If you have chosen to have a homebirth, you should have been given contact numbers to call when you go in to labour. If you are unable to contact the homebirth midwife, please contact the Labour Line on 0300 369 0388. You should call as soon as you know that labour has started so that the homebirth midwife can arrange to visit you.
When you call the homebirth team they will come to your home and support you through your labour. It may not be the midwife you have been seeing during your pregnancy, but it will usually be a homebirth midwife.
They will check to see how you are coping, and how regular and long your contractions are. They will also check your observations (temperature, blood pressure, pulse and urine) and listen to your baby’s heartbeat to ensure they are coping well with labour too. They may offer you a vaginal examination to help assess your progress.
If the midwife feels you are in the latent (early) phase of labour, they will leave for a while as this phase can last a long time. They will give you some advice on coping with this phase including advice on pain relief. The midwife will ask you to call them when your contractions have increased in length and strength, are coming more frequently, or your waters have broken. It’s very important that you let the midwife know if your waters break, if the fluid becomes coloured or smelly, if you start losing blood or you are concerned, so that they can assess whether they need to return to you more quickly.
If they feel your labour is established, a midwife will remain with you at home until your baby is born. They will support and monitor you and your baby throughout the labour to make sure you are both coping well.