Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Home vs. Hospital

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,624

    Question Home vs. Hospital

    OK ladies, feel free to let loose your opinions here.
    I'm not pregnant now, but hoping to be someday soon, with our third child. I've had two excellent hospital births, with relatively short, easy labours, and no tearing. Both babies were in great shape post-birth, with apgars of 9 and 9. I went home after #1 24hrs later, and after #2 about 10 hours later. I am really thinking about a home birth next time, but it seems like every time I mention that to someone, they have a comment about their cousin's friend's sister who had a baby who would have died if it had been born at home. :eek:
    I'm not really opposed to hospital births - both times have been good experiences for me, but I would rather be at home, if all is well. What is the real truth about this!?!?!? I understand that usually everything goes well at home, (which is why I am interested) and that the intervention rate is obviously much lower, which is good, but if there is a slightly higher chance of baby/mum dying, I'm not sure it's worth it!
    BTW we live about 7 minutes from the nearest small hospital, and about 20 minutes from the nearest big hospital (the one that usually does deliveries.)
    So, what do you think?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    How exciting - sounds like you've had some great experiences there I have had two children myself, and my third will be at home in water - I figure if I got to hospital at 9cms and pushed my baby out, I can do that at home, surrounded by women who will be there continuously and have my best interests at heart.

    I could babble on for ages, but I have to get offline so the main things I would add are:

    * You can't get diseases, infections and viruses at home that you would get in hospital
    * It takes the same time to set up surgery if you are at home or in hospital, in fact I have heard of some women waiting a while in hospital to be set up and that is in the odd case you need a caesar - you've had two great births and this is your third - your body will likely birth with ease
    * You can choose a carer who will be there continuously, no shift changes! Labours are often much faster at home as you have familiar smells and comforts which can be interrupted in the hospital transfer
    * There will be less monitoring, poking and prodding - it will all be done in safe limits and your decisions will not be argued with
    * Your children will be more involved in the process, if thats what you want There is a great article on siblings at birth in the birth section of the main site

    Better go!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Ok adding things as I go, but you gotta give birth where you feel safe... I have heard of women getting to 5cms and stalling and after some time, she revealed she didnt feel safe and went to hospital and had her baby all was good... so you need to be comfy with your decision!

    * Maternal mortality is practically the same and very low anyway when you compare the two
    * Less intervention at home, less episiotomies, more physiological third stage (no injection ) and of course no forceps or anything is actually done at home LOL
    * Less pain relief!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  4. #4

    Default

    Ive never considered a home birth until now.
    I would like to look into it for our next baby. I can see pro's and con's of home births. But not sure if id feel safe enough to go through it without hospital staff.

    Goodluck with what you choose in the end.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    You can see the appeal, can't you - no fairies or hippes singing and dancing around trees It's just a wonderful, warm thing you are able to do. Labouring in candlelight while the kids sleep with your loved ones and support around you. The midwife staying by your side for hours after - no nicking off to do paperwork or cleaning up - just being with you, just like the word midwife means - with woman.

    With hospital staff, I know what you mean, but midwives already do all the work really, don't they Only at home, you get to choose your own midwife who you like and get along with Even if you have to transfer into hospital, your midwife will stay with you so you will still have the same carer.

    You get all your pre-natal checks in your own home, I think they spend up to two hours with you, no waiting in anyone's office! Check the bub, you - all the stuff an Ob would do. Any complications or problems would be mentioned and if need be, a midwife will request that you see a doctor. I am sure in the next few days some homebirthers will be able to post and give you their experiences. It will be some years yet until I am able to pass on mine LOL
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  6. #6
    melissa.r Guest

    Default

    I think those people who comment negatively about homebirth often know very little about it. I have had a homebirth and know lots of women who have had homebirths. Statistically it is 'at least as safe as a hosptial birth if not safer'. I think a lot of people believe that the only thing a midwife has to fall back on if things go a little off course is some hot water and towels. Our midwives had their 'bag of tricks' on the day which was set up in another room, iexygen etc etc. Despite popular belief, if a woman needs to be tranferred to hospital then the midwives arrange this (we had a backup booking at our local hospital) and they do not delay, after all, midwives carry no insurance and would never put the mother or baby at undue risk. If a woman requires a c/s then by the time she was at the hospital, the theatre would be prepared. Statistically woman who birth in hosptial have much higher intervention rates than they should according to WHO. Natural birth is possible for most women without intervention if the process is uninterupted.
    Mama of 2: When I read your birth stories, I believe there is no reason you could not only have a successful but very empowering homebirth. I recommend you speak to an independent midwife or doula to be provided with accurate information and you might want to check out links on the maternity coalitions website. Good luck.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    During labour at home (didn't get to hospital till 9cm dialated) I said to DH "I reckon I could have this baby here - it just feels right". The way things turned out I probably could have. When I discussed homebirth with a midwife friend she said one good reason to have it at a hospital is that someone else cleans up the mess LOL!!! That's the only thing I think that is stopping me from contemplating number 2 at home. Maybe I will get brave with number 3 though......

