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Low risk women who plan to give birth at home have a much higher rate of giving birth without interventions.
Royal Sussex County hospital have a dedicated team of midwives, who since 2013 work across the city delivering babies at home.These midwives carry all essential equipment with them, including entonox for pain relief!
Your midwife will ask about your preferences for your birth during the antenatal period and if you are considering (or already know) that you might want to birth at home we will arrange to come and see you in the comfort of your own home to discuss your birth wishes. We also run some ‘my homebirth matters’ drop in groups in various community locations and these give you the opportunity to speak with members of the midwifery team as well as other parents who are also considering homebirth. We often have a family who have had a homebirth who are keen to come and share their experience giving you the opportunity to ask the questions that are important to you. We know that choice of where to have your baby is something that you will want to consider carefully and suggest you speak with your community midwife in early pregnancy to ensure you can access all of the relevant information to make the choice that is right for you.
Why would I choose to have my baby at home?
Giving birth at home has many benefits and is generally safe. This is particularly the case when you have given birth before and experienced no problems with either baby or yourself. You are encouraged to consider the homebirth option if you are healthy and enjoy a normal pregnancy, free of complications.
Evidence suggests that midwifery led care provided at a homebirth encourages the natural process of labour. Having your baby at home also reduces the risk of having a caesarean section and increases your chances of birth without intervention.
How do I book a homebirth?
ask your community midwife to discuss the homebirth option with you in more detail. Your midwife will advise you and your partner to attend the ‘My homebirth matters’ group for more information. This will give you a chance to meet other parents that are planning a homebirth. You will also be given the Trust homebirth information booklet.
When you and your partner are happy with the homebirth option a home visit by the community midwife will follow. A booking form complete with details about where you live and when you are expected your baby will be sent to the hospital labour ward.
What can I expect from the midwives during Labour?
Our community midwives are now offering 24/7 homebirth cover for all women planning a homebirth with the Royal Sussex County Hospital or the Princess Royal Hospital. You simply phone the labour ward and explain that you are booked for a homebirth. A midwife will be able to advice you and arrange to visit you at home if appropriate. Once your labour is established, the homebirth midwife will care for you at your home. A second midwife will attend as soon as the birth of your baby is imminent.
What happens if there are unexpected problems?
If problems occur during labour, birth or immediate postnatal period whilst you are at home we may need to a transfer you and your baby to the nearest hospital. This is more often the case for women having their first baby. Your community midwife will be able to inform you further.
Check out My Pregnancy matters for more information on homebirth in Brighton and Hove
The NCT are a great source of information and support regarding birth plans and choices. Locally they run a monthly homebirth support group, sharing birth stories and top tips, as well as giving you the chance to meet others planning a home birth. See the link below for more information
Pregnant in Brighton has some great links to sites with more information on all aspects of homebirth