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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am four weeks pregnant with my first baby, and am adament about the fact that I want a home birth. Anybody in the UK who has gone through organising a home birth through the NHS please share your expereince with me.
 

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well, when i went to my gp to confirm the pregnancy & get into the system, i said i wanted a homebirth, so he filled in a form to refer me to the homebirth midwives. that was it. they were incredibly supportive & i really hope we are still living in the same area when we have our next pregnancy.

i notice you are in london as well. which area, if you don't mind saying? i know that guys & st thomas', & king's college, have great homebirth midwife teams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am in Wimbledon, so my nearest hospital is St Georges. I have my first GP appointment on Tuesday morning, and am crossing my fingers that my doctor is going to be supportive (though I know it will not affect the outcome if I do not have her support - it would just make things easier...)
 

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I didn't have homebirth but the first time I met my (NHS) midwifes they really pushed homebirth as an option. You are legally entitled to a homebirth in the UK. Where are you in London? Some areas have great homebirth rates/midwifes.
 

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my boyfriend works at st georges! don't know what the midwife staff are like when it comes to homebirth though. when you say doctor, do you mean GP?

edit: oh sorry. you said GP. not sure what i was reading! yes. what your GP thinks makes no difference at all. they literally just send your paperwork to the hospital.

my GP said something about how homebirth was a very good thing if everyone was looking fine (which i considered to be true) & that was it. never saw a doctor again the whole pregnancy until i was 41 weeks & 6 days! (although we did end up a homebirth to hospital transfer, so i did see a whoooooole lot of doctors then)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well had my GP appointment this morning, and I have the most draconian doctoer every. Completely unsupportive of my decision to have a home birth, said that it is not recommended for 1st time mothers due to complications occuring in Labour, and that I should take that into consideration when making my decision - to which I responded the decision had already been made, and that I was going to have a home birth.

She said fine, she will refer me to St Georges, which have homebirth facilities, saying 'we'll just see if you are allowed one with being a first time mother'

I really had to bite my tounge in not responding 'Don't worry I will make sure I get one!'

Have been reading a really great book called 'Your birth rights' which has details on exactly how to get a home birth through the NHS is you are initially refused one, which I am so happy to have found (I picked it up at my local library yesterday)

So now I am just going to start to compose a letter to the Supervisor of Midwives at St Georges, and state that I have choosen to have a home birth, and am requesting their services....wish me luck...
 

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You know, that's actually a pretty good first appointment. Don't worry. It'll be fine. You won't need to write to the SOM either, as long as the GP has actually sent off your paperwork (has she booked your scan and done your exemption certificate?) Mine lost my forms this time, I wasn't happy


Is that the Pat Thomas book, by any chance? I'd also keep AIMS's telephone number handy, just in case.
 

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That is a good book to be reading. I found it really useful, but fortunately didn't run into any opposition from my GP - he never even asked where I planned to give birth, just gave me a talk about not eating liver and had me make an appointment with the community midwife who runs the antenatal clinic at our surgery. Easy peasy.

Down the line, you may need to be aware that NHS midwives don't provide "birth packs" the way you might read about some US or independent midwives doing. We got a small box with essentials for the midwives to keep at home (gloves, swabs, etc.), but needed to buy our own maternity/chux mats, sanitary pads for after the birth, waterproof sheets, etc.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by calpurnia View Post
http://www.homebirth.org.uk/

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/homebirthuk/

v informative homebirth website & v informative email list, both for UK.
Yes! Join the email group! I'm a moderator and it's an awesome list (I live in Iowa now,but had my babies in the UK). And Angela's website is full of everything you could ever want to know. And if you run into any problems, contact AIMS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all your responses Mama's. I have joined the Yahoo group, and joined a home birhting group in my area - I am going to a meeting at the end of September which I am looking forward to.

My doctor has given me a referral to the midwives at St Georges,but how long does it usually take before you get any contact from them in relation to arranging your booking appointment?

I have a week off work when I am 8/9 weeks pregnant, and would like to do my booking appointment then if possible, as I don't want to let my employer to know I am pregnant just yet (and I think they would guess if I asked to take time off for a doctors appointment)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My GP is just so unbeleivably cr*p - I just rang up the hospital I am supposed to have been refered to, to see if I was registered in the 'system'.

It turns out my doctor never even sent the referal! I rang my doctor and DEMANDED that my referal be faxed over immediately.

ARRRRGHHHH was so fuming!!!

I did get to speak to the antenatal team about homebirth though, and let them know about my experience with the GP, and the good news is, they had told me of course I can have a home birth, and were very enthusiatic!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamalovesbaby View Post
My GP is just so unbeleivably cr*p - I just rang up the hospital I am supposed to have been refered to, to see if I was registered in the 'system'.

It turns out my doctor never even sent the referal! I rang my doctor and DEMANDED that my referal be faxed over immediately.

ARRRRGHHHH was so fuming!!!

I did get to speak to the antenatal team about homebirth though, and let them know about my experience with the GP, and the good news is, they had told me of course I can have a home birth, and were very enthusiatic!
Perhaps your GP is crap, but I know that my very competent and friendly surgery sometimes takes more than two or three days to get things posted/faxed.

It's a good thing you rang to check, though. And good to hear the MWs are supportive.

Ah, yes, and on the timing of the booking appointment, when I was expecting the first time, they wanted to do the booking appointments at 12 weeks. Now they're doing them at 8-10 weeks. And it seems timing varies according to the MW group, even within my small-ish city.
 

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My GP took four weeks- I was livid, but in the end got hold of the midwife who cared for me last time and she booked me directly, got scans lined up, everything, bless her
Booking appointments should be done at 8 weeks because they're trying to pick up women who miscarry multiple times and actually DO something... but obviously, early pregnancy being what it is, it doesn't always work that way.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CrunchyMamaToBe View Post
Perhaps your GP is crap, but I know that my very competent and friendly surgery sometimes takes more than two or three days to get things posted/faxed.
yeah. i used to work as a medical secretary & turn around on non urgent correspondence can be slow. i wouldn't assume the referral wasn't being processed. isn't the target 14 days between referral being sent & appointment being offered?

i rather thought you could self refer for maternity services though.

i remember feeling really affronted that nobody seemed to care that i was pregnant at the beginning! you know, how you've been excited from when you first did your test, & they just say, come for a scan at 13 weeks.
 

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i didnt even see a gp, i had the pregnancy confirmed by a nurse then sent to a midwife who assessed me and passed me onto the case load team because of antenatal anxiety and postnantal depression (with ds) and 2 losses, they see mama at home so she is more comfortable, she came to and asked if i wanted hospital or home, reccomended home and thats what happened ...easy peasy

you can have whatever you want (as long as its safe) in the uk, its great
 

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A lot depends on how busy maternity services are where you live. I saw the GP at 7 weeks, had nhs scan at 12 weeks and my booking in at 15 weeks. I'd chase them up if you don't hear soon but it may just be that they are busy.

You can write to the person in charge of midwifery services and inform them that you want a homebirth and midwife care rather than go through your GP.
 
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