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#1 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a good hospital experience with my first baby, but am considering a homebirth for the next one. This may sound silly, but one of my biggest reservations is dealing with the mess! I bled sooooo much - changing sheets constantly, gushes any time I stood up or even switched positions, on the floor by my bed, in the bathroom, etc. etc. I was really grateful to not have to worry about cleaning anything.

So how is this handled in a homebirth? Do you just have to lay towels all over the place and keep washing them? Do the midwives or assistants help clean?

I hope this doesn't sound too ignorant, but I just can't seem to get past this one mental block!
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#2 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 09:37 AM
 
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The mess wasn't really that bad. We had a set of old sheets on the bed, then a rubber sheet over it and a set of even older sheets on top. The rubber kept the bottom sheets clean and when you're done birthing you can just rip them off an dhave clean sheets on. Towels on the floor are common for hombirth from what I hear. If you labor in a tub, shower or bath it keeps the mess down, too. Bleeding heavily during labor is not common, and should actually be cause for concern. My midwives did help clean up, but that was because we had to take the baby to the hospital right away.
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#3 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 10:09 AM
 
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I had wonderful midwives and also a good friend who is a doula who between them made the place look sparkling clean again! We also did the 2 sets of sheets with rubber between, and we had a plastic tarp on the floor beside the bed. Believe me, the experience was well worth any amount of mess!
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#4 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 10:11 AM
 
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I had a water birth. The only blood was after the birth and nothing a towel (or adult diaper) wouldn't take care of. And my midwife did all the cleaning I'm pretty sure no one is going to expect you to clean it up after giving birth

I wonder why you had so much blood at your hospital birth, was it before the birth?
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#5 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes, all the bleeding was after the birth. In fact, the only intervention I had was a shot of pitocin after ds was born because I was bleeding so much. None of my vitals were ever a problem, and I felt fine (except for being so sore), but would bleed in big gushes whenever I changed positions or stood up. So there was a lot of blood in the bed, and in the bathroom especially. I just can't imagine being 1 day postpartum, with a toddler and a newborn, and cleaning a toilet with blood all over it.
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#6 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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There are also things called "chux pads" that are used for all the fluids. I bet your midwife has them.
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#7 of 20 Old 02-06-2003, 08:48 PM
 
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We had chux pads over everything. The midwife and her asst. had every thing clean and did two loads of laundry (the top sheet and towels) before they left.

Somehow the wall behind my bed had a small splatter of blood across it. The asst midwife made sure to climb up there and clean it off before they left.

Three hours after the birth of our second son, the four of us snuggled up in our family bed and took a four hour nap and the only way that you could tell a homebirth had taken place was our new baby.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#8 of 20 Old 02-07-2003, 01:18 AM
 
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#9 of 20 Old 02-07-2003, 01:39 AM
 
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I would say bleeding that much isn't the norm and hopefully you won't have to deal with that this time. We had dd in our living room. Put a few sheets and a couple of towels over an old shower curtain and made a trail of chux pads to the bathroom. and kept a pile by the bed. They are great.

Had my last one at the MW office. Not planned and it still didn't make much of a mess. my water broke there and that was everywhere but there was only on drop of blood on the carpet. And she said it cleaned up really nicely

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#10 of 20 Old 02-07-2003, 02:58 AM
 
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I just had a very messy homebirth 3 months ago. My mw later told me it was one of the messiest that she had ever attended! Blood and baby poo everywhere!

By the time we were done, we had to throw out a very dirty and bloody nightgown and a bloody pillow. My midwife and her assistants cleaned EVERYTHING up afterwards. There was even a huge smear of blood that somehow ended up on my headboard. They took care of that.

When they left, I had clean sheets on the bed and my bedroom and bathroom were spotless. They even threw all the dirty linens into the washer and washed and dried them for me.

Before the birth, we put clean sheets on the bed with a shower curtain over them and then put another set of sheets on top of that. All we had to do after the birth was strip the dirty sheets off.

I don't know that I necessarily bled a lot, it just happened to get everywhere. After the birth and my herb bath, I got back into bed with a few chux under me.
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#11 of 20 Old 02-07-2003, 03:04 AM
 
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I've heard my midwife joke that when she retires she may go into business as a "clean-up girl," like after there's a messy death somewhere.

