Home birth in hospital

Home birth in hospital

March 01, 2023

Home birth in hospital

Sometimes women crave a home birth experience, but due to health or medical reasons they need to give birth in hospital.  This doesn’t mean these women need to miss out on all of the benefits that home birth has to offer. There is more to homebirth philosophy than simply birthing in your home, and a lot of these ideas can translate to a hospital setting when birthing at home is not the best choice.

If you know in advance that home birth is not an option for you, you may like to consider finding a midwife who is experienced in home birth and discussing your wishes with her, so she can help you plan for your home birth in hospital.

Some ways to plan for your home birth in hospital could include:

  • Reading / watching / listening to positive hospital and home birth stories.  Notice the common themes and think about how you can incorporate them into your labour.
  • Involve your partner and / or support people in learning about birth, and support techniques that will be applicable for your circumstances.
  • Encourage your partner and / or support people to attend antenatal appointments and antenatal classes with you.
  • Practice relaxation techniques, like Calm Birth or Hypno birth for example.  These will be of great benefit even if you know your labour won’t be straightforward.
  • Write a birth plan outlining your desire to create a home birth in hospital, which takes into account your own personal circumstances.  Make sure your midwife and partner and / or support people have a copy, and that you have discussed it with them.

Some practical ways that you can create a more homely space in your hospital room are:

  • Use your own pillow and blanket from home.
  • Bring a photo, flowers, or special items from home to put on your bedside table.
  • Wear your own clothes rather than a hospital gown.
  • Take a small speaker or headphones so you can listen to your choice of music.
  • Take your own meals / drinks / snacks with you or ask someone to deliver a meal.
  • Pack your favourite mug and bring your favourite tea / coffee / hot drink.
  • Spend time with your family while you are in hospital, if circumstances allow, or Skype / Zoom / talk to them on the phone.
  • Bring some printed or hand made affirmation cards to use during labour.
  • Dim the ceiling lights.
  • Take some small battery operated tea-light ‘candles’ to create ambient lighting.
  • Make a sign for your room so people know whether you are accepting visitors or not, and asking visitors and hospital staff to knock before entering.
  • Close the blinds, and the door curtain for privacy.
  • Walk outside in the hospital garden, if circumstances allow, and if that feels right for you.
  • Use aromatherapy to help create a peaceful atmosphere (and also disguise the hospital smell).
  • Bring your own birthing ball from home, rather than using a hospital one.

Even if you have never considered home birth, you might find these ideas helpful in preparing for your hospital birth.