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Has anyone had a successful home birth after a preemie?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 



I'm in the planning phase of my 6th, and final baby. Here's a quick run down of my previous pregnancies


Age 19, delivered at 37 1/2 weeks, boy, 6 pounds, 7 oz, medically broke water at 4cm, healthy

Age 21, delivered at 34 weeks, girl, 5 pounds 13 oz, medically broke water at 4cm healthy

Age 26, delivered at 34 weeks, boy, 6 pounds 10oz, forced into an induction (pitocin, medically broke water at 4cm) by a crazy mean hospital midwife because of a high tear in the sac resulting in small leaks here and there, 8 hours after my first leak, still had a TON of fluid, NICU for 10 days.

Age 29, delivered at 37 weeks, boy, 6 pounds 3 oz, 17p injections (until 36 weeks), medically broke water at 4cm, perfect hospital birth, healthy

Age 31, delivered at 36 weeks, boy, 5 pounds 15 oz, 17p injections (stopped at 35 weeks, OB error), medically broke water at 4cm, pitocin, spontaneous pneumothorax, 14 days in NICU


In retrospect, there were things in each pregnancy/labor, with the exception of the 37 weekers, that I feel were improperly handled. I really believe that if I were left alone, pre-term labor would have petered out or could have been medically stopped, and I would have carried to term. Not one of the hospitals tried to STOP labor, in all cases they encouraged it with interventions, without the baby being in distress.


Needless to say, I'm very familiar with birth trauma. I delivered all of my babies, even the induced ones, without pain medication of any kind. Also needless to say, I know the importance of a quality NICU and plan to have a neonatologist to keep an eye on things through the pregnancy. I just honestly feel like my body CAN do this right, and that if left to my own accord I could carry to term. I don't want to do anything crazy by any means, but I really dream of a "normal" childbirth, and feel that the only way I can achieve that is at home with a midwife.


I'm just curious, as I'm not yet pregnant, if anyone else has tried for a home birth after a preemie, or multiple preemies? I'd love to hear how they turned out, good or bad. Am I crazy for thinking that a midwife would consider working with me, even though I plan to have a perinatogist and fully understand if labor happens before 37 weeks my butt is in a hospital?


Thanks, in advance! :)



post #2 of 13

I really don't see why a midwife wouldn't be willing to work with you with that understanding.  I have some concerns with my current pregnancy because although I haven't had a preemie yet, I have had 38, 39, and 36 weekers.  All were fine and born at home, but I know I would choose to go to the hospital if I went into labor any earlier than 36+ weeks.  So as I interview midwives I will be asking for their opinions about various hospitals/providers and what their policy would be about what would happen if I had to transfer out of their care due to preterm labor.  But I guess it would just depend on whether a midwife has the client volume to support taking on a client who might not end up birthing with her.

post #3 of 13

I have no idea, but you would definitely want to make sure that your midwife would be willing to attend a home birth before 38 weeks. I think most just want you to reach 37 weeks, but I have also known midwives who would transfer you if labor began before 38 weeks, so that's something you'd really want to be clear about ahead of time. :)

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice! I'm in GA, so there aren't a ton of options, but I'm looking into them. :)

post #5 of 13

In my family, no one has ever gone all the way to their EDD. !st was 9 lbs 2 oz at 39 wks, 2nd was 8lbs 2 oz at 38 wks, 3rd was 9 lbs 1oz at ? wks (we never did get an EDD on her), my 4th was 8lbs 12 oz at 38 wks. Only my 5th was a preemie, 6 lbs, 1 oz at 36 wks. I still had 6th (9 lbs 10 oz) 7th, (7lbs 8 oz) at home around 37 weeks. As a midwife, I have attended moms who typically go a month over too.  What can I say, some families cook 'em fast, others slow. Besides heredity, malnutrition is another cause of prematurity, as is GBS infection. It is important to understand why your have had so many early babies, before going to the next step.

