My experience of transferring from home birth to hospital

by Hannah

Hannah lives in the UK, and she has six children. Bethany was born in hospital, Lawrence was born in hospital three minutes after transferring from a planned home birth (!!), and Verity, Alfie, Francis and Sylvia were born at home. Here, Hannah talks about transferring during her labour with Lawrence. Her other birth stories are all on Hannah's website.

At what stage did you transfer?

End of first stage, although midwife believed me to be 5cm dilated and I didn't know any different at that point.

What was the reason for transferring?

Very easy labour that the midwife decided had stopped. In hindsight, and with the benefit of having experienced exactly the same thing in my third birth, it was a pause in labour between first and second stage, of over an hour. Midwife was also vaguely concerned about the baby's heart tones, and she called for an ambulance without consulting me or telling me what she was doing.

Was it a true emergency?

No - I was in normal labour and the baby was fine.

How was the journey?

Uncomfortable - I was not 'allowed' to kneel in the ambulance, which was how I was comfortable. I had the only painful contraction of the whole labour halfway to hospital - felt a certain shifting feeling that I recognised from before and realised I was ready to push.

Ambulance with flashing lights?

Ambulance, but no lights

How did you feel about transferring at the time?

Strangely resigned at the time and obviously disapointed.

And now?

Annoyed because it was unneccesary, but strangely it was not a traumatic experience, mainly due to the wonderful hospital midwife who delivered Lawrence 3 minutes after I arrived - my community midwife who followed in her own car did not make it.

Had you thought much about the possibility of transferring, or made contingency plans like packing a hospital bag or taking the hospital tour, just in case?

No, Hadn't considered transfering at all. No bag packed. Was already familiar with hospital from first birth.

What advice would you give to other mums planning a home birth?

Difficult question. I have very strong views, that would be far too way out there for most average expectant mums so I usually try to keep my mouth shut. I do recommend reading 'Birth Rights' by Pat Thomas as a very good starting point to any mum considering homebirth.

What advice would you give to anyone else who does end up transferring?

Don't give up your rights, and don't be pressured into doing anything you don't feel comfortable with.


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