If you have chosen a home birth or Birth Center, you may have an image in your mind of a beautiful, natural, comfortable process, but sometimes reality doesn’t correspond to our hopes and desires. A home birth hospital transfer because of medical necessity is probably one of your biggest concerns about your home birth. In reality, the vast majority of birthing women transfer to hospital from either a homebirth or Birth Center for two other reasons:

  • Failure to progress in the 1st or 2nd stage
  • Not coping with the natural occurring pain of contractions.

You may be asking, “how can I possibly have a good birthing experience if I end up being transferred to the hospital against my original birth plan?” In reality, if a woman can say to herself … ‘There’s a medical reason’ … most rationalize there is a ‘real’ need. However, even those ‘medical’ reasons are rarely Life or Death!

What can you do to prevent a home birth hospital transfer?

Birthing Better families want you to share some secrets with you.

  • Many of us had lots of medical issues and we still chose to birth at home. Most Birth Centers only take low-risk pregnant women but we can tell you that becoming skilled gave us a huge benefit and ability to reduce and prevent a transfer EVEN due to medical reasons. Marjorie Tew (UK) did a study years ago and showed that no matter the number of risks, the ability for a woman to get a baby out of her body was not correlated. In other words, if we could birth effectively with any number of high medical risks then we could do it at home!
  • Those of us who had transferred to hospital previously because of a ‘failure to progress’ had trusted birth but knew absolutely nothing about our birthing body. Once we developed the Birthing Better skills we prepared our body to open up and we learned skills to keep our pelvis open, mobile and create space for our baby.
  • Those of us who transferred because we didn’t cope, realized that ‘instinct’ was not enough. We needed skills and we needed our partner to have very good skills. We developed them.

What if …? 

We learned something else. We got pregnant to have a baby not a type of birth so we committed to using our skills even and especially when we transferred. We did not let the hospital or interventions stop us from being fully engaged in birthing our baby.

The truth is that your birth will be positive if you take the responsibility on yourself to make it that way.

Your Birthing Better skills give you the self-awareness and ability to work with your body’s natural processes and your baby’s efforts to be born in order to have a positive birth experience.

If you must transfer, the best thing you can do for yourself, your baby, and your partner are to continue using your Birthing Better skills during the transfer and once you arrive – you should continue to use your skills through the entire birth process.

Often, women who plan a home birth and find they must transfer to the hospital feel afraid and feel as if they have failed somehow. Nothing is further from the truth.

If you are using these skills and you still must transfer from your home to a medical facility during the birthing process, don’t give up! You have not failed, you are not to blame, and feeling defeated, though it is the natural human response, is the wrong thing to do in this situation.

Your obstetrician, midwife and obstetrical staff

Because you continue to use your skills you will be aware of your body’s processes and you will be able to work with your baby, your partner and your health care professional to have a wonderful birth even if you don’t have the birth you wanted.

Your doctor will greatly appreciate you and your partner having and using your skills. It makes the whole experience smoother and easier for everyone involved. Obstetricians, nurse midwives or staff obstetrical nurses are used to dealing with birthing women who are afraid, confused, and often angry. Instead, you can stay calm, relax your muscles, focus on your body, and actually help the obstetrician or midwife to do their job.

Doctors and midwives who have encountered birthing women and coaching dads who transferred and who use skills remark how much easier it is to work with these couples. They are also WOWED by the clear, conscious, beautiful effort of the woman and partner.

‘I wouldn’t have chosen to transfer from my home birth to the hospital, but with our birthing better skills, my wife and I felt just as close and capable and had a wonderfully empowering birth experience’.

Dennis and Joan C 

Childbirth skills to take to hospital:

Use these  skills in hospital :

  • Stay open inside your pelvis to help your baby come down, through, and out your birthing body
  • Use The Pelvic Clock to help your cervix to open
  • Use your skills during childbirth assessments, monitoring and procedures …. you’re still giving birth so stay involved.

We never like to see our couples transfer from home to hospital but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. With their Birthing Better skills, they definitely make the most of their birth rather than just giving up.’

Barbara and Henne … Midwives

Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.