At the recent Pregnancy and Parenting Network we discussed lots of issues regarding unexpected outcomes. One of the issues we explored was whether or not attending a booking appointment at hospital was a positive or negative step. Many women at the group said they had a positive experience with the hospital midwives and the booking process and were pleasantly surprised. Some did have a negative experience due to unprofessional attitudes and being inflexible regarding hospital policy (a couple experienced bullying behaviour). My impression of the discussion was that most saw attending a booking appointment as a positive experience, it facilitated information sharing and that details were available if a hospital transfer became necessary smoothing the way. It is a choice of the woman if she attends this booking visit or not. A few hospitals now have a process where the private midwife can fax in the booking information and the booking was done without the woman actually attending the hospital - this was viewed positively by most women.

What is your experience with booking or not booking into the local hospital as a backup for a homebirth? Is it something you would recommend?