Are you thinking of birthing your baby at home and don’t know where to start? This article includes all the information that you need to know to begin your Hypnobirthing home birth journey.
Many women living in the UK prefer having a home birth to a hospital one because they feel more comfortable and safer at home than in a clinical environment. If you are a low-risk mum, then a home birth is considered a safe option by the NHS.
Are there any benefits?
There are many benefits of birthing your baby at home, such as having the same midwife for the whole duration of the birth. You might have already met her since home births are managed by the community midwives’ team. You may feel more calm and in control in your own environment, helping your body to relax your muscles and in turn produce the right hormones for birth. And last but not least, you get to snuggle and relax with your baby in your own bed!
I would like to know more… where do I start?
Firstly, speak to your community midwife as soon as you know that you are considering it. If you do not have an appointment with her soon, you might want to give her a ring instead. She will probably be delighted! She will answer all your questions and put you in contact with the home birth team.
Did you know that you can change your mind at any time, right up to when you are in labour?
Planning your ideal home birth
Once you have spoken to your midwife, then it is time to think about how you would like your birthing environment to be: a good exercise is to read positive birth stories about home births and watch birth videos to get you feeling excited. Have a read at the birth stories on my website and on your Wise Hippo Birthing Programme book; and then log on to the Wise Hippo client’s area and watch some of the positive home birth videos.
Think about which room you would like to birth your baby in and whether you would like a birthing pool, the midwife might know the local companies where you can rent one. Other considerations include any birthing equipment such as a birthing ball, yoga mat or maybe some cushions and blankets. Relaxing scents, candles, your Hypnobirthing MP3’s or a playlist with your favourite songs are ideas that can help you achieve a deeper state of calm, relaxation focusing on what is important to you.
Discuss all the details with your midwife. She will also need a place where she can sit down, write her notes and have some tea or coffee and biscuits. There should be a dedicated space in the same room as the birth for her to set up the oxygen for baby in case its needed.
Finally, go through the plan with your partner so that he also understands his role; if you have kids already decide whether you want them in the birth or will you ask a friend or a relative to help.
Don’t forget to get as many old towels as you can find! To cover your bed and your sofa think about finding some secondhand mattress protectors that you don’t mind getting rid of after.
Labour has started yay!
Calling the Midwife
When you know that you are in labour give your midwife a ring so that she is aware and can start preparing. She might ask you if you would like her to come in and check you. This is totally your decision, if you prefer to wait then you can call her when things are progressing and your surges are getting stronger and closer together.
Once you are in active labour the midwife will arrive and get settled. Your partner can show her around and hand over your birth plan so that you can continue to relax. She might ask you if you would like to be examined, once again this is your decision: you might like to know how far along you are or you may feel that this may interrupt your relaxation.
Unless you ask your midwife for help or support she will let you relax and follow your instincts. She will check baby’s heart rate, your pulse and temperature every now and then. Did you know that Midwives carry gas and air with them? it is a good idea to write in your plan “offered upon request” if you prefer to be the one to ask for it rather than her offering it to you.
Once things are progressing and you are fully dilated, she usually calls a second midwife for support. Remember to include in your birth plan who you would like to receive baby: you, your partner or your midwife.
Baby is here
When baby arrives, he/she will be put on your chest for skin to skin. If baby’s breathing reflex has not kicked in, then the midwife will massage his/her chest as this helps baby to start breathing. Midwife will also carry oxygen supply in case baby needs it, she will discuss all the details with you.
Delayed cord clamping is a standard practice now so after a couple of minutes the cord will be ready to be cut. You might decide to go for a natural third stage of labour. However, if you prefer to have a managed one and have the injection just let your midwife know. If you are planning a natural third stage, think about where you would like to spend this time with your baby, maybe on a beanbag or sofa covered with old towels?
Once the placenta is out, the midwife will check you for any tear, she will put some local anaesthesia if you need any stitches. A nice shower and some clean clothes do wonders after the birth! Finally, she will check that baby is feeding well, and then she will leave you all to cuddle up together in the comfort of your own home.
Homebirth can be an incredibly special experience, away from the busy and noisy hospital environment, building memories in the room where your baby came to the world that you will treasure forever.
If you have any questions or would like any more information, contact me at email@example.com
Note: This will vary according to the area where you live. if you are considering a home birth, contact your midwife to discuss all the details.