Another glorious week working as a midwife and another home birth. I’m sure you know by now that home births are something very special to me. Our home birth rate in our case loading team is between 30-40%. Way higher than the national average of a 2.26% (birthchoiceUK). Some of our women book with us knowing they want a home birth but some are also unsure so decide in labour. We have this great set up where women chose right up until they are in labour where they would like to give birth. For the majority of pregnant women, they want to birth where they feel comfortable and safe and often these feelings are only truly felt when labour starts. We offer a home assessment when labour has begun and that way women can make an informed decision.
I have noticed as I spread the home birth tales, a few odd faces pulled as I joyfully express my love for a home birth. I was never always like this, as I have in fact had 2 babies both in hospital . And I’m sure I’m not the only one receiving ‘unhelpful’ comments when discussing where to have your baby. A ton of you got in touch on Twitter telling me the hilarious and dam right ridiculous comments people said to you when you said you were planning a home birth. From ‘Wow you’re brave’ to ‘Really? Yuck’ and ‘What about the cat?’ and the most popular ‘What about all that mess!’ One woman said to me she would never have a home birth because she has cream carpets. Well one thing all us Mama’s know is that cream carpets get pretty ruined when having kids, so you might as well rip them up and reveal some lovely original wooden flooring. Problem solved!
A month back I attended a wonderful home birth where the woman decided to labour (and birth) in the upstairs newly built loft conversion. Us midwives tried several times to tempt her down stairs to her living room where her birthing pool awaited but nope she was staying up there. The room was so newly decorated that a tray of used paint brushes and a tin of Farrow and Balls ‘House White’ lay in the corner of the room. And did I mention the cream carpet and white en-suite? The birth was entirely ‘mess free’ not one single drop of ANYTHING touched the carpet, walls and bedding. My colleague and I were as proud of that as, we were of her amazing birthing achievements.
You see home birth is really not that messy. We as midwives respect your home, we are your guest and we do everything to to ensure nothing goes on your soft furnishings. We recommend that you get hold of some plastic sheeting such as some tarpaulin or a shower curtain to put over your bed or sofa if you end up birthing on there. However many women choose to have a birthing pool at home which is becoming a popular option with most home birthers. Any normal amount of bodily fluids that may be released are then all contained in one place! Simples.
Some of you lovely people have kindly shared their home birth photos, just to show how ‘un-messy’ it really is. And in case you need any more clarification, I wore a white t-shirt to a home birth and it remained as white as when I entered the house as when I left.