(Closed) Homebirth, Midwives & Birth Centers

posted 4 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
9535 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

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TMW94965:  i have a fibroid and knew there was a chance of needing a c-section depending if it was blocking my cervix as the baby grew.  3 weeks before my due date, i went in for a non stress test and baby’s HR was deceling during contractions i didn’t know i was having.  the OB on call said c-cection and sent me to maternal fetal medicine for an ultrasound to verify the placement of my fibroid to know where to cut.  the high risk specialist in MFM said i could do a vaginal birth.

so the hospital i was in recommended vaginal over c-section.  when we went for a hospital tour, many of the things that were on my birth plan were standard procedure.  like freedom to walk around, intermitant monitoring, and were fine with you having as natural a birth as you wanted.  we even had a doula.

i wouldn’t dismiss hospitals on a misconception.


Post # 4
9840 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I believe you need to be considered a low-risk pregnancy in most cases for a midwife to oversee your care. If you had multiples, diabetes, pre-e, etc they would probably refer you to an OBGYN or a specialist.

Post # 6
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Paradise Gardens

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TMW94965:  I totally understand your concerns and I think for the most part we come fromt he same train of thought. I like you was not aware that there were so many variations in service. Here in Southern California we have learned a lot by going to various consulations with doula, midwives, etc. That being said it soudns like one of your top questions should be “In what cases would a mother to be “risk out” of your care?” Most midwives, bith centers etc only work with healthy mamas and babies that don’t have any threatening issues.

For example, generally they do not support the birth of multiples, patients with preeclampsia, babies bron before 37 weeks or after 42. After you chekc out a few you’ll get a gist for the type of scenarios that they won’t be ablte to support you for. 

What we did was sat together and put together a list of questions for all of our consults so we could compare apples to apples. We asked why they became a midwife? Hpw many births have they attended? Are they Ok with waterbirth (as that is my preference)? and lots of other questions –this may be a good opportunity for you and you SO to discuss and address any concerns you may have.

For us, we knew who the “one” was because she is a certified RN/Midwife as well as the rest of the staff. They only offer birthing center services, but if for some reason you have to give bith at the hospital they have an affiliationa dn con transport you over there and continue care. Meaning if for some reason, we end up in the hospital because of last minute complications we would not switch providers/care. We would continue with the midvies we have grown to know and trust. They are the only ones in our area that offer such a service so we were immediately sold. As a 1st time mom I trust myself and my body but I appreciate the sterile cozy birth envitornment of the birthing center and the option to continue care are the hospital if neccessary… hope my long winded anser helped!

Post # 8
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I would strongly suggest making sure the facility you choose is adjacent to/aligned with a surgical center. I had a textbook normal pregnancy but had a placental abrupton during delivery. This had not been detected or predicted on any previous ultrasounds, including one the day before. My baby was born via emergency C within 10 minutes.

Had I not been in a hospital, she would not have survived, and I might not have, either. Afterward, I overheard the doctors sayinh,”thank God she was already at the hospital.” 

my story is rare, and I don’t want to scare anyone off of the birth they want, but please remember to take all precautions. So much of birth is unpredictable, even today.

Post # 9
888 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I understand the desire to give birth at home or in a birthing center. I personally wouldn’t take the risk. Most women are able to have normal deliveries, serious complications are relatively rare. But if I’m caught in that rare dangerous situation, I want the best medical resources immediately available.

If you take the time to look around, there are hospitals that are very willing to follow your wishes. I’m a registered nurse and I used to work in labor and delivery in a hospital. We always respected the mother’s choices. We encouraged moms to get up and walk around if that’s what they wanted. If they didn’t want to wear monitors, they didn’t have to. I watched moms give birth while on their hands and knees, squatting in the bath, etc. I was even lucky enough to be part of the team when the doctor allowed the father to deliver the baby. I’ve also participated in neonatal resuscitation, when the baby would have died without the resources that were readily available in our hospital.

So, my advice is to be open, look around, and really weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Post # 10
1744 posts
Bumble bee

 I actually think that hospital births aren’t like you describe as often as you’d think, but we all look for selective bias to support our beliefs.  I would always choose a hospital birth, but you seem pretty set on a non-hospital birth, so you should do that as safely as possible.  Make sure that your birthcenter is very close (like across the street close) to a hospital, and that it is staffed by RN midwifes (not CPMs).  I would make sure that they are reasonable in terms of knowing when to refer you (even if you don’t really want to be referred) like for many of the previously posted pregnancy issues:  post-dates; PIH; multiple births; diabetes.    

