Home Births.

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I know this one has been kinda done to death, but bear with me! lol

I was reading this article : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

It's the usual kind of thing, women should have the right to have home births etc.
Then I read the comments below the article (that were far more interesting than the article itself! hahaha) and someone brought up the fact that saying a home birth is good for the baby because of the " calm, quiet, familiar surroundings" isn't really a good reason because NO-ONE remembers the circumstances they were born under.

The woman commenting said this : I would take issue with your idea that a traumatic birth would somehow have damaged your son. I didn't know my own birth details until a few months ago and I've led a fulfilled and happy life so far.

A few other people echoed her thoughts.

So what do you think?

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Mary - posted on 08/03/2010

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This is my observation, as an L&D nurse who works in a hospital setting:

Whether or not a delivery is "calm and quiet" is usually determined not by the staff, but rather by the expectant mother and those who she chooses to have present with her at delivery.

If you are a hysterical, excitable and loud patient while laboring, with support people who feed into your hysteria, well - guess what? Your delivery experience IS going to match your behavior, no matter what the nurses, doctors, or midwives do.

If you are calm, controlled and quiet yourself, barring a true obstetrical emergency, then your delivery is most likely going to be a quietly joyful experience for ALL of us in the room.

You can have a loud, chaotic and uncontrolled birth just as easily at home as you can in a hospital - it's really up to you, and your level of emotional and mental preparation prior to labor. The mood and tenor of your surroundings, be at home, hospital or in a car on the highway, really is dictated by how you respond to labor and birth. Yes, an obnoxious, loud or highly excitable nurse or practicioner can negatively impact your experience...but I have to day that more than 90% of the time, it is not the staff that causes the uproar, but rather the "support" people, or the patient herself.

I do think that women should have the option of a home birth with a skilled and licensed midwife present. I also believe that women need to be fully aware of the risks inherent in that choice, and accept responsibility for the outcome of that choice, be it good or bad.

ME - posted on 08/03/2010

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I LOVED my hospital births. There is no question in my mind that we would have lost my son if I hadn't been close to an operating room, and having hospital staff to bring me food, water, pain meds, and to help with the baby for the first 4 days was VERY relaxing!

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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That articled is a load of crap. I gave birth in the hospital and it was quite calm and relaxing in the labour ward. The only thing uncalm was myself screaming at people that I wanted to die from the pain and nobody pushed drugs on me, I DEMANDED THEM.

[deleted account]

I do believe that the experience of a (traumatic) birth can affect the mother if she is not given the opportunity to debrief about it or to reconcile her emotions and that there is the possibility that this effect can influence the child, whether through bonding, emotional connection, physical and physiological effects (lactation hormones, stress hormones etc). It may not have an effect on all women and babies but the possibility is valid.

As for home birth, I think that all women should have the choice of their ideal birth in consideration with their personal circumstances and risk factors. Women should be equally supported in their choice of birthplace (whatever that choice may be) by access to professionals, information and resources that improve health outcomes for them and their infant.

Tara - posted on 08/03/2010

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I believe that a home birth is often a calmer, more peaceful and soothing way to bring a baby into the world, opposed to bright lights and a busy hospital setting. But I don't think the affects of the birth environment on a newborn last beyond the first weeks of life.
I had 3 hospital births, 3 home births. All were normal natural deliveries, and I was home within 24 hours with all hospital births. There were no differences in how they were as babies or children.
I was born in my bag waters. I was completely covered and needed to be resuscitated and placed in ICU. I was also delivered with forceps (some strong bag of waters ) I was bruised and bumpy. I also screamed for the first 3 weeks of my life pretty much all the time. The doctors told her it was probably a sore neck from being extracted!
Anyhow, I really think homebirth is great for some women, others not so much.

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Becky - posted on 08/05/2010

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I have read studies indicating that women who are highly stressed or anxious during pregnancy will be more likely to have a high strung, anxious, unsettled baby, because the stress hormones from the mother will reach the baby and can have an impact on the baby's developing brain. So I can see it being possible for a traumatic birth to have the same effect. Not to mention that a woman who experiences a very traumatic labor and delivery is more likely to suffer PPD and may even experience PSTD, both of which could affect her bonding with the baby and have a negative affect on the baby's well-being.
That's not to say I don't think babies should be born in hospitals. For some women and babies, that is the best place for them to be born. I do think that some hospitals need to change their policies to make birth more friendly to the mother and baby. Others have already done a very good job of this.
Personally, my first 2 were born in hospital and were both pretty good experiences. With my second, I was only in hospital 20 minutes before he was born, so they had no chance to force anything on me! Not even a hospital gown! :) I would love to have a home birth with my 3rd, if we have another, but my husband is very reluctant. He has agreed to let me try a midwife next time though, so maybe when the time comes, she can convince him that it's safe. (assuming of course, that it is safe in that pregnancy!) I progress so quickly that I'm at fairly high "risk" of having an unplanned, unattended home birth for my next one anyways, if I'm not careful!