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    Before Hamish, I wasn't interested in a home birth - not because I didn't believe in them so to speak, but it just wasn't my thing.
    After Hamish, I'm considering a third baby (and he is only 3w) and I would definitly now consider a home birth.

    The biggest problem I had after Jenna was I laboured at home very heavy for a long time by myself, and it was all pretty traumatic. Even when my partner got back from putting the rubbish out (took him 45mins!!!) it was still scary and horrid, and fast and yuck. By the time I got to hossy I was in such a state, there was no concentration going on at all.
    So it took me about 6w to walk into my main bathroom after the birth. I was petrified of the feelings and the memories I had in there.

    But now I've done a natural birth in the Family Birthing Unit, and it was great, I honestly dont think it was something I had to do in hospital. I was itching to get home, and I think being away from home also upset my 20mo as well.

    I know my favourite midwife in Geelong does homebirths for her friends, so its definitly something I'll consider if there is a next time.
    As for the increased risks..... No midwife worth her salt is going to let you or baby get into a compromised situation where your lives are at risk. I think its a misnomer that home births are risky. I think the risk for that particular birth would have been just as high if it occured in the hospital!!

    Go for it - sounds like a lovely option for you

  9. #9
    melissa.r Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roryrory View Post
    During labour at home (didn't get to hospital till 9cm dialated) I said to DH "I reckon I could have this baby here - it just feels right". The way things turned out I probably could have. When I discussed homebirth with a midwife friend she said one good reason to have it at a hospital is that someone else cleans up the mess LOL!!! That's the only thing I think that is stopping me from contemplating number 2 at home. Maybe I will get brave with number 3 though......
    My HB babe was born in water and my placenta was delivered on the toilet, so there was no mess! Maybe this might convince you....

  10. #10
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    My HB baby was delivered on my bed during what was supposed to be my 2nd internal to see if i'd progressed from 3cm and could be said to be in active labour! I went fast and easy. THe bed had a shower curtain on it under the sheet, and the midwives had put delivery sheets (like absorbent incontinence sheets, about 18inches square) under me in case there was mess during examination, there was literally NOTHING for any of us to clean up. I didn't even see my afterbirth, they'd tidied it all up so fast and so easy.

    If my baby had been born in hospital she'd most likely have been taken from me and put in the SCBU. She swallowed a little meconium which she'd passed during my incredibly fast and stressful 1st/2nd stage (i was 3cm dilated at about 2pm, delivered at 6.20pm) and was a little blue after birth. Her apgars were 9, 7 and 10. At 5 minutes, when it was 7, she was breathing but blue. THey put her naked on my breasts and i held an oxygen tube running free under her nose. Within seconds she turned salmon pink and voiced her shock at the birth. In hospital they'd have used the machines etc. and taken her from me. My experienced midwives knew my body was the best thing we had to get her going and it worked perfectly. By being at home i saved her being taken from me to go into SCBU (routine for meconium-stained births at my local hospital), and intraveinous antibiotics for both of us which were totally uneccesary since we were both totally fine.

    I had gas&air for the last hour or so, and could have had a little pethidine or morphine if i'd wanted (I DID NOT WANT!). I really think my labour was so fast because i was relaxed in my own environment. I don't know of a single mammal species that goes to a strange place with strange companions to give birth. They all tuck themselves away somewhere safe and let nature take care of it. I know terrible things can happen, but i know lots of homebirthers now and not one of them had problems because of it. The people i know with the most horrendous problems in labour and birth, sadly, all had lots of medical intervention leading up to crisis. Failed inductions on the 10th day after the due date, a "too-big" baby induced at 37weeks only to come out less than 6lbs in weight (after several ultrasounds), women cut instead of being allowed to stretch gently to let their babies out. I know a woman who was given a high-forceps because her "pelvis was too small for the baby", yet there was room for the head AND the forceps and her next 2 (over 9lb) babies she delivered without even tearing! Homebirth works when there are no problems because it causes no problems. Hospital birth can treat problems and that's great. But if it ain't broke, why fix it?

