Thinking About Home Births for pregnant mummies in Hampshire
Newborn Photographer Hampshire shares home birth stories with pregnant mummies in Hampshire…I’ve always been an impatient person, especially when I was younger. If I set my mind on something, I had to do it straight away. I suppose that has helped me be proactive in running my business in Newborn Photography.
It would appear that my impatience was a personality trait, even before I was born! My mum was coming home from shopping on a Saturday with my nan, and went into labour on the bus. It looked like I was on a mission to make my appearance in the world. There was no time to get to the hospital and the midwife only just made it in time for my birth. So I was born at home in our family home in Burderop, near Swindon. My mum had my elder and younger sister at hospital, so it looks like from a young age I had to be different.
Baby Photographer Hampshire is “Call the Midwife’s” Biggest Fan
I am a big fan of the TV programme Call the Midwife, where midwives went around on bikes doing house calls to deliver newborn babies. Just as you see on the programme, in the 1960s/70s dads weren’t present at the birth. My dad said he wasn’t, and he had to wait downstairs. My dad said that the midwife took a photograph, but they never go to see it which is shame, as I would have loved to have seen it. I’m sure baby photography was a ‘thing’ in those days.
I asked one of my mummies recently at a newborn photography session in my studio at Cams Hall, Fareham, whether she had considered having a home birth and she admitted that she wouldn’t want to take the risk in case something went wrong.
Some interesting facts that I found out when researching the subject of a home birth was that between 1940 and 1960, two thirds of births took place in hospital with a third at home. By 1975, home births had fallen to below 5%.
I’ve been fortunate to meet quite a few midwives who have brought their gorgeous little newborns to the studio so I asked them their thoughts on a home birth.
Home births in Hampshire
When I was preparing this blog post I came across the Hampshire Homebirths website (now South Coast Private Midwives)
Taken from their website, they believe “We believe that the birth of a baby is the single most precious moment in any parents’ life and we are passionate about providing individualised, personal care to women and their families. We strongly believe that most women can give birth to their babies with minimum intervention, provided they feel safe, secure and well supported. Midwifery is far more than a job for either of us, it is a calling and a passion, and feel very privileged to be able to spend this special and important time with the families we work with.”
Like South Coast Private Midwives, being a baby photographer in Hampshire is my passion. You can find out more about me in one of my recent blog posts about newborn photography being my calling.
Kat had Matilda at home and had planned her home birth. I learnt from Kat that there is a community of midwives that go out (luckily they don’t have to travel on bikes anymore like in Call the Midwife). For safety, each home birth requires two midwives, so if there aren’t two available, the mum would be asked to come into hospital. Some opt for a birthing pool at home but Kat didn’t want that. For Kat, home was where she felt the calmest and safest. Her space, her rules. She didn’t have to worry about who might walk in or be rushed out after birth. She just felt calm at home and it was beautiful. I asked Kat about the clearing up the mess after birth and she reassured me that there isn’t too much mess after. A normal birth, as the oxytocin hormone contracts the uterus after birth to stop bleeding.
Feeling Safe in Hospital
I asked Faye if she wanted a home birth and being a midwife, she said that it wasn’t for her. She felt that you weren’t near medication to support the birth and she wanted reassurance if something should go wrong. She wanted to be at the right place, with skilled doctors on hand.
At my lovely newborn studio in Fareham, I rarely come across a mum who has given birth to their baby at home. I suppose it isn’t for everyone, unless like me your baby is on a mission and you don’t have time to get to the hospital.