Hellobee Boards


home birth after hospital birth?

i've had two positive experiences with in-hospital med-free labor and deliveries at 2 different hospitals/cities. i don't doubt that i would have another positive experience with baby #3 if i choose the local hospital/highly recommended OB, but DH and i are considering a home birth this time. i toured a local birth center and the only real difference in service between my house and the birth center is fetal monitor with print out capabilities (the portable doesn't have a print out). otherwise, the midwives have all the same gear/meds for at home, i can use their portable tub, etc.

i really prefer midwifery prenatal care and unfortunately, there are no midwife practices that deliver in any local hospitals. the one highly recommended OB (that the midwives work with as well) is a solo practitioner whose appointment wait times can be an hour plus because he's off delivering. which might be great for some people, but is not important to me (that he's the only one that delivers). the midwives work with 1-2 others so while i'll have a primary, i'll also see/work with their assistants/backups.

long story short, i'd love to hear from anyone who has had a positive hospital delivery but chose a home birth for subsequent births! differences, similarities, worries, etc.

  1. Cole

    grapefruit / 4649 posts

    I just had a home birth with my second after a great hospital birth with my first. I had always wanted a home birth but we were just a little worried the first time around since we didn't know what to expect (obviously, things can be majorly different each time but having a baseline helped us.) The birth was awesome and I'd have a home birth again in a second. We are extremely close to two great hospitals, one with a level IV nicu and ems has extremely fast response times here and those factors helped put our minds at ease coupled with my first labor and delivery being straightforward and fast.

    Our insurance wouldn't pay for a home birth but pays for prenatal care- but not the whole birth (who comes up with this stuff?!) I elected to do co care with my ob because it was easier to do blood work and ultrasounds in his office. It worked out well because my baby was breech and a c section was on the table for awhile, it was nice not needing to find someone who would take me late in the game.

    It was great being in our own home, not needing to rush out the door or get shuffled around post partum. My midwife does a full newborn exam at the house including hearing test etc so we didn't need to worry about any of that.

    Vitamin K shot was a pain but a lot of people elect to do drops or skip it. Childcare was nerve wracking for my husband, I never worried about it and it was a total non issue in the end. (He was terrified the baby would come super fast and he'd be stuck without a midwife catching our newborn while dealing with our toddler all by himself- my friend was here within ten minutes of my water breaking and the midwife was here before I even started real contractions.)

    All in all, two thumbs up from all of us.

  2. cyndistar3

    pomegranate / 3980 posts

    I had a birth center birth, a c/s, a birth center birth, now I am trying to decide if I want to do a home birth or go back to the birth center. The idea of nott having to get in a car after birth is extremely appealing!

  3. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    I've had two homebirths, but weighed the hospital vs. homebirth both times. If you have any questions, I'm happy to share my experience!!

    I will say, even though I've never had a hospital birth, I think I still had the same concerns/fears about home vs. hospital when it comes to "what if" ... in the end, I trusted my team of midwives and appreciated that they were a bit conservative when if comes to qualifiying for a home birth.

  4. FancyGem

    clementine / 769 posts

    I had a hospital birth the first time and I am delivering at a birth center this time. I had the option to do it at home, but I decided not to. My care has been better with the midwife so far.

  5. Mrsbells

    squash / 13199 posts

    @birdofafeather: I always liked the concept of home birth in theory but I never got to have it and honestly i would be too much of a worrier to actually go through with it.

  6. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12053 posts

    @Cole: i think our insurance is pretty dang good (i'm have the midwife i spoke with get me some estimates, although i know it can be a pain later to actually get it covered). we're 5 minutes from the birth center, which is across the street from 2 hospitals, so that stuff doesn't worry me much. thanks for sharing your positive experience!

    @cyndistar3: the idea of not getting the car to deliver is a huge thing for me! the car rides were up there on the worst parts for me.

