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Mum Tells of Happy Home Birth Experience

A Leigh mum has told of her “amazing” home birth experience following two traumatic previous pregnancies.

Kate Roach has praised community midwives from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and is working with them to help promote the benefits of homebirths.

Kate, 36, had hospital births with her two daughters, Molly and Mia, with both having to be induced after weeks of monitoring at 38 weeks due to pre-eclampsia.

Kate said; “Before I got pregnant with my third baby I would have said I would give birth in hospital as I felt safer there. However, once I found out I was expecting again I started to research a bit more.

“I have to be honest and say the first idea I had about having a home birth was at Christmas when I saw the fairy lights on in the conservatory: it just looked like a lovely space to give birth in. 

“I spoke to my husband David and he wasn't keen at first. He was worried and just wanted me to be safe but I asked him to stay open minded and when I sent him research information he slowly came round to the idea.

“The community midwives were very supportive of my wish to homebirth.”

Kate went on to have a healthy baby boy called Charlie, weighing 7lb 14.5oz, in a birth pool at home on 4th August, 2016. In the early stages she had managed the pain with just paracetamol and a TENS machine, before using gas and air.

Kate said; “Around 3.30am I woke David and told him I couldn't sleep and I was going downstairs where we got the pool blown up and I lit candles.

“I called the delivery suite and they sent a lovely midwife to assess me. She checked my blood pressure, the baby’s heart rate and observed me, but in the morning decided with me to head off, as the contractions were still irregular. About 45 minutes later my contractions had ramped up a bit.

“I rang the midwives and within 20 minutes they arrived. They said that the baby’s head was low and hoped he would arrive quickly.  We chatted about my birth plan and I told them I wanted to let my body do what it needed to and take my cues from it. They were so supportive.

“I climbed in the pool and felt the most amazing calm as I knelt down. The water was much hotter than I was expecting but being in the water made such a huge difference to how I coped. 

“I just kept breathing the gas and air and listening to my body. Then I felt strong contractions coming and suddenly there was my baby under the water so I lifted him onto me.”

One of the benefits of the homebirth meant that Kate was able to go upstairs to shower and go to bed almost immediately in the comfort of her own home.

Kate said: “All five of us lay down on the bed together. It hit me how amazing it had all been to have everyone I loved around me and I couldn't have wished for more.

“I'm a complete convert now.”

Alison Murray, Acting Outpatient Midwifery Matron at WWL, said; “All women have an opportunity to choose where to give birth.

“Our Homebirth Information Evening will be a wonderful chance for mothers considering birth at home to find out more information and listen to stories of others. 

“It is also an opportunity to discuss and explore their options with experienced WWL community midwives, to ensure that they make a personalised decision about a place of birth which suits their needs.”

WWL is hosting a Homebirth Information Evening, which will give mums-to-be the opportunity to speak to our community midwives about home delivery. The event will take place on Tuesday 18th July, from 6pm-7.30pm, at Westfield Children’s Centre, Montrose Avenue, Wigan.

Kate Roach cuddles baby Charlie who was born at home in a birth pool