Homebirthing Twins?

Jodi - posted on 11/26/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




I am 26 weeks pregnant with fraternal twin girls. my blood pressure is ideal, my weight gain is low, I have non-symptomatic gallstones and no complications thus far. I live in Wisconsin btw.

I wanted a homebirth with my first daughter but was scared out of it by my doctor. I ended up having a "normal" hospital birth that I was hugely dissastified with. Finding out I was pregnant again I was determined to have a home birth this time around...then we found out it was twins and my doctor once again scared me away from it. BUT, I have done so much more research this time (research I so regret not doing with my first pregnancy) and learned so much that I am back on track and want a home birth!

IF I go through my hospital, I am all but guaranteed interventions. If I don't go into labor by 38 weeks I have to be induced, if I don't progress quickly enough I have to have a c-section. My OBGYN has admitted she can only recall one twin vaginal delivery in all her years and of course there were interventions (pitocin, epidural, episiotomy, forceps). The liklihood that I will have a c-section is so great she has urged me to make the date and has warned me that even if I attempt a vaginal delivery I still have to do so in the OR, not a birthing room and will have to have continual monitoring which means I can't be up and moving around. There is only one other hospital close enough for me (The closest hospital, the one I have thus far chosen, is still an hours drive) has basically the same policies.

What I'm wondering is, has anyone had a twin home birth? Can midwives perform twin homebirths in Wisconsin (I'm having a horrible time finding the laws on this). I'm not sure I qualify for homebirth since I live so far away from the hospital, but there is a midwife ran birthing center 20 minutes away and I would be willing to do a birth there instead of home, I just really don't want to go through a hospital.

Lastly, I know a lot of people are misinformed about homebirths, so unless you come armed with facts proving that it's NOT safe, feel free to refrain from posting, this is not a debate about whether or not one should homebirth, I am asking for advice, support, experience and insight on a twin homebirth (or birthing center) from people who know what they're talking about!!!!

Thank you in advance!


Lisa - posted on 11/27/2010




There are no "laws" that require where children have to be born or for the use of interventions because of a multiple pregnancy. I would have a serious talk with your doctor about your wishes for childbirth, not her or the hospital's wishes. Your hospital should be writing a birthing plan with you. My doctor talked about using a birthing center for my first because he was for birthing centers (he should be, his wife owns it!). His thought is that he likes his moms to deliver in the hospital for the first time and if there are no complications, etc., he’s all for subsequent births to be with the use of a midwife. I had complications with my first because of her positioning and size and my second was also planned for the hospital and also had complications which resulted in a c-section for baby’s wellbeing.
Remember, this is your body and your children. You need to be happy with the care you are receiving. Inductions should not be used unless they are medically needed and the same goes for other types of interventions. Those interventions should be discussed with your doctor and both of you should mutually agree upon the intervention.
Most midwifes also have arrangements with midwives and birthing centers who use their services when complications do arise. Most likely there is a midwife or birthing center very close to your hospital.
If your doctor cares about your care as well as your wishes for a safe and healthy labor and delivery, she should be willing to work with you and a midwife for your care during your pregnancy.

Angie - posted on 11/27/2010




I think the birthing center is a great compromise. I wanted a home birth with my oldest but I was over an hour from the hospital so my midwife couldn't be that far from her other patients. I am really glad I had my son in the hospital since unexpected complications occured for us both. In a birthing center they will be able to watch your health, and more important, your daughters' health during delivery. Give your husband the facts about the birthing center, go tour it, and then make the decision together. I know a lot would say that this is your decision only, but these are his daughters and wife so he has a lot at stake. Good luck, I'm glad you found an alternative to a hospital birth.


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Sarah - posted on 11/28/2010




I had identical twins in a hospital. I had considered a home birth after doing research, but when I researched that research the chances really aren't that great of having a birth that doesn't require you to be rushed to the hospital. I went into labor early, baby A was only 3 ounces bigger than baby B but this poses a threat. I guess it all boils down to, how comfortable you feel concerning your health and the health of your babies. I ended up having a c-section after my OBGYN and specialist thought I could have a vaginal delivery. Find a hospital that allows midwives, that's where we ended up, and when trouble came we were already in the hospital.

Amanda - posted on 11/28/2010




Most Midwives will NOT birth twins at home (they are automatically considered a high risk pregnancy). But they will go to a hospital and be your voice to the doctors. A birthing center would be good too.

There is no reason to induce twins at 38 weeks (totally hate that fact that doctors want to control twin births so much). My friend refused a induction until 40 weeks, she gave birth at 39 weeks naturally with her twins. So I suggest you find a midwife willing to go to the hospital with you, or a doula, if a birthing center will not accept you.

Laura - posted on 11/27/2010




It sounds like you have done the research and know more about the risks and benefits than your OB! Realize, too, that the "best practice" proccedures that hospitals use are geared toward avoiding malpractice lawsuits--not neccessarily the health and well-being of the patient, IMO. If the hospital isn't willing to work with you on this then by all means look into the birthing center at the very least. While homebirths are generally a safe alternative for healthy moms-to-be, your twins DO pose a potential concern from a health & safety standpoint. The birthing center sounds like it would be an excellent compromise--it will provide a bit more in the way of safety and security for mom and babies yet is far more intimate and more restrained in it's practices than the hopital. There's my 2 cents and best of luck to you!