They know how to clean blood off anything and you will likely be blissfully unaware that you made any mess at all!
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#12 of 20 Old 02-07-2003, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for sharing all your experiences - it makes me feel much better about this! It sounds so trivial, but this is one of the main things hanging me up about deciding on a homebirth. I mean, we're not even TTC yet, but I'm starting to find myself thinking about interviewing midwives, starting to read homebirth stories, etc. etc. And I had a fine hospital experience, and would use the same OB again if I go in that direction. I just think I would really like to experience a homebirth. Plus, at the hospital there is no guarantee that you will get a room with a tub, and man, if it hadn't been for that tub, I don't know that I would have gone au naturale. Okay, I still would have, but it would have been a whole lot harder. So I really want to have a tub available to me next time, and want to look into a water birth.

So I feel better knowing that this is something that midwives typically handle. I had felt like maybe it was too demeaning to ask of them or something. But it does seem like an important part of the process not to leave the new mom with a big mess to deal with.

WriterMama - the image of the flying placenta had me laughing out loud!
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#13 of 20 Old 02-08-2003, 07:20 PM
 
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am still pregnant, so can't share my homebirth yet, but I am in the last stretch (6 weeks to go) and have been doing alot of supply gathering.

what I found to deal with any potential messiness, since I live in a rented apartment, was some of those plastic painters tarps. they come in all sizes and thicknesses, and I chose 3 of the cheapie ones, about as thick as a thick plastic garbage bag. nice and big, 9 feet X 12 feet, so I can put one on the mattress, and the others probably around/under the inflatable pool. the best part? only .93 ea!

and I concur - every midwife I have met is a genius at getting blood out of everything. meconium might be another story though...

-Lau
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#14 of 20 Old 02-08-2003, 11:42 PM
 
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My Midwife and Doula were outstanding - Our house was cleaner AFTER the birth then it had been in weeks!!!
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#15 of 20 Old 02-09-2003, 02:20 PM
 
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Every birth is different.

You may not bleed as much next time.

Consider that you may have bled alot from an episiotomy or from the forced I.V. fluids, any mild anesthesia, or some other intervention at the hospital which you will probably not have at home.

Ask your midwife or homebirth attendant what can be done to prevent excessive bleeding such as natural forms of Vitamin K or iron supplements to alleviate the bleeding next time.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#16 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Applejuice - Well, that's the thing though, is that I had absolutely no intervention at the hospital, not even an IV. No episiotomy (small tear), no medication, nothing. So that's why I'm a little worried about bleeding so much next time. Like I said before, I always felt fine, and all my vitals were always perfect, so it wasn't a health problem, but it sure could be a cleaning problem!
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#17 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 02:25 PM
 
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Well, we had a pretty good idea where I'd be birthing... my bed. So we had a piece of plastic on the floor... so I could walk, squat, etc., while pushing, and a piece on the bed. The plastic on the bed was over TOP of our good sheets/comforter, and UNDERNEATH some old blankets we had lying around. So I birthed on a chux pad on the old blankets, then we peeled the "yucky"layer off and - voila! - my bed was clean, made, and ready to go! The midwife simply trashed the plastic and threw the dirty sheets and blankets into the wash with some ammonia in it. And that was it! Nothing to clean.
Edited to add: and I even hemmorhaged with my second!
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#18 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 11:33 PM
 
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Hi! I haven't had my homebirth yet, but my midwife gave me some papers regarding our homebirth. One of the things she says is that they (midwife & asst) will leave the house cleaner than when they arrived. If sheets need washed, they will wash them. If there's a mess on the floor... ditto. She even says they'll go in another room to finish up any paperwork while the new family bonds.

My friend bled tons with her first, but we think a lot of it was her episiotomy that turned into a 3rd degree tear. :
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#19 of 20 Old 02-13-2003, 06:10 AM
 
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I had my second at home in a tub. I bled a lot, my midwife was concerned and it turned out it was a bad tear. My labor was so short,and my son came out so fast, I think I didn't have time to soften. I could have slowed things down by changing positions. Since I have a history of quick labors, I'll remember that for next time. But since you had no interventions, and only a minor tear, I'm curious about the bleeding too. The mess is definately not a problem, others will deal with it. I'd just keep a chux pad under you for a while after the birth. Don't use your best sheets

DS 12 DS 9 DD 6
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#20 of 20 Old 02-14-2003, 01:10 AM
 
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Mmmm.. . You mean there was a mess to clean up? Believe I was in lala land with the new baby at the time, LOL!
I do seem to have some dim memory of having my nightgown/bedding/chux changed out from under me, come to think of it. I even got tidied up in the mix, I think! But really, at the time I never even had to give it a thought. There was never even a spot on any of the soiled chux, blankets or clothing later to make me think of it. Midwife, her assistant and my family took care of all of it and I think it served to make me feel very nurtured and allowed me to entirely focus on the new baby alone that first hour
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