Myths About Home Births.

I've been reading a lot online lately about hospital births vs home births. My first birth was in a hospital and for lack of a better word, it was traumatic. The midwife didn't have any bedside manner, we were left alone for long periods of time and then when James' heart rate dropped and didn't come back up the room quickly filled with people and there I was a frightened first time Mum, scared that I was going to loose my baby. Afterwards it wasn't much better. Anthony was kicked out about two hours after James was born, it took me three hours to get a drink and a further five hours after that to get any food. There was no help with breastfeeding and three days later I had never been so relieved to get home.

When I fell pregnant with Emilie I knew that I wanted a home birth but Anthony was dead set against it. He felt that the baby and I would be safer in a hospital. There they had doctors, midwives, surgical teams and a theatre. He felt that if there was another emergency then I would be in the best place. I didn't totally disagree with him and I could see his point but I knew that I would be more relaxed at home especially with my anxiety.

When I was around 33 weeks pregnant I sat down with him and explained my reasons for wanting to try for a home birth and he accepted them and the fact that I was the one that would be giving birth so it was settled.. We were going to try for a home birth..

You should have seen some of the reactions I got when I told people of our plans. You would have thought that I had told people that I was planning on going into the middle of a forest, with no medical assistance to give birth under a tree.. So many times I heard, 'but what if something happens to the baby? How will you live with yourself..'' To this day I still get.. 'But what if something had gone wrong?...' I'm lucky that it all went smoothly but today I wanted to dispel some of the myths that I personally heard from people.

1 - You'll be safer in a hospital - Midwives are trained professionals. They deliver babies all day every day. Not only that, they are trained to spot an emergency before it arises. When I was 36 weeks pregnant my midwife came to my house. She talked me through what would happen in certain scenarios and how they would deal with it. She also completed a risk assessment. At the time I had a bookcase at the top of my stairs which she informed us to move beforehand incase an ambulance had to be called, so they could get up & down the stairs with a stretcher if needs be.

2 - What about pain relief? True, if you decide on a home birth you are limiting yourself on the pain relief that you will be able to receive but in my living room the night that I had Emilie there was two tanks of gas, waiting if I needed them. As I was in transition the midwife asked me if I wanted some gas and air and I refused. She told me that was fine but if I changed my mind then to let her know. She also had injections with her to help for nausea.

3 - The Mess! An hour after Emilie was born you would not have known that I had just given birth on our living room sofa. The midwives dealt with everything and protective sheets were placed on the floor and the sofa. I didn't even see them clear up but I kind of wish they could come everyday and clean my house.. They did that good of a job :)

4 - The care in a hospital is better - After having both a hospital and a home birth I can safely say the care I received at home was ten times better. I had a midwife with me the whole of the labour. Then as things started progressing a second midwife arrived. I asked why there were two and was told that incase there was an emergency afterwards, there would be a midwife to look after me and one to look after Emilie. They never left my side. Whilst I was pushing, after each contraction Emilie's heart rate and my pulse were checked. They stayed for over four hours after she was born, not leaving until 3.30 in the morning. I couldn't have asked for better care. 

5 - You're putting your baby at risk - Anyone that knows me knows that I would never intentionally harm my children. I do know my own body though. Hospitals scare me. Just being in one send me into an anxiety ridden state which is not good for the baby. At home I knew that I would be more relaxed and comfortable with having my own things around me and being able to move about as I wanted. I trusted myself and my body and if at any point the midwives were concerned and wanted to transfer me to hospital then I would have gone in a second. 

If I had to do it again then without a second of a doubt I would choose a home birth. After having a bad experience with James' birth I was so scared to do it again but Emilie's birth was perfect and kind of restored my faith in midwives :) 


  1. So pleased you were able to have a much better birth with Emilie. My son was born prematurely, 7 weeks premature, and it was very, very scary, I didn't know what was happening and was very confused (as you say, no Drs or nurses at all and then a whole host descended on us, with no explanations as to what was happening or anything. It was all very upsetting). My daughter was going to have to be induced (40+ weeks and she was still as happy as Larry in my belly!) but then decided to pop out on the day before the induction day. The birth was really quick, within a couple of hours. I do wish I'd had the option to home birth both of them :(

  2. I just have to give my two cents because I feel very strongly about this topic but know that I am not saying yes or no to home births I'm just telling you my experience. I'm a nurse that works in the newborn ICU and in the six months I have been here I have already seen one too many sad cases from home births. I think that when you call these "myths" that's too strong of a word. It IS safer to have your baby in the hospital because if anything happens you are right where you need to be and the quicker that baby gets help, the better the outcome. There are risks associated with home birth but obviously a hospital birth won't necessarily be perfect either. I'm sorry you had such a rough experience with your first! And I'm glad you had a safe and enjoyable experience with your second :)


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