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My Nan gave birth to 5 children. The first 4 at home at her 5th in hospital where she was strongly advised that home birth would not be safe for her. She didn't like the hospital experience at all. She felt out of control, poked and prodded, not at all relaxed or in tune with her body. She regrets this decision. This was 1970.

My own mum has given birth twice. First in hospital, where an epidural was advised. She didn't understand the reasons why, she couldn't feel anything and didn't know how to 'push'. Her care providers were very condescending and rolled their eyes and laughed at her when she asked them to show her how to change a nappy. This was 1986.

Her second birth was a planned home birth. This was 1989 and she had to fight nail and tooth to make this happen. She did not want a repeat of her first hospital experience at all. She changed her midwife care to the next village where she then recieved continuity of care throughout the rest of her pregnancy, birth and for postnatal visits too. She had 'a midwife'. One midwife, the whole way through. She glows when she talks about this home birth.

My own two births were at home. The first unplanned and the second planned. One had a challenging outcome and the other had a blissful outcome.

The main worry I hear is 'I want to be in hospital in case something goes wrong.' Now, where we live we are 15 minutes away from our hospital. If during a home birth there is a cause for concern, we would get to the hospital very quickly. If you were already in the hospital, it could absolutely take the same amount of time to prepare the theatre room for you and take you through those doors.

People seem to be scared about the risks of home birth, but don't give two thoughts about the very real and common risks that incur during hospital births.

To those I have spoken to or have supported through their birth experiences, those who have had a hospital birth AND a home birth, there is always an overwhelming preference for home births. Always.

So here is a little bit of history about how we lost our way but how we are now coming back even stronger. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY!


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