Home Birth After Caesarean

Mothers' Experiences and Advice

Newest stories at the top of the list.
Note that birth stories on this list are also included in 'Home Birth Stories'

Sonia faced an extremely rude and obstructive obstetrician, and unsupportive midwives, when she planned a homebirth after caesarean - it seemed her health professionals hadn't heard of the concept of respecting informed choice. But it is clear, as Sonia says, that this birth was exactly what she needed.

Tina V's first baby was born by c-section after slow progress. She gave birth to her second baby at home, with the support of her partner and a doula as well as her NHS midwives. Tina used hypnotherapy and a birth pool to help manage her labour. It sounds like the labour was hard work, and Tina is clear that it was a team effort, but what a result - a gentle birth for a big baby.

Nataliya's first baby died after a placental abruption and emergency cesarean at 29 weeks. Her second, a healthy girl, arrived after a hospital induction. Unhappy with her local NHS hospital's approach, and the private alternatives, Nataliya had a straightforward homebirth with an independent midwife.

Rosie's first baby was stillborn by elective caesarean due to a major abnormality, so we can only imagine how desperate she was to hold her next baby. At 43 weeks and 2 days, she eventually arrived, safe and well, at home.

Amanda S's third baby's birth was a remarkable, and triumphant, arrival. Her first was a hospital birth, with a difficult recovery from an episiotomy. Her second baby was breech and Amanda opted for a caesarean in preference to the vaginal breech delivery on offer in her local hospital. When expecting her third, she researched her options, and planned a homebirth. In the event, baby Connor did indeed have his gentle home waterbirth - and was caught by his dad, before the midwife arrived.

Rachel W planned a homebirth after two caesareans. Her baby was occiput posterior and presenting brow-first, making labour tough and painful, and baby Jaya passed meconium before birth. Supported wonderfully by her doula, partner and NHS midwives, Rachel still managed to deliver her baby at home.

Nikki F had FOUR caesarean sections before she planned a homebirth with an independent midwife. She had osteopathic treatment to realign her pelvis during the pregnancy.

Sophie planned homebirths for all three of her children, but the first two were born by caesarean after very slow progress. During her next pregnancy she saw an osteopath who corrected a misalignment in her pelvis and, wonderfully, managed to deliver her third baby at home. It was still tough - three hours of pushing - but with time, a supportive midwife and partner, and a warm bath, she did it.

Diana planned a homebirth for her first baby but ended up with a caesarean for pre-eclampsia, which left her to deal with some very difficult feelings. She planned ahead carefully for her second baby, hiring an independent midwife, and her son was born safely at home.

Katherine planned a homebirth for her first baby, but accepted a hospital induction at nearly 3 weeks past her estimated due date. Unfortunately her induction did not progress and ended in a caesarean. This is the story of her second labour, for which she planned a home VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). However, this baby was in there for the duration too, so Katherine again accepted an induction in hospital when she reached 14 days past her EDD - this time with much happier results. A very positive experience of hospital induction - and for all of us planning homebirth, it's good to know that if Plan A doesn't work out, Plan B can still be a triumph.

Carrie's first two children were born in hospital - the second after a placental abruption and an emergency caesarean. Carrie planned a homebirth for her next baby, with supportive NHS midwives. Although baby Imogen's heartbeat dipped at one point in the labour, it quickly recovered and she was born safe and well at home.

Jane had two caesareans, five hospital VBACs, and two ectopic pregnancies before she gave birth to her seventh and eighth babies at home. Below is the story of Caitlin's birth, her eighth baby, written just twelve days after Caitlin arrived. You can also read the story of Jane's seventh baby, Fred, on Jane's own site.

Sally had an elective caesarean when her first baby was breech. Fifteen years later she planned an HBAC for her second baby. She laboured well at home and reached 8cm, but her baby passed meconium and his head did not descend, so she transferred to hospital for a caesarean section. Emilio had meconium aspiration syndrome and had to spend time in Special Care. Sally write that "I hope my story can give support to others who go through something similar and let them know that they are not alone in feeling the mixture of dissapointment and utter joy that I feel now, and that it is perfectly normal to have mixed emotions about your child's birth"

Katherine lives in the USA, where she had a caesarean for her first baby, and a hospital birth for her second. She worked hard to make things different for her next baby, and writes: "I did it. I had my baby at home and in the water. And I suggest you all do the same."

Rebecca planned a homebirth for her first, second and third babies. The first birth ended in a ventouse delivery after transfer to hospital. The second was an elective caesarean birth because of severe back problems. The third time, it all went perfectly.

Clair had a c-section for breech presentation with her first baby, and planned a homebirth for her second. She transferred because of unexplained bleeding, but continued to attempt a vaginal birth in hospital. She ended up with another c-section for lack of progress in the second stage, after a failed ventouse. For her third baby, Samuel, Clair was determined that things would be different.... wonderful, uplifting story.

Jennifer S's first baby was born by c-section for breech presentation. Her second baby was born at home, with the help of an independent midwife. It was only when Jennifer asked about homebirth for her second baby that she was given full information about the implications of her previous caesarean, but she chose to 'defy my obstetrician and go with my gut feeling'.