    @littlejoy: yes, the midwife i spoke to talked a lot about how through prenatal visits and labor, they are constantly evaluating risk. it's not a last minute decision (usually) on their part.

    @FancyGem: that's a huge part for me: the prenatal care. my OBs have been there for very little of my actual l&d, so the before and after care is almost more important to me. i so wish there was a midwifery prenatal care option to deliver in the hospital. my kids have both had blood type incompatibilities, so that's a huge reason that i'm hesitant on the home birth: the after care. i would probably have to take the baby to the ped within 24 hours, so in my mind, it might negate the home birth benefits.

    @Mrsbells: i understand that. for me, it's not the l&d risks, it's the after part for my kids with jaundice being very probable due to blood type incompatibilities. not life threatening, but needing extras. after giving it more thought and research, i made an appt with the local (recommended) OB and want to chat with him at length about my (and my kids') past issues and figure out the best plan.

  7. maddyz

    persimmon / 1270 posts

    I can't really compare it because both of my children were born at home. But DS1 was jaundice and we had to take him to our doctor and then to the lab at 2 days old. It wasn't so bad. He was right on the edge of needing a light box, which my midwives have and would have set up in our house.

    It sounds like your situation might be more intense.

    I have to say that taking a first shower in your own shower is really the nicest thing.

    Also, DS2 was born at 10:15 PM and we were asleep by 12:30AM and all slept until the next morning. It was wonderful, and did amazing things for my recovery. Babies are so sleepy in those first 12 hours. After that it's nurse all the time....

  8. MenagerieMama

    pear / 1547 posts

    I just want to add my 2 cents - home births can go amazingly when there are no complications, but terribly quickly. And OB catastrophes are some of the worst kind. Having had 2 deliveries already you're at higher risk for postpartum hemorrhage. The time it can take to decide to get emergency care for you or baby, have EMS arrive and get you to the appropriate facility and initiate care can be the difference between a good outcome and a bad one. When I toured L&Ds one of my first questions was - what is their time from calling it to baby out for a crash csection, and what level NICU do they have? My pregnancies have been uncomplicated, deliveries easy and babies healthy, thank goodness, but I am not willing to risk something unpredictable going bad and a poor outcome based on choosing to be at home. That, and all the mess to clean up! I can see some of the appeal though, I hate staying in the hospital after delivery and have left at 24 hours on the dot after each baby (including in the middle of the night! give me my own bed!).

  9. maddyz

    persimmon / 1270 posts

    @MenagerieMama: do you have personal experience with this? This country is very anti home birth, but it's common practice in several countries with better infant and mother mortality rates then the US. It's a personal choice for everyone and response times very widely. I felt now than comfortable with my midwives and their abilities to act if something came up.

  10. MenagerieMama

    pear / 1547 posts

    @maddyz: my initial reply was just lost, gah! Anyhow, I have professional, not personal experience with the topic. I'm a physician with 3 years of delivering babies, stopped doing OB when I changed jobs, but many of my colleagues continue to. I do have a colleague (also MD) who had a home birth with her last child, but specifically because she had relocated to a country where home births were well supported and the infrastructure for support is completely different than the US. I still would never support a home birth in the US, and I have never met an OB practicing here that thinks otherwise ("home delivery is for pizzas"). Hindsight is 20/20 and plenty of home births are wonderful with healthy mom/babe, but when things go south, it can be very quick. The stories of poor outcomes rushing by EMS to L&D would give anyone nightmares.

  11. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4455 posts

    I think I would go for the birth center vs home because of a) my older 2 will be home when I'm in labor and for us that's the best place for them, grandma will come to them probably, and b) at least here they are in close proximity to the hospital- like there's one across the parking lot from what someone told me..someone who had to be transferred in an emergency. I can definitely see the appeal of not having to be in a hospital, though. But take my entire opinion with a grain of salt because I'm definitely going for a third hospital birth!

