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Where would you give birth?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Inspired by SCC's recent successful home birth!

Today it was announced that by 2009, expectant mothers will be able to choose whether they go to hospital, a midwife-led unit or stay at home to have their children delivered

How on earth this will be implemented given the way maternity services already are in some areas, if you were going to give birth, where would you want to do it? And why?

Hospital?
Midwife-led birth centre?
Home?
Never? :p

Interested in what the men would also do if it was physically possible for them!

My choice would always be in hospital. I don't like hospitals, I don't like the way a lot of women are treated when they are giving birth, but I'm not prepared to risk even the smallest risk 'just in case' I needed urgent medical assistance, as every second counts. If 'home-from-home' birth centres had fully equipped theatres in them rather than relying on transferring to hospital if needed, I'd happily give birth there.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think i'm with you there go away. I hate hospitals and i don't like the way women are treated in there, but if i suddenly needed a c section or heamorraged - i'd want to be in a hospital. Especially if it was my first and i didn't know what i was about to go through.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    Interested in what the men would also do if it was physically possible for them!

    Depends what was on TV at the time. Wouldn't want to miss anything good by going to the hospital.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends what was on TV at the time. Wouldn't want to miss anything good by going to the hospital.

    Go private they'd arrange a TV to be around if there was anything good on.

    On a more serious note if I was a woman I'd go hospital, but I'd like to be given the choice to have it at home
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would always choose a homebirth if the choice was there. Unfortunately that choice is never going to be fully available to us all in every situation even if these funds did appear down the back of the sofa or wherever they're going to find them. I'm unable to have a homebirth this time around which is disappointing but such is life. I have heard some shocking stories about hospital births which could curl your hair, but they are constantly trying to improve the situation that expectant mothers are in in all these circumstances.

    My sister in law had a natural home waterbirth when she delivered my niece and it was beautiful and fantastic and she wouldn't have changed it for the world, even though complications did arise after the birth and mother and baby did have to go into hospital.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Err not that i'm pregnant but i'm torn between all the options - I'd much rather have a home birth - i'm only about a mile or so from the hospital anyway in case of any complications and i've totally bought into the whole being relaxed at homeness.

    However the husband categorically does not want me to have one which I think is unfair - its my body I think i should choose where I give birth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know where you're coming from Wyetry. About a year ago had you asked me, I would have told you I'd be intent on having a homebirth (possibly even unassisted) but my partner hated the idea. Depending on the type of literature and information people seek, some partners do warm to the idea of homebirths, but I know that my partner would be scared stiff the entire time he was born as the result of a crash c-section under general anaesthetic (a real 'emergency' rather than the usual definition of emergency which is unplanned), and while it isn't hereditary, the one question that caused me to do a 180 was, "Could I live with myself if something happened that could have otherwise been treated quickly?" And for me, that answer was no.

    I really don't think hospitals are necessarily the best of places to give birth though. Michel Odent pioneered a fantastic centre in France, and if that money tree did exist, I wish that could be the norm in the UK. Still, when the time comes, my partner has his role - as a buffer between myself, staff members and unnecessary intervention.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think my ideal would be a birthing center - but there aren't any as far as I can tell and with me money isn't even an option - i'd be happy to pay for one but i've only found one in the whole of south london and its miles from my house and only does about 3 births a year - which is kind of scary.

    Its mad even if you've got loads of cash the choice is so limited (I'm not saying that I have loads). Given that i live in london I would have thought it would have been greater but my only two viable options are still either my local NHS hospital or the Portman or the chealsea and westminster which is essentially a bit of a nicer room in an NHS hospital (both of the last two are around an hours drive or more in rush hour and not really practical if your in labour).

    I am mildly swayed by the Portmans offer of a molton brown goodie bag and a bottle of champagne upon the arrival of the baby.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its mad even if you've got loads of cash the choice is so limited (I'm not saying that I have loads). Given that i live in london I would have thought it would have been greater but my only two viable options are still either my local NHS hospital or the Portman or the chealsea and westminster which is essentially a bit of a nicer room in an NHS hospital (both of the last two are around an hours drive or more in rush hour and not really practical if your in labour).

    Oh totally [south Londoner too]. It's very frustrating and scary - which are not the emotions that a pregnant woman should have when thinking about her options.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For the sake of safety, i wouldnt give birth anywhere apart from a private hospital. I would ideally like a water-birth but unfortunately that option isn't available in hospitals here...so if it was a healthy pregnancy with no risk and doctors thought it would be a simple labour, i would have a home [water] birth at the in-laws.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is there a particular reason that water-births aren't an option where you live? Would they let a woman labour in water at all?
    .so if it was a healthy pregnancy with no risk and doctors thought it would be a simple labour, i would have a home [water] birth at the in-laws.

    Where would you send the in-laws, assuming you wouldn't have them in the house? ;):p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's hospital for me I'm afraid. I'm not quite sure exactly what it is about the idea of a home birth that puts me off. I think it might be partly because I want to be able to scream in anonymity, without the neighbours listening!

    Whilst I was expecting Sophie and I was obsessively watching all the baby and birth programmes on Discovery Health, there was one on there where the lady had a home birth and for a minute the baby looked like it wasn't going to breathe by itself, and whilst I know that the midwives are trained in rescusitation and everything, my heart was absolutely in my mouth, and it wasn't even my baby. I knew then that I'd been right that hospital was the right choice for me.

    Also, for personal reasons which I won't go into, I don't think Mr M could take the strain of a home birth, simillarly to Go Away's bloke.

    I think I should say also that whilst I appreciate that there ARE NHS horror stories out there, I have had six good experiences and some very good care from some wonderful midwives at four different hospitals.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think I should say also that whilst I appreciate that there ARE NHS horror stories out there, I have had six good experiences and some very good care from some wonderful midwives at four different hospitals.

