Becoming pregnant is one of the greatest and most natural experiences in life and gives rise to much thought and contemplation. As a coming mother you can choose either to give birth in the hospital or in your own home. This folder aims to inform you about the possibility of giving birth at home.
Information on home births
Deciding where to give birth can have a great influence on the birthing experience. Therefore it is important carefully to consider what’s best for you.
Advantages of home births
- You remain in your own safe and familiar surroundings. The familiarity can make you feel more relaxed and secure and might contribute to a less painful experience. Contractions can be more productive and giving birth can be a little quicker.
- The midwife will care for you in the same way at home, as in the hospital.
- A student midwife can be present during the birth, as homebirths are excellent teaching opportunities. The student can also be an asset for you and your partner together with the midwife, lending an extra hand.
- Just after the birth you can get to know your new baby in your own way, in peace and quiet in your accustomed surroundings.
- After the birth, you will be visited by a midwife at home twice. At these visits the midwife will talk you through the whole birthing experience, take a small blood sample from your baby´s heel and your baby will get an auditory screen test. Until the health visitor or district nurse arrives, you will be under the responsibility of the Post Natal Outpatients Department in Aldersrogade, where you can receive help 24 hours a day, either by planned appointments or by telephone.
Who can give birth at home?
Research shows it is just as safe for fit and healthy women with normal and uncomplicated pregnancies to give birth at home as in the hospital. In order to maintain this level of safety, the following conditions must be met:
- The pregnancy must be normal and you must be fit and healthy.
- You are expected to give birth within or around the due date.
- Your baby must be in a position pointing head down towards the birth canal.
- The baby must have an expected normal weight.
- You are pregnant with one child only (not twins or triplets).
- If it is your first child, your BMI must be less than 30.
- Labour must start spontaneously (not induced).• If labour starts with your waters breaking, the fluid should be clear and the contractions spontaneous.
- If you have given birth before, your earlier births must have been normal. If you have given birth more than four times, we recommend that you give birth in the hospital, due to a small increased risk of bleeding in connection with the birth.
- You must not have undergone surgery on your womb.
Transfer to the hospital before and after birth
The midwife will recommend transfer to the hospital if she assesses it to be necessary. This could be in situations when:
- You would like strong painkillers to be administered.
- The birth is prolonged or stops.
- There is excessive bleeding.
- The baby shows signs of stress such as an affected heartbeat or your waters are green.
- Your temperature or blood pressure rises.
- There is a difficult tear.
When we choose to transfer you to the hospital maternity ward, it is to ensure that you and your baby receive the best treatment. The transfer is often carried out very calmly.
The midwife will bring all the necessary birthing equipment with her. You and your husband or partner, are responsible for all the practical necessities at home. Your midwife will explain and advise you about this.
Pain relief for home births
There are many options for pain relief during home births. The following can be an advantage:
- Massage and relaxation exercises.
- Heated cushions and pillows.
- Warm water (shower, bath or footbath).
- Sterile eater deposits (”beestings”).
- Local anaesthetic (if you have a tear or need stitches.
Advice to the fathers / partners
As midwives we often hear that the mother-to-be wishes to give birth at home, but the father or partner has reservations. We will gladly discuss your worries and concerns with you, so you feel confident during the home birth. You are more than welcome to attend consultations with the midwife and our Home Birth Café at the Midwifery Centre in Aldersrogade. (Hjemmefødselscafé).
Do you need more information?
The Home Birth Café (Hjemmefødselscafé) at the Midwifery Centre in Aldersrogade. You and your husband, partner or other relatives can hear more about the advantages and disadvantages of home births, and a midwife will answer your questions. The dates, time, and address are on the noticeboards in the consultation rooms and on our website: www.rigshospitalet.dk/afdelinger-ogklinikker/julianemarie/obstetriskklinik/foedslen/ Sider/hjemmefoedselscafe.aspx, where you can also find further information on home births. If you decide to give birth at home, tell your consultant midwife who will ensure you are on the list for home births.
Links English websites
www.rigshospitalet.dk/afdelinger-og-klinikker/ julianemarie/obstetrisk-klinik/foedslen/Sider/ hjemmefoedselscafe.aspx