After the news this week that NICE have changed their guidelines on home births we are looking at one of our Mum’s stories who managed to have a wonderful and very successfulhome birth without intervention.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) now recommends that women with a low risk of complications in childbirth should be encouraged to either give birth at home or at a midwife-led unit. These new guidelines have received support from The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Midwives and The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) also welcomed NICE’s proposed changes.
Please see more on the details of the recommendations in this article.
Here is our Mum, Fiona’s Experience:
My name is Fiona. I have three daughters, Erin, Eleanor and our newest edition Eila. I was 40 when I fell pregnant with my third daughter Eila and after having two induced labours due to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I hoped this time it would be more natural.
At the first routine check all was normal, however the second one I was slightly over the recommended glucose reading of 7.8. Therefore because of my history and my age they wanted to monitor me again.
This meant me taking my sugar readings four times a day – once before breakfast and then one hour after all meals.
My dream was to have a home water birth. This was to be my last baby and I really didn’t want to be induced again.
With my previous labours I felt my daughters were not ready to be born via induction. I was put on insulin during Erin’s pregnancy and had to have two pesaries during labour plus a glucose drip. Not pleasant.
With Eleanor it was diet controlled and three during labour. Neither were big babies. Also when you are induced the contractions are a lot more severe.
However, the consultant team did not approve. The main reason being the risk of stillbirth. But with determination and support from my husband and two senior midwifery personnel, we got the go ahead to plan for a home birth.
I had to sign a form stating that I understood the risks and to agree that if there were any change in the baby’s movement, my sugar levels etc., I would go into hospital. At my 39-week check-up I had also agreed that I would be booked for induction at 41 weeks if my baby had not yet arrived.
After calling Warwick labour ward I had two midwives at my home by 8.30am. After a minor glitch filling the birthing pool, all was ready for me to have my baby.
Getting into the pool was lovely and definitely soothing. Within 10-15 minutes of being in the pool I was in full labour.
Unfortunately we had a little scare as the baby’s head got stuck and unbeknown to me, the cord was wrapped around her neck. The main worry was that my contractions had stopped. This period of time seemed like forever to me but in reality it was probably just a few minutes.
Once the contractions started again and two pushes later, my baby was born at 1.43pm. A healthy baby girl weighing 8lb 10oz (which was a shock to Paul and I). The only one of my three daughters born on her due date. I truly believe it was meant to be.
My home birth was definitely the better of my three labours. It was more relaxing and so special at home surrounded by my own things.
My contractions didn’t seem as intense until the end. I sat on my birthing ball, listening to my hypno-birthing music right until I got into the pool.
I did choose to have some gas & air at the end but all in all it was a lovely experience. My husband Paul told me that he too found it a more relaxing experience and that he felt much more involved and that it felt more how a labour should be. The midwives were brilliant!
Overall I was very happy with the outcome and wished I had been more persistent during my previous pregnancies. All I wanted was the choice to be able to try and have my baby at home.
To anyone considering having a home birth I would say… Go for it and persevere for what you believe in!
Fiona’s top tips for a home birth
- Ring hospital as soon as you think anything is happening,
- Be organised – pool, towels, hospital bag etc. ready
- Have music – hypno birthing if you are doing that (I did!)
- If you have other children a plan as to where they will go / who will have them
- Work with midwives in case u do have to go to hospital
- Enjoy it as it’s so special