Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

A twin homebirth

Posted on: July 11, 2010

I have recently had a client birth her twin girls at home.  To give birth to twins at home is a rare event; it is obviously slightly more risky that a single birth.  My client carefully considered the risks and benefits of homebirth.  She had previously given birth at home and felt that for her home was the right place.  She knew she would feel safe, relaxed and that her labour could not be “interfered” with (for example many women expecting twins are encouraged to have an epidural and to give birth with the help of doctors in theatre).

Her pregnancy progressed well; an ultrasound scan showed that the twins were dichorionic, diamnionic which gives the best possible prognosis as each baby was in it’s own amniotic sack and had it’s own placenta.  My client chose to have growth scans which showed that her babies appeared to be growing well and equally she declined the option to see an obstetrician as she felt this might be undermining.

We were mindful that a woman with a twin pregnancy needs excellent nutrition to grow two babies, and to maintain her health and wellbeing and my client ensured that she ate well, especially iron rich foods, protein and extra salt (as suggested by Dr Tom Brewer).    As she experienced pelvic discomfort, she saw a chiropractor throughout her pregnancy and found this to be beneficial; she also experienced heartburn as might be expected with a twin pregnancy.

During the pregnancy we made extensive plans about how we expected the birth to progress; what we would do in the event of  problems and who we would have present at the birth.  We planned to aim for the most experienced team we could muster.  In the event we had four midwives – not because we felt we needed four, but because the midwives were keen to attend a twin birth, and my client was very happy to have them present.

On scan at 36 weeks we were surprised and pleased to learn that both babies were cephalic (head down).  Previously the second baby had been in a breech position.

My client laboured at 39+ weeks.  Her labour was fast and the first baby was born in the birth pool within two hours.  There was a bit of a delay but her second daughter was safely born in good condition and although initially tired, she has recovered well and is doing really well.

This was a fabulous outcome – I was blessed with clients who were strong, did their research and knew that they wanted to give birth at home.  They did not want a homebirth at all costs and would have transferred to hospital if I felt that there was a clinical need.

4 Responses to "A twin homebirth"

Congrats Valerie, to you and your client! What a normal, refreshing story. I am a midwife in the US (Arizona), and although I was able to obtain a license here, attending the birth of multiples is outside our range of care. I do hope I get to witness the natural birth of twins someday. Thank you!

Thanks Maryn – we are lucky in the UK. Twins are usually considered as a “complication” of pregnancy and we would therefore offer a referral to an obstetrician. However, this client declined my offer and as a midwife I am trained to give care and recognise any deviation from normal when I would of course recommend a doctor’s opinion. As midwives here it is our duty to support a client in her choice even if this is outside of what is seen as usual.

This client’s pregnancy and birth were uncomplicated and as such may be seen as normal even if the risks are increased.

I agree it is such a joy to be part of this and to gain more experience in twin birth.

I just had a homebirth this July with my second set of di/di twins. I love hearing other stories like this one. I too had a very smooth and wonderful delivery at home. I’m in the US and it is very hard to find a midwife to even attempt a homebirth with multiples.

Thanks for your comments. Of course twin birth is more complicated and therefore more risky but some strong women do choose to birth their twins at home and I have been privileged to support several women choosing this option.

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