Today came news that I welcomed.
According to the daily mail ‘A radical shift in NHS policy will see hundreds of thousands more women encouraged to give birth at home.
Mothers-to-be will be told that unless there is a high risk of complications they do not need a hospital delivery and are to be advised they are just as safe having their baby in a small midwife-led unit as on the labour ward.’
When it comes to labour, I’m lucky, I know I am.
Two active 14 hour homebirth labours with happy endings, one of which I tweeted through, being reported as the first UK Twitterbirth (the media went a little crazy with that story!)
My homebirths were right for me because I didn’t really want any other birth. I don’t like hospitals you see (a childhood spent in and out of them just makes me associate them with unhappy times but that’s a whole other story!) I wanted to be at home, in my own space, my own birthing pool, my own comfort zone.
Luckily my pregnancies were healthy and babies grew well and were fine and I started labour naturally, funnily enough both my labours started at 2am and both my babies were born in the afternoon a minute (3.43, 3.42) and almost a year apart! (Oz was born the day before Betsy’s first birthday!
Without going into graphic details they were both amazing births. I am so pleased that I had such positive experiences, and even more pleased that those positive experiences have helped many other mothers approach labour with a positive outlook rather than fear and dread.
Now while my homebirths were pretty special and I’m all for supporting and encouraging them, I understand just as I have a hospital fear, many feel much happier in a medical environment.
Labour is a very personal choice. It’s a tough time and you need to be where you feel most comfortable and happy.
Add to that some don’t even get a choice. Many of my friends have had emergency C-Sections for various reasons and some have never quite got over the experience. So while I’m happy to share my positive birth story I’m also very much live and let live.
As a mother-to-be I’d say gather all of the information that’s available when planning your baby’s birth.
Talk to your midwife, talk to your consultant if there are concerns, talk to family and friends who’ve had different birth experiences, but most importantly make an informed decision that is right for YOU and YOUR baby.
Having said that, birth plans are subject to change so don’t pin all your hopes on a perfect birth. Be positive always but also be realistic that things can and often do change.
A hospital birth isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
A homebirth isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it really was for me.