A home birth is ideal for women who want to experience the birth of their baby with one-to-one support from a midwife in the comfort of their own home, without medical intervention.
Care is individually tailored to your needs and we can advise you on the range of specialist equipment available to hire for home births, including birthing pools. Labouring and giving birth in water can help women to relax, provide support to move around easily and relieve pain.
What we offer
The benefits of having your baby at home include:
- Being in familiar surroundings, where you may feel more relaxed and able to cope
- No need to interrupt your labour to travel to our birth centre or labour ward
- Possibility of being looked after by a midwife you have got to know during your pregnancy
- Being less likely to need any medical interventions
We also encourage and support the use of active birth techniques, hypnobirthing, aromatherapy and massage to help you have a normal birth without medical interventions.
After your baby is born your midwife will stay with you until you and your baby are comfortable and supported with breastfeeding (if you choose to do this). We can also answer any questions you might have during this time.
- Gas and air (Entonox - a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas)
- Complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing
- TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will discuss your options with you and if appropriate make arrangements for you to be transferred to our labour ward at The Whittington Hospital.
Some of the common reasons for being transferred to our labour ward include asking for an epidural, slow progress in labour, thick meconium (when baby passes their first stool in their water) and foetal distress (when baby is unhappy in labour).
Choosing a home birth
A home birth is suitable for healthy women who have had a straightforward pregnancy and want to have a normal labour and birth. Your midwife will discuss all of your birth options with you.
Your doctor or midwife may recommend that you give birth in hospital. If you are expecting twins, or if your baby is breech (lying feet first), your midwife or doctor will explain why they think a hospital birth is safer for you and your baby.