Why I choose to give birth at home

I’ve written about our decision to have a home birth before after having a positive experience with Winston, but as that was a few years ago, I wanted to revisit it. Both Win and Ru were born at home, and we’re very much hoping to have a third home birth in a couple of months time.

Deciding where to give birth is such a personal decision, and one (I feel) shouldn’t be taken lightly. As long as your pregnancy is low risk and straightforward – the ideal place for giving birth is wherever you feel most comfortable. For me, that was not a hospital, or in a birthing centre – it was at home.

Isn’t it funny how different we all are? So many people have said: “Wow, that’s brave!”, whereas I think people that give birth in hospital are brave – a new environment, lots of technology and all those new people. I think that’s incredibly brave, I really do.

I knew being in a hospital would make me feel tense, anxious and out of control. I loved the thought of lying on my own sofa, going in my own shower, going in my own bath, walking around my own house and eating my own food. I also loved that Jared could stay with me, and had the opportunity to be really involved with the birth. At a home birth you are attended by two midwives (one for you and one for the baby), which really appealed to me too.

We didn’t meet any opposition once we had settled on a home birth. We found that midwives were happy, excited even, and I didn’t feel like I had to defend our decision to any family members or friends. Particularly with Winston I did worry that we were being over optimistic and a little naive, but thankfully my labour didn’t take any unexpected turns. Jared and I also completed a hypnobirthing course to help prepare us for the birth. I found it really helpful during both labours – even more helpful second time around.

The rate of home births in the UK is 2.2%, which I must admit I’m surprised about. I thought it might be a little higher, as a study conducted by NICE discovered that having a home birth for second or subsequent babies, is just as safe as a hospital birth.

When giving birth at home you still pack bags as you would for a hospital (in case you have to be transferred), and aside from having old towels and a few shower curtains there aren’t many extra preparations to be made.The main preparation I feel I have to make whilst nearing my due date is remembering that a hospital birth could still be on the cards. It’s something that would be foolish to overlook, and something I have to regularly remind myself about.

With all things regarding birth, I feel it is so important to be informed – to know your rights, spend time researching and do lots of reading. Giving birth at home is more ‘hands on’ for your birth partner, and if they’re not fully committed it would definitely have an influence on the whole experience. Talk to your birth partner and make sure you are both completely comfortable with whatever decision is made.

Wherever you decide to give birth, one thing is for sure – our bodies are miraculous and utterly magnificent.

Birth is beautiful.

E xx

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8 Comments

  1. 7th January 2016 / 8:58 am

    Haha I always tell people you see birth as beautiful but with mine being high risk and medical I’m like urgh I really dislike birth! I’m hoping next time I can have a straight forward pregnancy and healthy baby and be cleared to have it at home, I like the idea of getting in your own bed and all that.

    But you know my birth partner 😏 “Hospital for an epidural is the best plan” hmmmmmmmmm riiiggghhhttt! Lol Good luck, hope its a homebirth hat trick ..eeek xx.

    • Esther
      11th January 2016 / 9:59 pm

      Straightforward and healthy – no matter where, would be the best ever xx

  2. 7th January 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I completely agree with all of this! I had my first son at home and my second in hospital (although I had planned a home birth). I’ve written about my experiences here if you’re interested http://marmaladepie.co.uk/musings/homebirth-my-story/ – hope you don’t mind my linking here, it seems easier than writing it all down in my reply! Good luck with home birth number 3!

    • Esther
      7th January 2016 / 11:04 pm

      Loved reading this Lizzie! Thank you for sharing xx

  3. 7th January 2016 / 7:50 pm

    I wish I could be one of those people who can embrace the idea of a home birth. I after this birth will have had 3 c-sections, which couldn’t be more clinical and hospitalised. (Although still a wonderful wonderful experience) Having a c-section wasn’t part of my plan at all, but even if I had had a natural birth I would have still had it in hospital, I just wouldn’t be able to relax in my own home whatsoever. I would be worried about the mess haha! It is funny how different we all are. If I had had my original birth plan it would have been to have it in the midwife led suite, which is a bit more like home, with candles, sofas etc. That didn’t happen though! 😉 Good luck with your home birth lovely. x

    • Esther
      11th January 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Absolutely! So so different! I would freak out at a c-section. Completely freak out. The mess is surprisingly low, it all tends to stay in the pool. Haha. Thank you, and huge luck with your third c-section. Really hope all goes well xx

  4. 8th January 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Loved reading this. I wanted a home birth with P but I think where I birth so quickly I dont really get time to think. Mr T also freaked out as it was only 30mins earlier that i was being examined at the hospital so no time for pool or anything. I had my birth box ready from the MW but not a good enough plan of action I dont think. I think theres always an element of worry since after having a normal birth with YM I haemorraged two hours after having her and that was scary. H was back to back, 57 mins and straight forward, home after 6 hours. P was a dream! I almost fell asleep. I think its just uneasy for me that I dont have much support in the idea of home birth as Mr T would be so worried and he said its nice that I get a peaceful night in hospital with baby before showing the littles. Who knows what happens this time. all I know is I birth *very* fast and if going by history, this one will be less than an hour but who knows. I was also really lucky to have such great experiences with the midwifery led units too. I would like to have a go at a water birth though (if baby gives us enough time!!! xxx

    • Esther
      11th January 2016 / 10:04 pm

      I’m not sure we’ll have time to fill up the pool this time either. I think we’re going to have to be super quick, or just make so with the sofa – haha. My second was way faster than my first. I think a peaceful night in hospital sounds like a good idea. My mum will have mine for a night so we can get some peace and so they’re not in the way of the midwives. MWLU’s sound amazing! Huge luck with whatever you decide xx

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