It disturbs me  that your water was artificially ruptured so many times. There may be very good reasons for this, or maybe not. I too wonder if you would have had them all so early if left well enough alone! I would also like to see what kind of diet you were eating when these early babies came. Even a great organic diet w lots of fruits & veges must be balanced w enough  protein to keep  those babies in there long enough.  It can't hurt to plan a homebirth, as long as you realize your midwife probably  has a cut-off date, before which, she won't (or can't) attend you  at home. I don't recommend homebirth earlier than 37 wks, but have made a few exceptions, for women who are well nourished, do not have GBS infection & and are otherwise healthy & ready for the responsibility of a homebirth. Often these early babies come so fast there is not time to get to the hospital anyway, so might as well be prepared to do it yourself. Good luck!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I agree, Marlene! I really, really think that if they had left me alone I would have carried to term. I think I am going to try to find a midwife that would consider being my doula should we need to go to the hospital. That way I have support either way, and she gets paid the full amount either way;

post #7 of 13

I'm a midwife.  I took care of a woman who had her first 2 babies in the hospital.  First came at 37 weeks, second at 36 weeks.  Doctor tells her after her second baby, "You could never have a baby bigger than 7 pounds!"   She thought the doctor didn't listen to her when she ultimately miscarried twins at 11 weeks.  It was then she sought me out for a home birth.  I treated her with something to prevent miscarriage and she made it through the first trimester.  I counseled her on good nutrition and exercise--then decreasing stressful activities in the last 2 months.  When she got to 37 weeks she was back on full activities.  She gave birth to a 9 pound little girl (her first girl) a day after her due date--a quick, easy birth.  I don't know much about the care YOU received from doctor's and in hospitals; but, if it's anything like what I've seen, I'm not surprised you kept having early babies. 

post #8 of 13

I had a baby at 30 weeks in 2005 (c-section) and then 2 full term HBACs, one in 2009 and one in 2010.  It can be done with the right, supportive provider!

post #9 of 13

I birthed my first at 34 weeks, in the hospital.  My second was 39 weeks 5 days, also hospital.  My third was 41 weeks, 2 days (thanks, kid!) at home.  my HB MW supported me with lots of counseling about nutrition, hydration, herbal remedies for pre-term contractions, etc. 

post #10 of 13
I didn't have much trouble finding a midwife who would agree to be my provider. It's my 2nd baby, the first was at 32 w. I am taking 17 P. She will attend me if I make it to 37 w, otherwise my birth will be at the hospital with the OB I am also seeing. She even agreed to reduce her fee if my baby came too early, since she would not be attending the birth in that instance. I plan to stop seeing the OB after 36 weeks and the OB is aware of this. (And hasn't made even one negative comment about it, which I appreciate.)

So, I think you can do it, just make sure to talk openly with all parties about your plans. Some midwives don't negotiate on their fees (i.e. you pay in full regardless of your pregnancy outcome), and, while I understand their philosophy (they can't take additional patients due the same time as you after you hire them), in the case of someone who has been prone to delivering early, it is very helpful to find someone flexible.
post #11 of 13
In case anyone searches for this thread again.. I DID have a successful homebirth after preemie. 2nd baby came at 36 w 0 days, the midwife missed her arrival by about 5 minutes because I don't waste any time in "early labor" apparently. She did have to go to the hospital for jaundice for a few days when she was 3 days old, but had no breathing issues or any other problems. And I am so glad we had her at home, she would have been born in the car otherwise. Back labor + surprise breech baby = no one wants to be in the car during that. It was very healing and freeing.. it was hard for those first couple days under the blue lights to be in the NICU, but it was a big, big difference from the 6 weeks we dealt with before! She is also very mellow, cheerful, and was such a different infant from her colicky high needs brother.

I was also born at 36 weeks gestation, with no issues (and no jaundice, probably because I was given formula and not born upside down.) I do think family history plays a part. I also wonder how long I would carry a third baby, but it's just a theoretical I wonder since we don't plan on a third.
post #12 of 13

1 - 33w - 5lb 8oz 15 days NICU

2 - 36w - 6lb 14oz 48hr nicu for observation due to not breathing when out (not due to prematurity)

3 - 38w - 6lb 2oz

4 - 37w - 6lb 5oz

5 - 38w HOME BIRTH - 6lb 13oz

6 - 38w  hospital due to DVT, was planned home birth  - 5lb 15oz

post #13 of 13
Yep, I had a 36 week 'premie' at home no transfer and after that a 38 week, 41 week, 40 week all at home.
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