Rachel - posted on 11/27/2010




it really sounds like you need a different doctor, one who will actually support you and what you want... a midwife would most certenly be better... if the midwives are not allowed to do so in your state could you cross state lines and go to another birthing center where it is allowed? I am thinking of a home birth with my next baby, if I am allowed seing as last time I went with "normal" doctors and my water broke at 34 weeks, and although I did not start labour they induced me at 35 weeks even though now after research I have done I think back and know that they didnt' need to and it would have been better for me and my baby to not be induced. if you have no complications there is no reason for you to be induced early, I have read that when labour starts it is because it is then and only then that the baby's lungs are ready. honestly you need to find someone who will support you in how you want to birth your babies not throw what you want out because of what conventional medicine tells them

Lydia - posted on 11/27/2010




one of my friends had 9 of her 10 babies at home, no widwife, only her and her husband. the one she had in the hospital was an emergency c-section. she had several natural births at home after the c-section. i know of several twin births that were natural but in the hospital. if you can find an experienced midwife, i see no problem.

Jodi - posted on 11/27/2010




Until I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was using one of the 4 midwives who work right at the hospital and was very comfortable with them. As soon as the ultrasound showed two babies though, I was told that the hospital would not allow me to use the midwives, that I was now high risk and had to be seen by an OB...and thus the slippery slope began! lol
I have called the birthing center and am waiting (impatiently) for a call back and I'm REALLY hoping that they will take me or can point me in a better direction than my hospital...I just really feel like I finally came to my senses a bit late in the game!
Thank you so much for all the advice and support ladies!
(On a side note, my husband was anti-breastfeeding until I a) gave him the facts and b) he witnessed the wonder of it for over a year and half with our daughter! I think this could turn out the same!)

Terri - posted on 11/27/2010




Have you searched for a midwife in your area? If I were you, I would speak with a few midwives and just see which one you like best. I completely understand what you are saying and I wholeheartedly agree. My son's GF just had a baby (at age 17) and had a completely NORMAL pregnancy. No risks whatsoever. Yet on the very date she was due they induced her.. and when nohting happened broke her water.. 12 hours later she still was only 4 cm dialated and distress was starting for the baby (not only had he been exposed to the induction meds but the epidural for over 12 hours) and they did a c-section. HIs head was swollen huge the dr said from the contractions pushing him down (in my opinion when he wasn't ready). It's just senseless intervention. He is now one month old and is very underactive, doesn't even seem very motivated to eat. And I really wonder if it is due to all those serious med's that were given to his mother.
I am 36 weeks pregnant myself (surprise mid-life baby) and will deliver at home. We had my daughter at home 12 years ago but we chose to do it without a midwife. My husband delivered her.
You are wise, in my opinion, to take the time to search this out.

Julie - posted on 11/27/2010




A good friend of mine had a (singleton) home birth and she was very pleased with how things went. Unfortunately, twins DO raiset the chances of complications, so it would be statistically less-safe to home birth twins than a single baby. I did not have a normal delivery myself (@ 26.5 weeks), so I can only say that I can imagine birthing at a hospital with "pushy" or "impatient" doctors might be unpleasant. I think I'd be looking into a birthing center instead of a hospital, so that it can be as close to home as possible, but with ready access to emergency support ... just in case. I'm also a big fan of being prepared because it seems to decrease the incidence of bad things happening.

Most importantly, if you and your midwife feel comfortable with a homebirth and prepared for the possibliity of needing outside "help", you should go for it. I wouldn't take your OB's opinion as gospel, she may not have as much experience with truely natural births. I imagine there are papers about it. Or, you could call the center and ask them what they've seen in the past in regards to twins ...

Good for you that you are looking into all your options to make your next delivery the best possible for you and your girls!

Betsy - posted on 11/27/2010




I have twins who are now 17. I was very happy with my hospital birth. I was really thankful for the whole process and I did not need or ever have a C for any of my kids. The second twin needed medical attention within the first day. I was so thankful for all the love and watchful eyes of the nursing staff. They helped him for 5 days, while I took my first twin home after two days. We were so fortunate with all the love and assistance that came our way from the hospital and from friends. I would never do it any other way. I am wishing you all the joy in the world with your twins, there is nothing more fun than to raise them and watch them change!

Jodi - posted on 11/27/2010




Thanks Louise, now I just have to make sure the birthing center will TAKE a twin pregnancy (their website doesn't say and with the holidays I've had a hard time contacting them!) and then I have to convince my husband that it's not some butcher practice from the dark ages with a voodoo witch attending! lol

Louise - posted on 11/27/2010




If you have your heart set on a homebirth then I can see not reason why you should not do it. Ok so you will need two midwives and possibly a third to deal with you but that is no major problem. I hated the hospital births but was to scared to go ahead and book a homebirth. I think if I were in your shoes I would book a birthing centre just to be on the safe side, but hey you have obviously done your homework and know what you are talking about so follow your gut and go for it. Good Luck xx

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