The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Leeds Maternity Care

FAQ for homebirth

So you like the idea of homebirth but have a few more queries before you sign up? Below are some frequently asked questions:

Is homebirth safe?

Yes! The latest research says that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for low risk first-timers and actually safer than hospital for low risk second births onward.

What do I need for a homebirth?

When we come and see you at home around 34-36 weeks, we risk assess your home to make sure the place you give birth is safe. At this time, we go over some equipment that we suggest that you have for the birth.

The essentials are: towels, absorbent pads (eg. puppy training pads), waterproof covering (eg. tarpaulin or oil cloth), a bucket (in case you are sick) and a torch.

Is it messy?

Not really. We set up an area for birth and although birth can sometimes be messy, we manage to contain this to your waterproof coverings and absorbent pads. Afterwards, it’s just a case of us bundling it up and into our waste bags. We take a lot of pride in leaving you with your house exactly how we found it.

What pain relief do I get at home?

A lot of what you can have can be sourced by yourself. This includes things like: paracetamol, hot water bottle/wheat bag, massage oil, TENS machine, birthing pool (can be bought or hired online). We can also order some dihydrocodiene tablets on your behalf for you to pick up from your GP. When the midwives arrive, we bring Entonox (gas and air) with us.

Can I change my mind?

Of course! You can change your mind at any point during pregnancy or even in labour itself. We’re here to help provide a safe and positive experience at home and if you don’t feel right at home anymore then we’ll help transfer you to hospital instead.

Where can I find more information?

We are more than happy to speak to you over the phone or via email about homebirth (view our Contact us Webpage for further information). We also run a free session called Meet the Midwife which is run by the team and goes through a lot of information about homebirth and gives you an opportunity to meet one of the team in person (this can be booked via eventbrite).