Supported Choice

I had a slightly more complex route to choosing homebirth as whilst my first baby was a spontaneous and easy birth in an MLU, my second daughter had to be a section at 34 weeks due to antibodies causing her anaemia and her needing a transfusion.

I was therefore under consultant care for this pregnancy, both due to the repeat risk of antibodies affecting the baby, and due to being a VBAC.

Reasonably early in the pregnancy we were sure the antibodies weren’t going to be a factor, so the VBAC was the only concern. However, my consultant was very keen for me to have a medicalised birth with monitoring in the delivery suite, and potentially an early induction.

I contacted the home birth team – initially to discuss whether use of the MLU was an option for me. Tanya helped me understand my options and talked through all of my concerns, and I made the decision that a home birth would be my preferred option.

The home birth team supported me excellently through my pregnancy – especially as I continued to need consultant check ups and was faced with a lot of negativity about my home birth decision. Almost every possible risk factor was raised to try and persuade me out of my homebirth (my age, VBAC, baby size, specific blood tests needed for the baby after birth, post dates, speed of my first labour etc) so Tanya’s support to stand my ground was very much needed.

I attended an appointment with my consultant at 41 weeks, which resulted in a section being booked for 42 weeks – I was concerned my home birth was not going to materialise after all; it was hard to stay positive with a looming deadline and multiple hospital appointments booked to prepare for the section. I booked some reflexology and acupuncture appointments for the coming days and tried to mentally stay in a positive mindset.

 In the early hours of Saturday morning, whilst resettling my daughter back to sleep, I started to have more regular Braxton Hicks. I spent a few hours awake, but decided they were tailing off so returned to bed at 4am. A few minutes later I realised they were actually getting more intense and woke my husband to start setting up the pool.

As we were getting things out downstairs I thought my waters had started to trickle, but realised it was actually blood so I rang the midwife – Jodie was on call, who was comfortable it was nothing to be concerned about. We had a bit of a chat about whether it was worth her coming out yet, as I wasn’t feeling any pain, and could talk happily through the tightenings. We decided she would come and check me over as she could always go back home if I wasn’t close to active labour.

My waters went shortly before Jodie arrived at 5:15 – at this point I was still helping set up the pool and comfortable with the tens machine and walking through any discomfort. Within fifteen minutes everything suddenly leapt up a gear. 

Jodie was amazing at helping me as my contractions were very frequent, with barely any gaps between, then Tanya arrived at 5:50, and ten minutes later I was feeling a lot of pressure.

They coached and supported me brilliantly as I struggled with the intensity of transition and the speed of contractions that I was experiencing, and then helped me into the pool. My daughter was born minutes later, at 6:05, within 3 pushes. We spent a magical hour in the pool with my eldest daughters there, fascinated by their new sister. 

I had felt doubts about my homebirth decision at times during my pregnancy, especially when faced with so many people who only talked about the risks, and with strong opposition to my choice voiced regularly by my consultant.

I am so very glad that I trusted my instincts, and that I had the support of Tanya to make this experience possible for us as a family.

There is something amazingly special about bringing a baby into the world within the safety and familiarity of your own house, with the support of midwives you know and trust, and to be able to get comfortable in your own bed once it’s all over.

I can’t thank the Home birth team enough as this will be an experience we treasure forever as a family, and without Tanya this birth would have happened in a very different environment.

Homebirth January 2019

Note from the team: Have additional considerations in your medical or pregnancy history? We will work alongside our multidisciplinary colleagues to support you to balance up your individual benefits and risks of homebirth so that you can come to a decision that feels right for you. Contact the team to arrange a 1-2-1 chat at Tanya.ashton@nhs.net

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November Stats: Transfers

Following on from our November stats we would like to show you in more detail why not all of our caseload’s babies were born at home.

The more research you do in to #homebirth the more you will discover that transfer rates and the reasons for transfer, aren’t quiet what you might imagine.

In November 28 of our caseload birthed their babies.

Six changed their planned place of birth from home to the Royal Surrey County Hospital prior to the onset of labour. Five consented to an induction of labour (18%) and one to an elective caesarean birth(3.5 %).