Angi Nutt had a caesarean for her first baby, a hospital VBAC and ventouse delivery for her second, and a rapid home birth for her third - he arrived before the midwife!

Mel Rimmer's second baby, Eleanor, was born at home in the UK two years after her son Thomas arrived by caesarean after failure to progress in the second stage. Her third baby, Samuel, was also born at home.

Nina's first baby was born by emergency caesarean, and her second in a home waterbirth.

Laura B's first baby, Iain, was born by caesarean section weighing 10lbs; there were always some concerns that perhaps he was 'too big' to be born, although his head was not in the ideal position. Laura's second baby, Clara, was born at home, weighing 11lbs.

Rebecca's first baby, Eric, was born by caesarean for foetal distress after an induced labour. Her second baby, Rowen, was born at home.

Kathy has twelve children - the first was a hospital birth, and she then had three caesarean sections; her last eight children were all born at home.

Helen Bates gave birth to her first baby by caesarean after a failed induction, but her second baby was born at home.

Bernadette's third daughter, Louise, was born at home after two prior caesareans for her older children.

Monica O'Connor of the Home Birth Association of Ireland had a home birth 20 months after a caesarean for pre-eclampsia.

Tikki Potter, who had a forceps birth for her first baby and a caesarean for her second, describes the home VBAC of her third child.

Liz has had two home VBACs. She says:

I have 3 children - DS1, DS2 and DD . DS1 was born by emergency Caesarean section at St Johns Hospital, Chelmsford. DS2 and DD were both born at home and were normal (albeit very long, stop/start) labours. As you may imagine, none of the health professionals I came into contact with were at all keen on a home birth for a "high risk" CS mum. But I stuck to my guns; I'd done enough research to know when scare tactics were being used on me, and my local NCT (National Childbirth Trust) teacher, who is also a midwife, offered to deliver me at home. She delivered both babies and was excellent. The home birth experiences were light years away from the awful experience I had first time round.


Birth stories on other sites:

Krista Cornish Scott has a great website with the story of 'My big ugly VBAC' (www.freewebs.com/myvbac)

Danielle Goodnight has a very positive home VBAC story on her site, using self-hypnosis techniques. (www.mommythink.com)

Sarah Kent's twins were born at home - one breech - in a very carefully-planned homebirth. Sarah also had a previous cesarean, so this was a twin HBAC! Sarah's VBAC website has plenty of other interesting stuff - highly recommended.

Gretch Humphries was coerced into an elective caesarean when she had twins, and after a great deal of research and preparation she had a home birth for her next baby.

The VBAC Birth Stories page on Leilah McCracken's BirthLove site includes several from women who have had home births after three or more caesareans. You will have to scroll down through lots of other interesting articles to find them!

Susanne had three caesareans (the third after transferring from a planned home birth) before having her fourth baby at home, in water. All of her birth stories are on her site.

Debi's first baby, Damon, was born by caesarean for alleged CPD (cephalo-pelvic disproportion, ie baby apparently too big to be born) at 9lb 10oz. Her second son, Luke, was born at home weighing 9lb 14oz. (www.mindsync.com/debi/luke.htm)

Amy's home VBAC after three caesareans, for her sixth baby - from www.thelaboroflove.com

Karen's home birth after two caesareans - "Steven Michael weighed 9 lbs, had a 14 inch head and came out with his hand alongside of his head. Too small pelvis???? I think not!" - from www.thelaboroflove.com

Alicia's home birth after two caesareans

Lauri's home VBAC for Brandon Michael, 10lb 2oz

Anita's home VBAC of Taylor Antony

Louise Fox, a UK mother, explains why she chose a home waterbirth after a caesarean for her first child.

Eva Conroy's home VBAC story is on the Home Birth Association of Ireland's site (www.iol.ie/~hba/birthacc.html#4).

Home VBAC stories from Oregon Midwives

Several planned home birth after caesarean stories, including waterbirths and transfers to hospital, are on the Internet Babies Birth Stories page.

Home Birth After Caesarean webring

Midwives' views on home VBAC

From Melanie Milan, a partner in Thames Valley Independent Midwives:

Are you happy to attend home VBACs? Do you ever decline to take on women wanting a home VBAC?

"Whether or not we book a woman for a home VBAC depends a lot on the reasons for the C/section, how long ago it was, what her circumstances are, whether or not she's booking late with us, and on the impression we get when talking to her on the telephone and when we meet her."

What preparation from the mother, or particular midwifery skills, do you consider important?

"Each case is taken as a unique and individual case, and the advice and preparation we give is likewise tailored to individual circumstances. I suppose I don't think it would be sensible to go for a home VBAC unless you knew you would have midwives you could trust, and who would be on the watch for how labour developed."

"Often a great deal of preparatory work is needed to help the woman to relax and trust her body - to come to terms with the last experience and leave it and move on, if you like. Sometimes the midwives have to be prepared to deal with a difficult third stage. A good and patient midwife who is willing to spend a lot of time and patience in the antenatal period is the minimum requirement, I would say!"

Updated 18 November 2006

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