couple talking

You want a home birth but your other half is wary. Here are some things that could help you to work it out…

If you’ve done your research and decided that you might be up for a home birth, it can be a bit disappointing when your partner raises concerns or worries.

It’s understandable that they might want to know more – and might have some anxieties of their own about your baby coming into the world without the medical back-up of a hospital.

Here are some things to consider before you make your final decision on whether to have a home birth.

Your partner’s feelings on home births

Sit down with a cup of tea and speak to your partner about what their worries about a home birth are. It might be that they’re concerned over:

Lots of partners that are involved in a home birth feel stressed out in advance. Yet they feel really positive after the whole thing when their baby is born (Horn, 2010).  So it’s definitely worth your partner considering the options.

Home birth research

In the same way that you’ve probably read up on everything that a home birth entails, your partner has access to all the info too. So get them doing some reading, as soon as the subject of a home birth comes up. The more research your partner does on home births, the more they may feel confident about it.

It could also be useful to hook your partner up with some friends’ partners, relatives or any other dads or co-parents you know who’ve been through a home birth with their partner.

Your partner could quiz them about:

  • How they found their experience of a home birth.
  • Whether they were happy now with the decision they made to have a home birth.
  • What advice they would give you both if you were to have a home birth.

Speak to your midwife about home births

Your midwife is another person who could help to reassure your partner about a home birth.

Make sure your partner comes along to your midwife and antenatal appointments from the beginning (or whenever it’s possible, at least). That way you can talk through what a home birth involves.

Each time, you can bring any questions you have to your midwife who can help you make your decision too.

Come to a final decision on the birth together

If your partner has genuine concerns about a home birth, you should take their feelings into account. Especially if they’re going to be your birth partner too.

Curl up on the sofa together and chat through what you’re both thinking, and what questions you both have. You might even want to keep a notebook with your thoughts in. That way you can look back at it whenever you want to or each time you talk about it.

After that, try to come to a decision between the two of you before you speak to other people about it. Otherwise, hearing other people’s thoughts (or long-winded stories about a friend-of-a-friend’s experience…) might just complicate your thoughts.

Instead, make a joint decision that you’re both happy with.

Some things to think about might be:

  • How you would you both feel if you had your baby in hospital.
  • How you would both feel if you had your baby at home.
  • What information you need to make an informed decision and where you can get that from.

Your partner’s practical role at a home birth

Interestingly, most people who have been birth partners at home and in hospital say that they preferred the home birth (Horn, 2010). That was even the case if they were unsure at first.

This might be because:

  • You rely on your partner more at home.
  • At home, your partner is the expert. They’ll know more than the midwife does when it comes to where to find some towels, baby clothes, cloths etc.
  • This could all make them feel more useful.
  • They could just feel more comfortable in their surroundings when they’re at home

This page was last reviewed in May 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

The Home Birth Reference Site provides information and opinions about having your baby at home, for parents who think that it might be the right choice for them, and for health professionals looking for resources. 

Which? and Birth ChoiceUK have developed a tool to help you find out what your choices are for giving birth in your area. This tool combines your preferences with research evidence to show the local options most suited to you.

Horn A. (2010) Fathers and homebirth. Home Birth Reference Site. Available from:  http://www.homebirth.org.uk/blokes.htm [Last Accessed; 9 October 2018].

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