Ez - posted on 08/05/2010

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Wow I could write 2000 word essay on this issue, but I'll try and keep it as brief as possible. To understand why I feel the way I do, you will need to hear the basics of my birth story.

I had a traumatic hospital birth with the cascade of interventions. I had planned on delivering naturally in the birthing centre, but was kicked out of that service at 29 weeks due to clinical suspicion of macrosomia (baby with excessive birth weight).

I presented to L & D 11 days overdue and 4cm dilated. I quickly got to 5cm and then stalled for a few hours. Enter the first intervention - they broke my waters. Allowing this was my biggest mistake. Almost instantly I was vomiting and fainting. My body was not ready for the onslaught. I was then ordered to bed (at this point I was on all fours on a birth mat on the floor) because of hospital policy for fainters. So I was forced to labour on the bed. I could not deal with the pain anywhere near as well as with free movement so I took the gas for about 20 mins about 2hrs after the AROM. I quickly gave up on it.. it was doing nothing.

I began pushing after 17hrs of labour (10hrs since the AROM). I was exhausted and on my back. It felt like I was pushing up hill. The only times they would let me move off the bed (Fainter Alert!) was to go to the toilet, so I made regular trips in there to try and get gravity to do it's thing. After about 45mins of pushing, the doctor came in and started pictocin (called syntocinon in Aus) to amp up the contractions. After 2 hours pushing he came back and said the baby needed to come out (no shit!). I begged for more time, and got the 'we don't like a prolonged second stage' spiel. God damn hospital policy (they usually don't 'allow' pushing for more than 2 hrs). I begged some more, and he agreed to another 30 mins. By then, she was very close, but not crowning, and I told the baby was stressed and she had to come out. Because I didn't have an epidural, I had to go to the OR for the forceps. They gave me a spinal, an episiotomy (which tore into a 3rd degree tear), and pulled my child from me by her head. I have since read my OB discharge notes and see that there was no fetal indication for the forceps. The issue was just that it was taking too long. I am almost certain (as certain as you can ever be in birth) that if I'd been left alone for a little bit longer, my baby would have come out naturally.

So yes, I think homebirth should be an accessible and supported option for low-risk pregnancies. If a woman has the right to choose an elective c-section (risks anyone?) why is she not also entitled to choose a homebirth? I don't ever want to birth in a hospital again, but a heartbreaking change of legislation here in Aus has made acquiring an Independent Midwife very difficult. Our public health system does not support homebirth at all (unlike in the UK and Canada). I truly believe the majority of hospital care providers do the best they can, but they are working within the unrealistic constraints of 'hospital policy', and it often has disastrous consequences for a mother planning a natural birth.

Do I think the manner in which a baby is born can affect them? Absolutely. Not into adulthood, but certainly in the first weeks and months. There have been studies done on the link between birth trauma and colic. It certainly applied to us.

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2010

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I agree the hospital was so comfy... the nurses took the baby away and let me sleep it was awesome and helped me do things because i was sore after giving birth and all. as if my partner would have done that at home!

Charlie - posted on 08/04/2010

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Cooper would have died if i had a homebirth , i dont know i just like knowing medical assistance is available if something happens and my hospital births have never had drugs pushed on me in fact my last birth my midwife encouraged me to go natural and breath , i was then fully supported through trying to breastfeed and encouraged to co sleep in hospital , i found the whole thing to be a wonderful hospital experience .

Elisabeth - posted on 08/04/2010

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Like most things I think the choice should be up to each individual.

I live in a small town with its own small hospital and had all three of my children in their birthing suites which looked and felt just like bedrooms in a home.

Personally I loved being in the hospital after having given birth. The nursing staff were not only helpful but happy and extremely generous with their time and their knowledge.

Being able to relax and sleep when I needed (the nurses loved it when you would leave the babies with them to look after), have my meals brought to me that I didn't have to cook, no housework to do, no responsibilities for me to address other than looking after my gorgeous new babies :-)

Amie - posted on 08/04/2010

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familiar surroundings? I didn't realize my kids had x-ray vision.

Oh maybe it was a Periscope.. would explain the belly button popping out nearer the end. They were getting acquainted with the place. lol

I don't really think it matters where you are. What matters are that YOU are comfortable, no matter where you choose to birth. I'm a hospital girl, I was always most comfortable at the hospital. If any complication arose everything was at the tips of our fingers to help me or my child.

My two middle children I could have, in theory, done home births with. My son would have needed to see a doctor right away because of the extra thumb he was born with. Labour and delivery were otherwise fine with those two. My 1st I was too nervous and wound up to have anything but a hospital birth with my doctor whom I trusted. My last, well my labor kept starting and stopping, even at the end when I needed to push. So I was glad to have professionals there in case it didn't start back up on it's own, which it did in the end. =)

Shelley - posted on 08/04/2010

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I had an emergency c-section after 36hrs in labor and 8cm dialated
they had to also cut up my uterus as well as across so when i had my next 20 months later the risk of rupture was too great. If i have another i would like to try a vaginal birth in a hospital i don't want to clean up the mess.

