If you are experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy and have no existing medical conditions, you are likely to be suitable for a home birth.
Why choose a home birth?
Having a baby in familiar and homely surroundings can help you to progress more easily through your labour. Having your home comforts to hand means you can sleep in your own bed, watch TV, have a bath and eat whenever you want.
If you choose to have your baby in your own home, you can have your family around you throughout. Following birth you will be able to rest in your own surroundings with immediate support from your partner and family.
You may find it easier to manage your labour at home as you are more relaxed and can move about more freely. The community midwives can support you to find comfortable positions around the home, maintain mobility and can offer gas and air and pethidine if you wish to use these.
If you would like to use water for pain relief during labour, you can buy or hire a birth pool for use at home. All our community midwives are fully trained in water births should you choose to stay in the birth pool for the birth of your baby.
Is it safe?
Evidence shows that labouring at home increases the likelihood of you having a spontaneous birth with fewer interventions.
Your community midwife will assess you and your baby throughout pregnancy to ensure a homebirth would be safe.
You will receive one-to-one care from your midwife in labour and another midwife will join you during the birth of your baby.
If either you or your baby require additional monitoring, your midwife will transfer you via ambulance to our labour ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital where your care will continue.
What is the criteria for having a home birth?
Whether you are having your first baby or subsequent babies, you can be considered for a home birth. However, if you have experienced any of the complications below during pregnancy, a labour ward birth would be recommended as the safest place for you and your baby:
- Raised blood pressure with risk of pre-eclampsia
- Baby in a breech position
- Multiple birth
- Additional underlying health conditions such as Diabetes or heart problems
- Previous caesarean section
- High Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 35
- If labour commences before 37+0 weeks
- If labour is induced.
For more information about your birth choices and home births, please contact your community midwife.