    I was about 10 minutes from my local hospital should anything awful have occurred. If it starts to go wrong they call an ambulance, they don't mess about. THough birth is dramatic in some ways, the things that you die of instantly are extremely rare in a normal pregnancy. The midwives had oxygen, packs of fluid and various drugs to treat bleeding as well as a newborn recuss pack. I felt far safer in the experienced hands of 2 skilled midwives giving me their full attention at home than i would have with one midwfie who could have qualified the day before looking after me and 3 other ladies in different rooms in hospital.

    I have no regrets whatsoever about my homebirth and would need to have an EXTREMELY good reason to birth in hospital in the future.

    Quite aside from anything else, i don't know how you ladies find the energy/attention to transport to hospital during labour! I was not moving!

    HTH

    Hana

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,624

    Default

    Thanks for the encouragement ladies! I think I will try to have a meeting with one of our local midwives when I become pregnant again. My only regret would be that I really like my doctor - she is actually a GP who does deliveries, only for low-risk pregnancies, and she is excellent! She will stay with me through my labour, no matter what shifts change, etc, and if she is in town, she will come when I go into labour. (Unlike the actual OB's around here who come when if they are on call, and leave when their shift is done)) I really enjoyed my appointments with her, and her manner in the delivery room - very calm, easy-going, but also no nonsense. I've asked her about home birth before, just in case I could talk her in to delivering my baby at home, but she is not interested. She isn't convinced that it is safe enough, and since I respect her opinion on most things, this worries me! But I know that many women have done this in perfect safety for themselves and their babies. So I can't make up my mind for sure, yet, but I think that talking to one of our midwives will help to reassure me that birthing at home is a good option.
    If anyone has more to share on this topic, I would love to hear it!

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Port Macquarie, NSW
    Posts
    1,443

    Default

    I would love to comment more later, but I am at work at the moment, so I'll dash off a quick reply.

    Both of our babies were born at home.

    It is important to put the "horror stories" you get from your friends into perspective. Stories like "she had a quick labour and then had a baby with no problems" aren't anywhere near as juicy a source of gossip, so you tend not to hear them as often. Also, many of the problems related by your friends may very well have been significantly worsened as a result of them being in hospital. Women who labour and birth in hospital are often left with no choice but to interrupt their labour - they are labouring well at home, then they have to get themselves into the car, drice to the hospital, get out, make their way into the birthing unit - and during this time, the body reacts by desperately trying to slow the labour, because it knows that this is not a safe place to give birth - you are out of your "nest", so to speak.

    Once in hospital, your movements are often restricted, you feel out of your depth, and unfortunately, you are expected to conform to some basic "rules" that determine how long you should labour for, and these rules don't necessarily fit all women. If your labour appears to be going longer, the obstetric system requires that it be "enhanced" with methods of induction, such as syntocinon or artificial rupture of membranes. As a result, your labour is artifically stimulated. More stress is placed upon the bodies of the mother and the baby. Some of the pain relieving drugs that you require to cope with this artificially induced labour affect you and the baby as well, making it more difficult to labour. Eventually, both you and the baby get tired, and more itnerventions result. Forecps, episiotomy, and eventually a caeserean section, which delivers a poor exhausted babe.

    This is a sad sequence of events but it is unfortunately one that is all too common in the hospital setting. Mother and baby both survive, but they walk away from the experience feeling doubt - doubt in their own bodies and their ability to give birth. And the sad shame of it is, had they stayed at home and had love and support from a partner, or their family, and a trusted midwife, that this "cascade of interventions" would never have taken place; their labour would never have been interrupted, and they would have given birth to a beautiful healthy baby who had not been pummelled with an artifically induced labour, and affected by pain-relieving drugs.

    Nature is pretty good at doing the right thing. The vast majority of women can birth their babies perfectly well within the home. Of course, there are no guarantees. Sometimes, in nature, babies are unwell, or there are complications, and hospitals are good for those times. Caesereans save the lives of mothers and babies. Our modern lifestyle, with poor diet and inadequate exercise, also plays a role in causing difficulties during childbirth (like it does with any body function!) But when mother and baby are healthy and the pregnancy is normal, birth really does not belong in the hospital, and traditionally never has.

    Iguess what I am saying is, take the "horror stories" with a grain of salt. Ask yourself - if that woman had been labouring at home, with love and support and a trusted midwife, in her own environment, allowed to take whatever position she wanted, allowed to take whatever time she wanted, with a minimum of interference - would that birth really have turned out so badly?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •