At the Pregnancy and Parenting Network in October we discussed Unexpected outcomes at length. One of the main topics for discussion surrounded how to facilitate a positive experience if a hospital transfer is required. Sometimes a transfer from a homebirth into hospital is well received - however mostly they are not. The group really wanted to look at positive strategies. The strategies discussed included:
  • Choosing supportive people to take with you
  • Preparing partners carefully - so that you are both on the same page
  • Writing a birth plan
  • Be positive but firm with the hospital staff when making your needs known
  • When making non urgent decisions - ask the hospital staff to give you 10 minutes to work out the best decision for you
  • Logically review any interventions recommended using the mnemonic BRAND
    • Benefits of the intervention
    • Risks in the intervention
    • Alternatives to the prospective intervention
    • Nothing: what happens if you do nothing
    • Decision - what is your decision?
  • If declining a proposed intervention or management strategy choose your language carefully i.e. "Thank you, I respect your recommendation/policy however I have decided ..."
  • Make the hospital birth space your own i.e. cover the clock, remove the bed from the centre of the room, using bean bags, mats, music, essential oils (you'll need an electric burner for this), take some extra pillows from home etc.
  • Have partner, private midwife advocate for you
  • Discuss private midwife's roll in the event of a hospital transfer
  • Write a thank you letter after the birth to the hospital

Is there anything you'd add to this list? What was your experience of a transfer into hospital after a planned homebirth?