22 of our clients were planning to birth at home at the onset of their labours. Of these mums 18 went on to birth at home as planned, while four (18%) transferred in to hospital during the course of their labours.

Two transferred for additional analgesia (9%), one (4.5%)for meconium (baby’s first bowel movement) stained liquor (waters) and one (4.5%) for prolonged 2nd (pushing) stage of labour.

Because we are a #continuity case loading team we continue to care for our clients even if plans change along the way.

We hope that you find this information when exploring your birth place options and making decisions about your birth plan.

If you are planning to birth your baby with the Royal Surrey and would like to explore your birth place options we would be delight to talk things then with you.

You can either come to one of our informal “meet the homebirth team” mornings ( see details of upcoming Forums here), email the team at tanya.ashton@nhs.net to arrange a no obligation home visit or request a referral from your current community midwife.

ESTIMATED Due Dates

Babies are usually born between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, this is referred to as “term” in the UK.

But did you know that only 4% of babies arrive on the magical date that everyone counts down to? More than 90% arrive on either side of their due date.

This picture shows when our caseload babies decided to make their arrival and none of them fancied their “due date”!

#VariationsOfNormal #DueDate #GuessDate

Full of Grace

Another brilliantly busy start to the week with two mums birthing their babies at home on Monday. Meanwhile another strong mummy, supported by the team and cared for by our lovely @RSCH_Maternity colleagues, birthed her baby this morning! #Continuity #Teamwork #choice

Responsive Feeding

❤️You cannot spoil a baby or child with too much love, comfort and security ❤️

Not only is a baby wanting to feed/suck for comfort biologically normal is it kind of the point.

Did you know that your baby’s feeds are not just for nutrition? Feeding is also a wonderful opportunity to provide love, comfort and reassurance to your baby

However you choose to feed your baby you can do so responsively.

Responsive feeding is a simple as following your baby’s feeding cues rather than a schedule, allowing the baby to set the pace of the feed, and communicating with your baby during the feed with eye contact and gentle and positive conversation.

Skin to skin is a wonderful way to welcome your baby in to the world and give their first feed but it has benefits well in to the Fourth Trimester.

In addition to feeding when your baby shows signs of hunger, breastfeeding mums can also offer the breast when her baby is distressed, fractious, or appear lonely, when her breasts are full or she needs a rest.

Breastfeeding can also help settle a baby if they are baby unwell or provide them with reassurance in unfamiliar environments. The sucking action of feeding is know to act as a form of comfort and pain relief for baby’s having uncomfortable procedures like blood tests and/or injections.

Ask your midwife about responsive feeding, feeding cues, paced bottle feeding and the Fourth Trimester

#BrainDevelopment #Oxytocin #ResponsiveFeeding #BabyFriendly #BuildingAHappyBaby

Ask Us About…Bump Bonding and Responsive Parenting

Did you know that baby’s have needs before they are born and that Responsgive Parenting starts in pregnancy?

You can help your baby’s brain develop to in pregnancy by taking time out to relax and bond with them. This can be as simple as responding to your baby’s kicks with a gentle nudge of your own.

Talking, reading and/ or singing to your growing baby and stroking your bump are also wonderful ways to increase yours and your baby’s oxytocin and promote bonding and brain development.

You can invite your partner, children and other close family and friends to start to develop a relationship with your baby in the same way.

Learning your baby’s normal pattern of movements and responding to any changes helps to keep your baby safe.

Ask your midwife about Bump Bonding, Responsive Parenting and monitoring your baby’s movements in pregnancy.

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/05/happybaby_leaflet-web-2016-2.pdf

#AskUs #Antenatal #Pregnancy #BrainDevelopment #Oxytocin #BumpBonding #BuildingAHappyBaby #KicksCount #ResponsiveParenting

#AskUs about… Developing Sibling Relationship

Ask your midwife about how to involve your children and partner in bump bonding.

Encouraging other family members to feel the baby move and talk, sing and read to your bump encourages family bonding and promotes baby brain development.

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/05/happybaby_leaflet-web-2016-2.pdf

#BrainDevelopment #BumpBonding #Antenatal #Pregnancy #SiblingBonding #FamilyBonding #Family #Oxytocin