Question: Pregnant w/Twins, Doctor Wants Interventions, NHS Midwives Don’t Have Training…

by Birth Without Fear on December 21, 2011

Emma emailed me with the following question and could use the support and suggestion of the BWF Community:

“I’m expecting fraternal twins in March. Was planning a home birth from before we even knew it was twins (my 3 previous children were hospital births – straightforward but with drugs). I felt strong enough after enough research to continue with the home birth should everything be straight forward.

However as the weeks have passed, conversations with my community midwife and an appointment with the consultant at the hospital have really put their doubts in me. Basically the community midwife suggested as none of the other midwifes on the community have twin experience, that I go in to the hospital and talk to the consultant and come to a compromise as they may be willing to ‘let me’ keep everything natural and then I am in the best place should a problem arise.

So I do, and he just wants me continuously monitored, epidural, IV, hands on etc.

We’ve considered an independent midwife, but will really struggle to afford this, and the nearest IM with twin birth experience is 1 1/2 hours away and was reluctant to take me on as its a fourth pregnancy and twins, and her main concern was getting to me in time.

So now my limited choices are birth at home with a fight with the NHS midwifes who have no twin experience, or go into hospital &  just try to be clear that I don’t want interventions, (I do have a doula who will speak up for me), or pay for an IM in our area that also has no twin experience then risk paying thousands when if I go into labour before 37 weeks won’t attend me anyway. Any and all advice would be welcome. Are there any other mums of twins who birthed at home in UK?.”

If you can help this mama out, please leave a comment!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzi December 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm

not experienced with twins but perhaps someone on the tamba website could help? http://www.tamba.org.uk/ they have a message board :)

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Tiffany Werley-Brand December 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I am not in the UK but I do have twins. I had them in a hospital, and they were born at 33 weeks. My doctor (who I love, might I add, she is awesome and listens to everything I want, and doesn’t interfere with my wants unless of course there is an emergency.She is also very crunchy, which was a plus for me) was convinced I would make to to at least 38 weeks. My best advice for you is to make a birth plan, and have your doula make sure the doctors stick to it. I don’t know how it is in the UK, but my doctors here followed my birth plan to a T and I had four wonderful hospital births, the way I wanted them. I am very thankful for the hospital when it came to my twins, without birthing there, my girls may not have survived. They could not breath on their own, their lungs were very immature. I think the thing to have a good hospital birthing experience is to find a doctor who is willing to listen to your wants, but also has the knowledge to intervene when necessary for the sake of you and your babies. Good luck with whichever choice you make, and I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe pregnancy.

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Amanda December 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Wow does this sounds familiar! I just gave birth to fraternal twins in Aug in the hospital – no midwives close enough with twin experience. (From what I understand, two midwives is a really (really) good idea, but we did not birth at home since we couldn’t get two.) Anyways, it is possible, but it worked for us for 3 reasons: 1) don’t sign any consent forms you’re not comfortable with (for us it was pitosin and c-section) 2) get your husband on board with exactly what you want (and Doula too, of course). They tried to get a verbal consent from him at a couple points. And…. 3) start negotiating with your OB now. This is probably the most difficult part in standing your ground. I was happy to have an IV, NST monitoring, and even give birth in the operating room. We absolutely refused induction prior to 39 weeks (they came at 38+2), cesarean section, and pitosin. Find what you’re comfortable with and start negotiating now. The big challenge with twins is if a baby is breech. Our Baby B was breech and we convinced the OB to attempt an ECV once Baby A was born. It worked beautifully! Best of luck to you and your babies!

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Katie December 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hi, I’m not in the UK but I did give birth to twins (my birth story is Travis & Harris) and I would love to encourage you to really tune into your babies, your body and follow your heart! For me it was all about having them born safely ( of course!) and in my situation I felt strongly that meant staying out of a hospital. I did make many backup plans and lists of reasons that would bring me to an OB’s care and kept things as open and fluid as possible. Keep searching for information and options for care, I believe the right scenario will present for you. Here’s to birthing without fear! Kindest, Katie

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Amanda December 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Katie, I LOVE your story! Thanks so much for sharing!

