Home birth: How to prepare for giving birth at home
Home birth (also known as unassisted birth) is the option of choice for around 2% of first-time mums in the UK. It allows you to welcome your new baby privately in comfortable and familiar surroundings. Of course, this requires preparation without the presence of a team of nurses and doctors, so here’s our guide to planning a safe and stress-free home birth.
Is home birth right for me?
It might sound obvious, but before you start planning it’s wise to ask yourself this question for a few reasons. If you are in good health and expecting a straightforward pregnancy, home birth shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a medical condition or experienced complications with a previous birth, speak to your GP as a hospital birth will likely be advised. Secondly, your maternity unit of choice and the location of your home could play a part in the level of support, equipment and resources available to you, so this should be considered too before making plans.
Choosing a midwife
Your two main options when choosing a midwife are a community midwife or an independent midwife. The choice is up to you, but may depend on midwife numbers in your area.
To help you make the right decision when choosing a midwife, community-based or independent, it’s worth having an
initial consultation to ask questions such as:
How does their practice work?
What type of certification does the midwife have?
What is the midwife’s general approach to prenatal care and delivery?
How many midwife appointments will I have pre and post-birth?
How are emergencies and after-hour calls handled?
Is the midwife affiliated with a medical practice, hospital, or birthing centre?
How does the midwife manage pain during delivery?
Does the midwife consult with an OB (obstetrician)?
Will another midwife and/or a student midwife attend my delivery?
Delivery types: natural, medicated or water birth?
There are three main birth methods to choose from if you’re giving birth at home. Here’s a bit of background on each to give you confidence in your decision.
Protecting your baby’s health at birth
An increasing number of parents are opting for cord blood banking to protect the future health of their child. Cord blood is rich in stem cells which can treat conditions such as Anaemia, Leukaemia and a range of inherited disorders. Your child’s sample is a 100% HLA match to them and, if stored with a private bank, can be frozen for decades should they ever need it for a treatment.
Collecting cord blood is possible for all types of birth, whether you are planning a home birth, water birth or even delayed cord clamping. With Future Health, you will have a private phlebotomist assigned to you at the time of booking to make the process as smooth as possible.
Remember, the information on this page is for guidance only. If you are considering a home birth, please discuss options with your GP first.