Can older children be at a home birth?
The same is true for my husband too, he could only be the support I needed him to be if he wasn’t feeling worried about it. I think he is probably one of the biggest home birth advocates out there because he gets to be so much more involved being at home. Providing we get to stay at home, he won’t have to leave me and the baby overnight. We all get to go to bed together, use our own bathroom, have a post-birth cuppa in our favourite mug. Time of day dependant, our daughter may be with us too and I envisage her either having a Paw Patrol marathon on the iPad (AKA living her best life), sleeping right through the whole thing or, being picked up from nursery by her Nanna and Grandad if we are otherwise engaged. But we have booked a doula, and can call on the grandparents if we would prefer to not be around at all or I am finding I can’t get in ‘the zone’.
View this post on Instagram
Is home birth safe?
Those are the reasons we are planning a home birth, but there’s a whole lot of research into home birth too. When we told people we were having a home birth first time around we were certainly met with some unhelpful, and actually untrue comments. Its true home birth isn’t for everyone, and neither is a hospital birth. People are generally very concerned about the safety of a home birth, but a recent study revealed:
If you’re having your first baby at home, the research shows that you are:
- 30% less likely to give birth by caesarean section;
- 25% less likely to have an operative vaginal birth;
- 50% less likely to use epidural;
- 25% less likely to have an episiotomy,
- >35% less likely to receive oxytocin augmentation of labour.
No difference in the odds of experiencing a 3rd or 4th-degree perineal tear. The odds of experiencing postpartum haemorrhage is no different compared to those intending to give birth in hospital.
The risk of adverse perinatal outcome is 0.93% in planned home births compared with 0.53% for births planned in obstetric units.
The transfer rate for the first time birther is 45%. That is most frequently due to the length of the labour or request the pain relief.
If you’ve already had a baby and are planning a home birth, you are:
- 60% less likely to give birth by Caesarean section;
- 60% less likely to have an operative vaginal birth;
- 75% less likely to use epidural
- >50% less likely to have an episiotomy
- 45% less likely to have 3rd or 4th-degree perineal tear and
- >65% less likely to receive oxytocin augmentation of labour.
The odds of experiencing postpartum haemorrhage is decreased by 40% compared to those intending to give birth in hospital.
The transfer rate during labour or immediately after birth is about 12%.
Source: “maternal outcomes and birth interventions among women who begin labour intending to give birth at home compared to women of low obstetrical risk who intend to give birth in hospital: a systematic review and meta-analyses” published 05 April 2020
A prerequisite of working with me certainly isn’t that you are interested in having a homebirth! I don’t care where people give birth, I care that they chose their place of birth based on knowledge and not from fear. If you would love to let go of your fear about birth, and make a choice about your birth from a place of calm confidence, my next group hypnobirthing course which kicks off 5th July could be just what you need. And I have a free Hypnobirthing mini-series happening on Zoom 29th & 30th June at 8 pm you can book your spot here, but be quick, spaces are limited!