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Karen December 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi, I supported a family with three children who expected twins and decided that they wanted to birth at home this time. They were having problems getting the ok frrom their caregivers but were continuing to state their intentions for HB once they got past 37 wks. Just at 36wks she went into labour so we went to the hospital where it had been agreed she Could labour in the midwife unit if it was before 37wks. So we get there, meet a fab midwife I already knew and she proceeded to have a physiological breech birth followed by a physiological cephalic birth. Awesome experience! Maybe Emma might like to relocate temporarily ;-)

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Danielle December 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I had my twins in the states. Not sure why the people you’re encountering are so afraid of twins. I assume things are moving along well since you’re considering a home birth.
I had an unmedicated vbac twin hospital birth about 3 years ago. I also had a doula and she was wonderful. The hospital wanted me to get an epidural “just in case”. I said no thank you.
Good luck!

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Rebecca December 22, 2011 at 12:32 am

Not sure from your post but if you haven’t already, I’d strongly urge you to contact AIMS (http://www.aims.org.uk) for support and accurate info about what is possible and how to achieve it. Also, is your doula experienced with twin births? Has she been networking with other doulas? Because I know there are some doulasin douka UK who are very experienced with twins and who have likely encountered this before. Best wishes to you and your family.

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kait December 22, 2011 at 2:13 am

Im in the USA but also had a horrid time finding a HB MW who would deliver my twins. It took 3 weeks, calling midwives in THREE states and considering a temporary move to facilitate a natural, unmedicated and hands-off birth for my identical twin boys. We also struggle with the cost but I’ve found that by making the decision to do this, taking control of this birth and really tuning into my boys I found that I KNEW that HB as long as it is post 37 weeks(which at this pint seems likely given the ultrasounds and my health) is the best thing for us. So, I’m actually auctioning off things on Facebook. We raised over $1,000 and even had friends who came to us to offer services and items (massage, art, etc) to auction off to help. I set up a chipin.com fund for donations and people I DON’T EVEN KNOW have added money to it based on my friends forwarding the info. If you want this, and you know it is right, do it and the Universe will support you. Our MW is over an hour away and though it took many tears, much fear from the MW community here, and a fluke of a referral to get her, I’m SO GALD TO HAVE HER ON MY TEAM! She is amazing and though she is far away and I think I may go fast (this being my 3/4th birth, the first two natural homebirths) I’m studying independently and working with her to be prepared for whatever happens.YOU CAN DO THIS. DO NOT LET FEAR GET IN YOUR WAY. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If your instincts say hospital, go to the hospital, if everything inside you tells you to birth at home, DO THAT. Always have a back up plan and make sure your birth plan is in the hands of everyone you will encounter in this but remember only YOU know what is best for you and your babies. Listen to that and trust in yourself and then get the people on your side that trust birth, and you, to back you up. BWF also has a LOT of great birth stories of twins and twin HBs, READ THEM ALL. Watch the videos on youtube of successful HBs of twins . Get a copy of “Psalm and Zoya” an unintended unassisted HB of twins (the second breech!) if you can (if not contact me and I’ll get you one if possible) and TRUST YOUR BABIES! YOU CAN DO THIS!<3

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Melinda December 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

A very strongly worded letter to the Head of Midwifery at the hospital informing her of your plans and insisting she provide you with midwives who have the necessary training to provide you with a safe birth. If none of the midwives have experience then suggest she provide her staff with better training. You can also say that you will be happy for the NHS Trust pay for an IM for you (if you are happy with that.) You can join the homebirth uk and UK midwife yahoo groups. There is a wealth of info to be gained there. Also you can contact AIMS. There are always very helpful.

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Lana December 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Emma,
We are facing a similar dilemma here in our situation. I wish I had answers for you, but at this point I am just offering my prayers and encouragement! :-) Keep reaching out to the natural birth community, I have gotten several leads of routes to look into for my situation from asking for help. Your birth is your right and keep fighting strong for that! That is what I plan to do for me and my twins! Congrats and I trust that everything will work out calmly and soon, as I know it is unnerving to have all your plans disrupted! {HUGS}

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articles on pregnancy January 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

Never had twins, but seems like you really are determine to have a natural delivery at home. Just be positive and lift your hardship through prayer. Prayer can move mountains and is very powerful, just have faith, hope everything goes well. :)

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Kathleen Neely January 31, 2013 at 1:54 am

pray mama pray a lot!! trust your instincts, and trust God to help you…
much love

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