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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Oh, and I would never dream of having a home birth myself. Fair play to those of you that have though.
Both my births would have been impossible at home. So if I was to have another (which I'm definitely NOT! lol) then I would definitely be going straight to the hospital! In fact, I'd have another C-section! :)

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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It's weird because with my eldest, although it was a vaginal birth, it was very traumatic. Cadence was quite a "high maintenance" baby. Perhaps it could be linked to a traumatic birth, I tend to think it was because I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I got home though! hahaha!

My youngest was born via emergency C-section, which people would tend to think would more stressful and traumatic I guess. I actually found it a million times easier! Shia was always WAY more laid back than her sister, and she slept like a dream. That leads me to think that it more about what state of mind your mind your in AFTER the birth, rather than during it.

(if any of that makes sense! I'm sleepy today.)

Shelley - posted on 08/04/2010

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For me a home birth is too big a risk my cousin had a home birth and thought it was great. About birth:There is nothing natural about it

Johnny - posted on 08/03/2010

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Hospital birth should be a choice for women who want and/or need them. Home birth should be an available option for women who are able and choose to have them.



If I have another child, I will opt for the home birth if I have a low-risk pregnancy. I am fully prepared for that idea that a trip to the hospital could be necessary, but I would prefer to stay at home if possible.



During my last labor, I had sharp, constant pain that concerned my midwife & doula. We were not set up for a proper home birth and had to wait for the hospital to have a space. Once we got there, they found that my blood pressure was seriously elevated (possibly due to the constant pain) and I needed to be in a full delivery suite instead of the regular birthing rooms. I spent 12 hours waiting for a room in the assessment department. My midwife & the OB told me that if I'd had a home birth, I would have been monitored properly from the outset and would have been admitted immediately if the situation had called for it.



The way our system works where I live, I'd rather try for a home birth and head to the hospital (where I'd actually already be properly registered-as an attempted home birth) than go the full hospital route again. Midwifery & home birth are well supported in our local system. So for me, it's a no-brainer.

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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I think it's more that the nurses don't want to do it, because people keep suing them over things they can't control.

Charlie - posted on 08/03/2010

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In reguards to whether or not the birth affects the child i cannot say but now that you ask ...

I barely made a peep with Cooper during birth and he was an easy, quiet child i SCREAMED and swore like a drunken pirate with Harry and he has colic so who knows , interesting idea though isnt it the Scientology church that m,ake the women have silent births for that reason ?

Tara - posted on 08/03/2010

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@Ashley
My midwives cleaned up all the mess, lol. Seriously though, they changed the bed linens, put laundry in, folded what I had in the dryer, lol
They also made snacks for my other kids, played chess with my oldest son, and chatted up my family.
They came back on day 1, day 3, day 5 and day 10 to check in, see how the babe was doing, fix me a snack or lunch etc.
The continuity of informed choice care is what drew me to the midwives, having the opportunity to birth at home was amazing.

Krista - posted on 08/03/2010

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One thing to keep in mind is that calm is also what you make of it. Some people could give birth at a Caribbean spa, and they'd still be all stressed out and wound up, because that's their personality. Others could give birth in a chaotic, brightly lit hospital setting and are still models of serenity.

Besides, let's not forget that we're pushing something the rough diameter of a coconut out of our vagina. How soothing is it going to be, really? (Although I AM willing to try giving birth at a Caribbean spa, just to test my theory. For science, of course.)

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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Do you all think though that the way you come into this world will have a lasting effect on you?

Is it something that shapes the way your life will go, or as no-one remembers their birth, does it not make a blind bit of difference?

Tracey - posted on 08/03/2010

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A traumatic birth damaged someone - ME!!! I have never been so traumatised as when the midwife said I couldn't have any painkillers

Jessica - posted on 08/03/2010

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I have had 2 hospital births and 3 homebirths and I would have to say home was definitly better for me. In the hospital I had IV's, a BP cuff that would go off every hour, an EFM which meant I was strapped to my bed and someone who was speeding up a pitossin drip every couple of hours. At home I was in charge, I ate when I was hungry, I walked around when I wanted to and when I was ready to push I let everyone know, Oh and the biggest thing for me was no one touched me unless I let them.

I'm not saying homebirth is for everyone but it was a great experience for me. In the end the place where you feel the safest is what's going to allow you to have a calm and non-traumatic birth.

Ashley - posted on 08/03/2010

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I completely think that its awesome to have the choice of having your baby at home. Me personally was a hole lot calmer at the hospital. Being as this was my first and I was scared shitless. But if you think you can handle it, why not do it at home? Well okay I didnt want to clean up any mess I may have made. lol

Sarah - posted on 08/03/2010

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I'll add the woman commenting had been born under very traumtic circumstances.

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