The lovely folk at Which? (yes, the very same folk who help us to buy our cameras and fridges) have recently branched out into the great, mysterious, occasionally-taboo, land of Birth with their new online Birth Choice tool. Their aim is to help you make the best choice for you; the tool takes into account your personal preferences and circumstances and suggests local units that would be best suited to you. You can even compare the facilities and services provided at the local units, to ensure you feel happy with your choice.
Which? sent us three fantastic boxes of goodies to help with our birth choice; each box had incredibly useful products in that would help facilitate one of three birthing options, and make the experience more comfortable and pleasurable.
The Hospital Birth Box
This box was chocca full of goodies that are perfect for all of the birth choice options to be honest! From healthy, energy-giving snacks, to an iTunes voucher, to a mini fan, I will certainly be using everything in this box for my Home Birth (I think the flipflops will be especially useful after getting out of the pool!)
The Midwife-Led Unit Birth Box
Again this box was full of lovely products, from beautiful slippers to a cosy robe – I’m very much looking forward to using these post-birth! And I’m currently using the hot water bottle to help ease the uncomfortable early labour cramps…!
The Home Birth Box
From a birthing ball, to a rather practical (and completely unsexy) waterproof mattress protector, this box had some fantastic goodies in for my Home Birth! I’m currently sat on the waterproof mattress protector as I type on the sofa, just in case Baby decides to come today as the Midwife thinks he might! I’m very much looking forward to using the oils later, and wrapping our new bundle in the receiving blanket!
Regular readers will know that I’ve opted for a Home Birth for my impending birth with Peppercorn. There are a number of reasons for this – here are my top five:
1. I get rather bored, stressed and frustrated in a hospital environment. With Busby I was admitted to be induced due to reduced foetal movements, however, I wasn’t actually seen by a Midwife for about five-six hours after being admitted, and spent a lot of the time when I was waiting pacing the room, getting more and more het up. I’ve chosen to have a Home Birth because I feel comfortable at home; I’m in my own space! I can wander around, hop in the shower, eat cake, if I want to. I know where everything is (well, just about – we still have an awful lot in boxes!) and I don’t have to worry about cleaning staff walking into the room when my legs are akimbo… (That actually happened during Busby’s birth)
2. I saw six different midwives during my labour in hospital with Busby. My labour was five and a half hours long. Each Midwife had a different opinion. I felt scared and, post-labour, rather let down by the system. I’ve opted for a Home Birth because you have one Midwife looking after you throughout your labour, with second Midwife joining the first right at the end of the labour. That one-on-one care is very important to me, and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) building a rapport with the Duty Midwife (if I don’t already know her) and feeling safe in the knowledge that she’s not going to pop off to another room and leave us alone during vital moments.
3. We don’t have a Midwife-Led Unit (MLU) in our local community. Originally, when I found out I was pregnant again, I was pretty certain I wanted to give birth in a MLU – to me it seemed a happy medium between hospital and home. But then I discovered our new county didn’t have a MLU, sadly it closed down due to lack of funding a few years ago. I felt disheartened for a while, wondering where I’d be giving birth as really didn’t fancy hospital again, and then I remembered a lovely Midwife advising me that, as my birth with Busby had been so quick, I should consider a Home Birth with any future children. After quite a lot of research, I decided it was definitely the way forward!
4. I won’t have to fight another labouring woman for the birthing pool. We’ve hired a birthing pool for our Home Birth, and I’m SO excited! Giving birth in water sounds absolutely divine, and after researching whether it was going to be super gross for Nick afterwards (it should be fine – no buckets or waders required), we went ahead and booked!
5. We can have a cup of tea, piece of cake and cuddle in bed afterwards. As I’ve said previously, the advantage of a Home Birth is that you’re in your own space, which means you’re not waiting for invasive hospital checks, or for Midwives to fill in paperwork so you can be discharged home. You can curl up in bed, with your new baby and partner, and enjoy this time together without interruption – which is fantastic for bonding and breastfeeding. (Midwives tend to leave 3 hours after the birth). Oh, and the tea and cake… and not a stale hospital sandwich in sight!