Post # 11
321 posts
Helper bee

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TMW94965:  I’m sorry that your thread has become so derailed. You were asking for others’ experiences of home births or birth centres, not a debate. Unfortunately here on weddingbee it is continuously very dismissive of home births with a strong prejudice against. My Mum had me with a home birth and it was wonderful for her, she had so much more personal care and attention than she would have had at a hospital. She found, like you, that hospitals do tend to push for c sections when not needed in order to hurry along labour. She was in labour for two days with me and had a painful, but natural, birth. Im sorry I don’t have any advice for your area but just wanted to give some encouragement. It’s a wonderful thing to have your child born in a safe and relaxed environment.

Post # 12
2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Especially in Oregon, it’s important to know what your midwife’s qualifications are. Oregon allows practitioners with a really wide range of experience and qualifications, from a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who has a nursing degree and is really the gold standard of midwife care (comparable to midwives in other countries with very low rates of complications during home births) all the way to a direct entry midwife, whose education, training and experience may be minimal. With a CNM, you will likely be “risked out” for certain complications, like if you develop gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc. You could certainly discuss all of that with your individual midwife before selecting him or her. 

In Oregon, the total (intrapartum fetal and neonatal) mortality rate for births planned to be attended by direct-entry midwives (NOT certified nurse midwives) is 6-8 times higher than the rate for births planned to be attended in hospitals, so it’s really important to know exactly what kind of midwife you’re working with. 

Post # 13
226 posts
Helper bee

Agreed with PPs that you choose a birth center that’s next to the hospital… my SIL had a very long labor, that they needed to bring a doctor in to help with.  And if she’d been in the hospital FYI, they would’ve noticed the problem earlier on… but there’s anecdotes on both sides, as I know you are aware of.  Just know that doctors will most likely be more useful than midwives/doulas/etc. if there end up being complications (which is always possible).

Post # 14
4322 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think I can comment here: I actually very much wanted a hospital birth, but gave birth at home unexpectedly. I was very lucky to have no complications, and an incredible MW team. Given how fast my birth was,  I have already been advised to plan for home births going forward.

I personally think that you could definitely find a hospital that would respect your wants, but it’s your birth, and you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I will say that I think if you are planning a home birth you should be exceptionally picky about who you chose to attend. If God forbid something goes wrong,  you need someone who can handle it,  and who knows enough to know when you have to go to the hospital etc. Good luck 

Post # 15
4251 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

I have used midwives all three times, and am a huge proponent of midwives.  🙂  I love it!   I live rural and homebirths are not an option for me.  🙁  Midwives need back ups, do one for you and one for babe, and a back up in case someone cannot come, so that is why they don’t allow home births where I am.  So anyway, I have had one birth in a birth center in a hospital, one on a birth center out of a hospital, and one in a regular hospital.  

The birth center out of the hospital was my fav, by far.  It was essentially a home birth, just in someone else’s home.  It was not medical at all, just me and 2 midwives, my DH and our oldest daughter.   The birthing suits were like a hotel, they had a play room for my DD, a kitchen for my DH, lol.  He was eating a lot of snacks, lol.   I loved it, it was my easiest birth, my fastest birth, my least pain birth…  Honestly, if I have any more, I will deal with the 2 hour drive and do it again.  It was perfect.  

The in hospital birth center was my hardest birth, and longest, but I was more comfortable than the regualar hospital birth.   The hospital bith was my last birth.  I was worried about the long drive to the birth center and opted for it as it was closest to home.  Nothing bad per se, but I was super uncomfy, I hated being in the hospital, the environment was so sterile yet I felt it was not clean.  It was clean of course, lol, but I just did not like it and my birth was not as posotove as I would have liked.  Thank goodness for my midwife, I was out of there within 2 hours after baby was born, so I could get home into my comfy bed.  

My wishes were respected when I was in a hospital, but I felt like an animal on display.   I wanted a unmedicated birth, and all of the other women there birthing were on epidurals and so had no pain.  Which is fine, except they looked at m like I was nuts, lol, and it made me feel a little weird to walk the halls etc.  My nurses that were assigned to help the midwife also were not used to people not wanting meds so I did not feel a lot of support from them.  Luckily my DH and doula and midwife kept me on track.

The timelines hospitals have would make me nervous too, so I understand your feelings.  So if you have a home birth option, I would take it!  Birth center is my next choice, and hospital would be my last choice.


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