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Homebirth in a condo.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Has anyone had a homebirth in a condo/apartment? We're on the top floor, and our downstairs neighbors are jerks to put it mildly(we're talking they complain if my kids make noise in the middle of the day during the workday type of people). 

I've planned on having a homebirth since my DS' birth in April 2010, and just tonight my husband addressed concerns, he doesn't want them to start complaining or interrupting our birth(and tbh they aren't exactly people I would want to tell about my pregnancy, so pre-warning isn't an option)... he wants me to either do a birth center or hospital birth.

Basically, just want to hear if anyone has birthed in an apartment setting, how it went, did the neighbors complain, etc.? 

post #2 of 27

We shared a house with my brother and father when I was pregnant with my oldest. They were in the basement and my brother swore he was leaving when birth day came but they both slept right through it.

post #3 of 27

I just wanted to chime in saying after having a not-so-great (to put it mildly) hospital birth I truly regret not having a homebirth in our apartment. I did not do it for the same reasons you are considering, and I really, really wish I had. 


If I was you, I would simply try and keep myself away from the door and have someone else respond if the neighbors come to complain- if they do hopefully you won't even  know until after the birth is over. 

post #4 of 27

You've had other children--how loud do you tend to be while laboring?  Some women find themselves being very vocal the whole way through--some just for a few moments at the end.  If you're one who likes to vocalize through contractions, I would look into alternate arrangements.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

You've had other children--how loud do you tend to be while laboring?  Some women find themselves being very vocal the whole way through--some just for a few moments at the end.  If you're one who likes to vocalize through contractions, I would look into alternate arrangements.

I had the epidural with my DD, so I didn't make much noise, with my son I was crying for the last 30 minutes of labor, if that. But it -was- loud. I didn't make much noise during my contractions, or the majority of my labor. 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Part of me doesn't give a crap about them, they are hypocritical(very, very noisy people themselves) but on the other end, I know it would be stressful if they came up here complaining and starting stuff if I DID make noise.

I really hate going anywhere in labor, I was an hour away from having my son at home, and the car ride was excruciating :(

post #7 of 27

Yes, in two different condos (not the same birth, of course! lol). Honestly, my homebirths were the best thing I ever did. They felt on a whole new realm than a hospital birth. I actually had a neighbor who was a nurse who found out about it and was very unsupportive. I just never let her know when it was actually happening. Actually, both places no one knew I had given birth until a couple days later and they were very surprised. And I did have a couple of people there (midwife, friends, etc.) bringing equipment in and out. Too, I scream and yell when I'm pushing. They had no clue. It's your home. If you want to have your baby there, then you should. Have a plan in place in case they should come knocking, but it probably won't happen. I also smudged (a cleansing protection done with sage smoke) my house where the walls met other people's dwellings and it helped me feel safe and protected from the people on the other side of the wall. If you are religious you could do some kind of blessing I guess. Whatever works for you. Even if it's just psychological, whatever helps you claim your own space and feel safe and protected there, go for it. Best of luck! 

post #8 of 27
Originally Posted by rnra View Post
 If you're one who likes to vocalize through contractions, I would look into alternate arrangements.

I would say though that sometimes relaxation music can really help drown it out. I did have on relaxation music for one of them in the middle of the night (because I wanted it) but it must've helped to drown that noise out. Trust me, I get LOUD and no one heard a peep (except the people in my bedroom, of course). :)

post #9 of 27

A lot of it depends on your building and insulation.  Where I live now, I can hear every step, cough, and movement of my upstairs neighbors.  It's a new-ish building too.  In a prior building of a similar age and style, I couldn't hear much.  

post #10 of 27

I birthed #5 here in our townhouse. We have neighbors on both sides. I can hear their TV, when they go up and down their steps and it wasn't an issue.

post #11 of 27

They will get over it. You don't have to answer the door if they try to interrupt nor should you. You are allowed to birth in your own home and you should if that is what you chose. Do not allow someone else to determine your birthing scenarios--you deserve what you want!

I wouldn't prewarn, even if they were nice neighbors--this is something that is an intimate and private event in the comfort of your home. It will not be a regular occurance and thus not something they can really be upset about, IMO. 

