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Homebirth

At Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust we have a dedicated homebirth team who provide continuity of care for women who request a homebirth.

If you are interested in having your baby at home, then you can book for pregnancy care directly with a homebirth midwife.

If you later decide that you want to have a homebirth during your pregnancy, we can transfer your care over to the homebirth team. If you would just like to discuss the idea of homebirth with us then please do get in touch for a chat, we will be happy to hear from you.

During your pregnancy our aim is for you to see your named midwife for most of your antenatal care and you will meet your buddy midwife during this period also. All your antenatal appointments will be at your own home.

Your named midwife will be on call for your birth, and you will contact them directly when you think you are in labour. When the time is right a 2nd midwife will be called to attend, and this is usually your buddy midwife.  After your baby is born, your midwife will continue to see you at home and if at any point your midwife isn’t available then your buddy midwife should be the midwife you see.

For more information see the Association for Improvement in Maternity Services (AIMS) Choosing your Place of Birth | AIMS  (links to an external website) or get in touch for a chat!

We have collated our most frequently asked questions below which may be helpful.

How to contact us

You can get in touch by email at  Homebirth.Team@cht.nhs.uk please include your name, date of birth and a contact phone number.

FAQs

Q: I’m not sure if I can have a homebirth?

A: Anyone can have a homebirth, but we do have guidelines to help you make this decision based on things like previous birth, any illnesses you may have, your age or your BMI. We can discuss all these factors with and why we may or may not recommend that you birth at home. Once we have had this discussion you can make your choice about where you want to birth your baby.

Q: Is homebirth going to be messy?

A: Not usually! Although sometimes birth can be messy we are normally very good at containing it on towels etc and cleaning up. Pools can also really contain the mess also if you want to hire one of these and many people put down something waterproof on the couch or carpet just in case. Occasionally mess can happen, but when it does it’s worth it.

Q: What would I need to get ready if I want a homebirth?

A: It really is up to you what you want your birth to look like. Some people hire pools, put up fairy lights and posters and really prepare the space, others just prefer to go with the flow. The main thing you need is A LOT of towels, some plastic backed dust sheets can help protect your floor or couch, we bring anything we really need with us.

Q: How will I know when to call the midwife?

A: Birth is different for everyone and if you are ever unsure then we are on the end of the phone to help you figure out if it is the right time for us come over. If your waters break or you’re unsure if they have then that is a good time to call. If your surges are coming every 2-3 mins and lasting over 60 seconds and you haven’t given us a call, then it probably is time for a chat. We encourage you to trust your instincts and know that we would rather you call than not if you are unsure.

Q: Is homebirth safe though? What if I need to go to hospital?

A: The Birthplace Study found that home is the safest place to birth if you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and a previous normal birth, even safer than hospital which is interesting to think about. Now the decision to birth at home is often much more complicated than this and we get plenty of first-time parents birthing at home too. At home you will have 2 midwives caring for you and if we think that hospital becomes the safest place for you to birth, we can recommend this early and get you there as calmly as possible. If an emergency does happen at home, we are adequately trained to deal with this and carry everything we might need. We work closely with the ambulance service and women who do transfer into hospital tell us they are still glad they stayed at home for as long as they did during labour which is really reassuring to know.

More questions? You can contact us directly on Homebirth.Team@cht.nhs.uk or your current community midwife can refer you.