    Out of interest, Miffy, did you see the same midwife throughout your pregnancies? A friend of mine recently gave birth and the first appointment she had, she loved the midwife and they established a really good rapport, then at another appointment she had a different midwife, and she didn't really have a good experience with that particular lady. Luckily when she gave birth, she saw her lovely midwife again and she stayed on after her shift had finished. I know it's not always possible to see the same person owing to shifts etc, but one thing that really scares me about hospitals would be to be 'stuck' with a midwife who I didn't like at an earlier appointment.

    Not sure how exactly it works though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    Is there a particular reason that water-births aren't an option where you live? Would they let a woman labour in water at all?



    Where would you send the in-laws, assuming you wouldn't have them in the house? ;):p
    well from what i've been told, it just doesn't seem like there is a big enough demand for water births here....so its not viable to have the facilities.

    And in terms of the in-laws being around, the house is huge....if i had the birth in our bathroom then i'd just have to deal with kicking out his brother from the room across the living room. Or otherwise i could do it in the big jacuzzi in the basement and have the door to that area closed off. But ofcourse that means anyone going to the garage or coming into the house would hear me scream :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If it was my first baby I would want to give birth in hospital, but I wouldn't mind giving birth in a midwife led birth centre.

    My local hospital and antenatal unit only offer midwife led care. You now only see a specialist/doctor if you have any complications or abnormal test results. I would be happy with this since the head honcho Mr Hinshaw is an arse.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But ofcourse that means anyone going to the garage or coming into the house would hear me scream

    Or someone driving home and trying to open an automatic garage door getting a rather exclusive view of your chuff :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had an awful time in hospital having Abbie and next time I'd love to have a homebirth, it wont happen though.

    My next baby will be born in a different hospital to Abbie though and under a different PCT so here's hoping it's a better experience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    Or someone driving home and trying to open an automatic garage door getting a rather exclusive view of your chuff :D
    haha, not quite....its inside the house just off the hallway so my chuff would be safe :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    Out of interest, Miffy, did you see the same midwife throughout your pregnancies? A friend of mine recently gave birth and the first appointment she had, she loved the midwife and they established a really good rapport, then at another appointment she had a different midwife, and she didn't really have a good experience with that particular lady. Luckily when she gave birth, she saw her lovely midwife again and she stayed on after her shift had finished. I know it's not always possible to see the same person owing to shifts etc, but one thing that really scares me about hospitals would be to be 'stuck' with a midwife who I didn't like at an earlier appointment.

    Not sure how exactly it works though.

    No, I didn't. I'm not sure if you mean the one based at the GPs or the one at the hospital. But either way, no. For starters I moved house twice during my first pregnancy, twice during my second, once during my third and once during my fourth! But I saw the same midwife MOST of the time at the GP's surgery, each time, then went to hospital to have my babies and met new midwives who delivered them. Maybe I was just lucky but they were all very good. It wasn't a problem to me that I hadn't met the midwife who was delivering my baby before.

    When I had my second and when I had Sophie there was a shift change during my labour as well, but to be honest that wasn't really a problem either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Amira wrote: »
    my chuff would be safe :p

    Trust me, in the throes of labour you no longer care who sees it. You'd let the milkman have a look if you thought he could get that baby out. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Umm, a home birth. I started training to be a midwife and left the course at the end of my second year and just saw too much of the way women are treated in hospitals.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hospital, and i am glad i did as me and James very likely wouldn't have been here if not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    Hospital, and i am glad i did as me and James very likely wouldn't have been here if not.

    Just out of interest which hospital was it?

    I'm not entirely sure what i'd do. I have no idea of the pros/cons of any of the options, but would probably opt for hospital even though they smell funny :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I didn't even know you could have a home birth and things like midwives were still around until SUzy. But I would still stick to the hospital. I want all the drugs at my disposal
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lacy wrote: »
    Just out of interest which hospital was it?

    I'm not entirely sure what i'd do. I have no idea of the pros/cons of any of the options, but would probably opt for hospital even though they smell funny :(

    Southmead. The care was pretty dire by the midwives, but the health care assistants were great and of course the surgeon.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    Southmead. The care was pretty dire by the midwives, but the health care assistants were great and of course the surgeon.

    I thought people were meant to give birth at St Michaels? Or is that just the place people go for like prenatal care?

    Mental note, avoid Southmead :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No you can pick whichever you want. I just picked southmead as it's closer.
    All my stuff was done at southmead.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not too sure, tbh. I guess there would be several pros and cons for each option. It would honestly depend on the situation and how well/ill the baby is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    probably home birth, if there were a problem that meant i might die, i'd go to hospital.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    "Could I live with myself if something happened that could have otherwise been treated quickly?" And for me, that answer was no.


    That is the kety for me. There is some sort of arrogance, particularly found in midwifery I have to say, which suggests that giving birth is straight forward and routine and that a large % of births which took place in hospital "could have" been carried out at home.

    Thing is that retrospectively that's an easy argument to make.

    Mrs MoK was classic routine first delivery. Carried well throughout the pregnancy, no symptoms of anything. Right up until baby was in the birth canal. Then she tore. Never seen so much blood in my life and she had to have a transfusion. When Hannah was born a few weeks ago there was no way that I was going to be happy for her to have the baby anywhere but where there was a theatre (especially because she had slightly raised blood pressure in last few weeks) and I'm pleased to say that she agreed.

    I think the lesson, also classic normal routine pregnancy, where my sister in law suffered pre-eclampsia in the delivery suite was useful there.

    Birth is a life-or-death moment. Always. We should never forget that.
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