I didn't home birth with my first DD because we lived in a 500 sqft house and I felt like it would be too small for the event, but after that experience I would NEVER make thaat decision again. My home is definitely the perfect place to birth--no matter where my home is or how small it may be! It's where I am comfy. It's HOME!

post #12 of 27

Seriously--DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR during labor. If they continue to knock or bother then I would call the cops on THEM! It is they who are disturbing you at that point. Seriously. Your time to birth is for you and you don't have to make accomadations for anyone else. Have your MW answer the door and let them know that there is a birth happening and that they shouldn't come back and that it will be over soon.

post #13 of 27

I had DS2 in an apartment. DH was more concerned than I was. We were in the downstairs apartment and we sometimes would hear our upstairs neighbor (mostly just DTD as she had a squeaky bed.) DH thought for sure they must have heard me, as I'm very vocal in labor, and it was a late night birth too (1:23am), but when we met them outside a couple of weeks later they didn't even know we'd already had the baby, let alone birthed right there in the apartment under them.


Honestly I would just ignore the neighbors and birth where ever you feel most comfortable. There is a very strong possibility that they won't even notice that anything is happening.

post #14 of 27

If you want the homebirth, have the homebirth. maybe think about putting a "yes there is a birth happening inside, it is perfectly safe, so don't knock and ask stupid questions" sign on the door while in labor so you don't feel like you have to answer the door.

post #15 of 27

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!   I had my last HB in Aug 2010 - my DH was so freaked out that the cops would be called on us he was just panic stricken the entire time....i was incredibly loud - it was a quick painful birth and i was SCREAMING and saying things like 'NO NO NO NO!"  at one point my MW tried a little counter pressure on my lower back and i snapped at her 'dont touch me!'   and we live in a very cheaply made apartment - we are upstairs.  I also had planned a water birth and had a huge pool of water that i was grabbing at like it was a lifeboat and i was on the Titanic.....at one point even i had to reprimand myself and chill out !  lol

one thing we used probably wont help you seeing as you are in Alaska....we just turned up the air conditioning really high - it was nice and loud and must have drowned out my 'birthsong'   the neighbors never knew, they never knocked on the door ...it was fine.  Do you have a relative - or friend or could you hire a doula to 1.) keep you focused on low sounds and not screeching your way through labor  and 2.) deal with the neighbors should the need arise - so your DH wont have to take time away from you to do it.....

i wouldnt let it stop me from having a HB.   Let us know how it turns out!

post #16 of 27

I second that you should NOT answer the door if you are birthing. Even though this is different, when my grandfather was in the process of passing away at home (he had cancer and was sent home to pass in the comfort of his own bed) my grandma's cable guy showed up and realized what was happening. Without warning he called 911! Thankfully, they arrived right after he was gone, but then my grieving family had to deal with them wanting to take his body when we all just wanted an hour of peace with him to say goodbye. The last thing you want is your crappy neighbors calling EMS on you and having to deal with that. I suggest using a very large fan on high to drown out noise. We use that when we watch a loud movie at night and you can't hear anything upstairs because it drowns it out and helps break up the sound waves coming from you. Good luck! 

post #17 of 27

I'd have DH put a ready made sign on the door that says, "Please do not disturb, woman laboring inside" 

post #18 of 27
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I'd have DH put a ready made sign on the door that says, "Please do not disturb, woman laboring inside" 

This and then don't answer the door if someone comes knocking or put someone specific on "door duty" in case unwanted visitors come. 

post #19 of 27

I strongly agree with not answering your door while laboring (and having a door monitor just to be safe), but I strongly disagree that you should advertise a birth is taking place. For me, I loved advertising my homebirths AFTER they were done. But before (and maybe this sounds hokey) I only wanted people knowing about it who would be completely supportive and positive about it. I felt like I really didn't need anyone's negative vibes or fears as part of my birth. I think it is a sacred and private event and it's best to keep the energy inward (as in in the immediate birthing circle). 


As you've read so many women who were extremely loud (including me) had neighbors who had no idea a birth ever took place. I think if you'd like to, you could put a sign on the door that says "Do not disturb," like at a motel. Maybe if people hear screaming and moaning they'll just think you're having sex. ;)  lol 

post #20 of 27

Apt. dweller here with the same kind of neighbors...complaints at noon because kids are "walking" to hard.  I had 2 HB's in that apt. and the last one was a waterbirth.  Once my contractions get pretty close I get vocal and during pushing too.  No one seemed to notice.  One of them was delivered at 3 am and the other at 6:30 am after laboring since midnight.  I say do it. I personally would probably not hang the sign that might prompt them to be more curious and possibly make them call 911 and tell them there is a woman laboring there.

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