When Lisa Spelling fell pregnant she was in good health generally but her weight meant that she ticked the “high risk” box when it came to giving birth to her baby.
She says this meant she did not feel fully supported in her decision to have a natural home birth with minimal interventions.
Lisa, 34, says: “When I first registered with my midwife at my GP surgery, I was told my increased Body Mass Index meant I’d ticked the ‘high risk’ box on the forms.
“It was explained to me that my pregnancy would be under consultant-led care and I would have to birth in the labour ward at the hospital, which I really did not want.”
When Lisa was assessed by a hospital consultant they found she was in good health and put her back under midwife care.
But she says her wish to give birth at home was met with some concern by midwives.
She says: “At one appointment, I wanted to discuss how we arranged having a midwife for a home birth, but instead the midwife told me I was being very irresponsible choosing a home birth and spent the next 20 minutes lecturing me on the risks I was taking.”
Lisa discovered a service called One to One Midwives while at a baby event. The free service is funded by the Government and gives women another choice when it comes to their pregnancy, birth and post-natal care.
She decided to self-refer to One to One Midwives when she was 35 weeks pregnant.
Lisa says: “It might sound quite dramatic, but speaking to One to One Midwives I felt my world change. I had finally found a group of women who understood how I felt and supported the way I wanted to give birth.”
Lisa had a visit from her midwife Renee Hall to discuss her birthing options.
She says: “Even though we only had a few weeks together before my birth, Renee and I were able to form a great relationship.
“She gave me all the information for different choices, explained all the pros and cons, and discussed the options with me before supporting me in whatever choice I made.”
As her pregnancy progressed, Lisa and her husband Chris started to lean towards having a home birth.
She says: “I had always wanted a home birth, but initially my husband wanted us to be in the hospital as he felt this was a safer option. As a compromise, we initially agreed to use a midwife-led unit.
“My husband became more relaxed about the labour and saw the best place for me to give birth was in an environment where I felt calm, safe and relaxed.”
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