Are there any NHS policies that prevent you from having a home birth with a high BMI? My BMI is about 38. I know I'm obese, and I hate being this big. I was hoping to lose weight before conceiving but I knew at my age (31) and trying to conceive my first, I didn't have the luxury of waiting until I'd lost weight, and unfortunately my beloved Dad died in January, so prior to that I admit I was comfort eating and had actually gained weight when I conceived - it took us 18 months to conceive, we'd just about lost hope.
However my blood pressure is good, I'm being tested for gestational diabetes next week but I'm sure I'll be negative (I've had times in the past when I can tell my blood sugar is soaring up and down but no incidence of this at all since I've been pregnant), my scans have all shown a healthy baby girl.
So can I be refused a home birth purely because of my weight? (I know they can't physically drag me to hospital, but I'm sure you know what I mean).
Also I presume I need to be registered with the local midwives if I want a home birth? I moved house about a month ago and am in a different health district in my new address, but have carried on seeing my midwife from my old address as it's actually easier to get to her from work, but I'm out of her health area really. I guess I would need to swap asap in that case.
Any advice on where to start appreciated. I'm sick of hospitals after seeing my Dad dying in one, week after week. I would love a doula (I live within 3 miles of MervsMum, judging from the location on her website) but my OH says it's money that we don't have - I will work on persuading him. I'm not sure he will be supportive of a home birth, but I'd like to at least know if it was an option for me.
No doubt they will try and refuse you on grounds of weight - if you went to hospital they also wouldn't want you in a birth pool, since your BMI is over 35. However, you have a right to choose where and how you birth, and as long as you have support, go for it!
You will need to switch your midwife regardless of if you have a homebirth or not since they will be the ones coming out to you after your baby is born.
They may try to stop you or talk you out of a homebirth because of your size but legaly they cant refuse you one.
Check out this site http://www.homebirth.org.uk/ and go to the "you cant have a home birth because" bit, it has some great info on having a high BMI with a homebirth and what to do if they try to prevent it.
If you cant afford a doula do you have a close female friend or relative that you would feel comfortable having with you as support?
From personal experience (bmi 31) it can be one barrier to homebirth but one that is alot easier to overcome than the fact of being a VBAC too which I am. I had bmi of 36 with my first daughter and MW's wouldn't let me in the pool that was available because of my bmi alone. I'm having a planned VBAC home water birth or at least to labour in the pool this time. As you know, you always have a choice with where you birth, it's good to do your research and then make an informed choice.
Sorry about your dad, I totally understand as I lost my dad just over 5 yrs ago, he passed in a hospital too, so I avoid them at all costs when possible. Good luck with your pregnancy
It really angers me when I hear things like "the midwives wouldn't let me". What right do they have? I find hospitals so frustrating because of this. It was the same with my Dad, he seemed to lose all right to express his wishes and we weren't allowed to express them for him, it was just whatever the consultant or Dr decided.
Yes I have a high BMI, but I'm only a size 18/20. I work full time, I'm healthy, I'm not an invalid who has restricted mobility because of my size, why on earth shouldn't I be allowed a water birth or a home birth? Trouble is the hospital that I'm tentatively planning on birthing at doesn't have a birthing pool, as far as I know. I think their sister hospital does, but they only have one, and it's just luck as to whether it is available.
First step is to register with local GP so I can get seen by the local midwives. Will take registration forms in to our nearest GP surgery tonight.
My BMI was 32 when I got pregnant. The midwives were ok with the idea of a home birth. They did not commit to it until I was seven months gone though. They were happy by that stage that my pregnancy was going well, no adverse symptoms, I was active, normal blood pressure etc.
Thanks, that's really useful. The biggest hindrance apart from my BMI that I am anticipating is I'm under shared care for this pregnancy, I have to see an obs consultant, because I suffered depression in my 20s, and because I had a loop biopsy of my cervix because of some dodgy cells in 2007. I've spoken to the colposcopy team who don't think that will be a problem as it was a very tiny biopsy, not a cone excision or anything like that, and they don't think it will affect pregnancy or labour. When I asked the consultant what they could do about it, ie why I was having to see him, he said there was nothing they can do, it may affect labour, it may not, and all they would do is monitor the situation once I'm in labour. Which surely the midwives would do anyway? When I go for the consultant appointments, they only ask me if I'm feeling ok, suffering any depression and don't seem to believe me when I say I'm fine - it was over 5 years ago that I had a bout of depression, I'm happy, fine, and I don't need to talk to anybody.
I need to go and talk to my midwife don't I? Am taking first step to getting a local one by going and registering with local GP tonight.
Thanks Lozzy, exactly! I've also emailed Mervs Mum, who is my local doula and she's replied already and is lovely, and I'm going to sit down with my OH tonight and actually talk to him about this. He's a lovely man but generally doesn't concern himself with details of things, and thinks I'm not happy unless I'm worrying about something. I'm not worrying about anything, I'm trying to educate myself and decide what is best for me. He thinks a doula is a waste of money but I'm going to dig my heels in over this, I rarely do, but just for once, I'm going to do it my way! This part of the forum is fantastic, thank you all so much.
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