  12. littlebug

    honeydew / 7504 posts

    I can't give any advice or personal experience, just wanted to jump in and say congrats on #3! I've always loved the idea of a home birth, but in the end I'm too scared to not have medical support.

  13. pmrlady

    apricot / 316 posts

    Please consider otherwise. Home birth can be fine but also can have terrible outcomes if things go south. Complications can become catastrophic in minutes, not enough time to get to a hospital even if the midwife realizes that something is wrong. Yes it can be a wonderful experience to be "natural" but women and babies have died in childbirth many times when not able to get emergency care. Please see this website for personal stories

  14. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12053 posts

    @pmrlady: I'm really not interested in scare tactics. I understand that labor and delivery can sour but also trust my medical professionals to take care of me. I was looking for personal stories as I said in my OP. I've also read enough horror stories about hospital births but I take it all with a grain of salt and weigh and measure everything with my doctor's recs.

  15. pmrlady

    apricot / 316 posts

    @birdofafeather: you can take it with a grain of salt but I just want you to be aware that things can go wrong because a lot of people who are not in the medical field don't know about it. That's all. And that website is all personal stories btw.

  16. cyndistar3

    pomegranate / 3980 posts

    @pmrlady: and unfortunately there are many horror stories from hospitals as well, that is why either way it is important that you should find a great care provider that you trust to see you safely through

  17. Bibliolove

    kiwi / 526 posts

    This comment has been deleted by the original poster.

  18. Pollywog

    persimmon / 1111 posts

    I'm not a candidate for home birth (fast labor with a hemmorage), but we strongly considered it before LO1 was born. If your midwifes are experienced and well trained and you have appropriate prenatal care where they will transfer care if you risk out, I'd go for it.

    This pregnancy I'm going with a midwife/OB collaborative where I'll deliver with a midwife in a hospital. The only home midwives in my area aren't CNMs and they don't have close relationships with OBs if there's a problem. I ended up having some placenta issues this pregnancy and love that I can keep my provider if I need a C-section. (I really hope there's no C-section!)

    I also completely agree that appointment wait times are way more important than the provider at delivery.

  19. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5084 posts

    @birdofafeather: Not me but a good friend of mine had a Home birth for her second after her first was a preemie high risk newborn and it was fine. She was totally happy. I say go for it!!! Assuming you have reliable backup (aka a short drive to a hospital) just in case like she did!

  20. QBbride

    pomegranate / 3192 posts

    @pmrlady: I’m sorry, but I really doubt any website called “hurtbyhomebirth” provides unbiased advice. Insert major eye roll.

    @birdofafeather: I don’t have any personal experience but a friend of mine just had a home birth after two Hospital births and another one of mine had a home birth after a birth in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, haha! If we go for #3, I’d like a home birth! Have you heard of the documentary “born at home”? It’s quite new and is about doctors who have chosen home birth. Apparently it is really good.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a NICU nurse and I’ve seen some pretty horrific births and outcomes of babies born in Hospital, too. It’s not like being born in Hospital guarantees a good outcome. Major complications (whether Hospital or home) are very rare! Less than 1% of babies born require extensive resuscitation and I’m sure your midwives would recommend transfer if they were expecting complications at any point.

    Good luck!!

  21. pmrlady

    apricot / 316 posts

    @QBbride: I don't think it's fair to say that hospitals have horrific outcomes. A majority of births are hospital births and almost all high risk pregnancies give birth in the hospital unless it was unplanned. So of course the hospital sees bad outcomes because they take care of the more complicated pregnancies. But they also save lives as I'm sure you've seen given that you work in the NICU. And yes you can transfer from home to the hospital but sometimes emergencies happen that were unforseen. I've seen many of these emergencies as a medical student during my Ob rotation. Why not be next to the OR and the NICU just in case? You can still have a natural med free birth in the hospital if that's what you want.

Thread Closed

This thread has been closed by the original poster.

© copyright 2011-2014 Hellobee