"Discouraged home birth"
About: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust North Shields NE29 8NH
Posted by workingmum (as ),
I wanted a home birth with my fourth baby (after three unhappy but relatively straightforward hospital births). I felt the community MWs were very discouraging and I believe at one point a MW deliberately tried to frighten me into a hospital birth by suggesting my baby was unusually large (7lb 5oz when born – I think very average). I was instructed to go directly to hospital for a scan at a routine antenatal appointment as the measurements, I was told were 'so extreme'. Hospital did nothing and said they saw no reason for concern. After this I was very upset and lost all confidence in the community midwives, I felt trying to frighten me like that was so terrible and it really shocked me. I naively thought MWs would be full of support for home birth. I sought support elsewhere and did my own research into birth issues and also my homebirth rights. I was told many times there may not be enough midwives and that there was no entonox for me. I even tried to buy my own as I really feared not having any pain relief.
In the end I did nave a wonderful home birth which I am so glad about. I didn't need any pain relief despite having entonox available after all. The MW who attended was very professional on the day even though she had come from attending two other home births consecutively. It was very difficult for me to feel relaxed and focused leading up to the birth. I think it is very dangerous for women to lose trust in their MWs during the antenatal period, I will certainly never again automatically assume that health professionals have my (and my children’s’) best interests at heart. I think the reason for the problems I had were staffing levels and shift patterns, maybe some individual MWs anti-HB opinions played a part, I don't know for sure and never will, I am just guessing.
I'd like to add that the MW who attended my home birth did so after attending two others, I do not think she should have been put in this position, the home births were known about for a long time in advance and arrangements should have been made for better cover. My birth progressed very quickly and I believe if no MW had been sent I would probably have given birth unattended or even worse, in transit.