Laois’s first home water birth of the year took place earlier this month and mum Colette Duff says it was a positive experience that she’d happily recommend to other mothers-to-be.
Little Jenny Duff entered the world on Thursday, January 2, and was delivered by HSE Community Midwife and Lactation Consultant, Brenda Campion O’Toole in the Duff’s home in Portlaoise.
Baby Jenny’s mother Colette spoke about her experience and why she would recommend a water birth at home to mothers-to-be.
She said: “I had a hospital delivery on my first child and it was very straight forward and a positive experience. On my second baby, I went to the Midlands birth gathering run by Brenda and the free home birth service.
“I opted for that choice and it was such a positive experience. I didn’t have to worry about going to the hospital and leaving my other children at home.”
Speaking about delivering babies through this method, Brenda said: “This process is empowering for women. Women do it their own way, at home in their own environment and within their own microbiome.”
While the question on many peoples’ minds asks ‘is there any more risks than a hospital delivery?’ Brenda insists it is a completely safe process.
She said: “The mother is in a safe place. There is no more risk involved. There are rarely ever any emergencies because we have everything sussed out before the labour.
“We are in contact with the ambulance services from the time the labour begins. We are highly skilled and there is always two midwives at the delivery.
“There is less of a chance of picking up infection as you’re not in the hospital and has a 96% positive breastfeeding record allowing the baby to feed better and bond better with their mother.
“We audit the mother to make sure they are at normal risk and will be able to have a home birth. Birth is just a normal life event.”
Colette is also a midwife having trained in the Coombe and said the process is more personal and offers a lot of support to families after the birth of their newborn.
She says it impacts the aftermath of birth and had a major impact on her breastfeeding.
“I got phenomenal support from Brenda after the delivery. For the eight days following the birth she’d be ringing and visiting and it’s a much more personal experience than in a hospital,” Colette explained.
The HSE Home Birth Pathway is a free service for mothers and families and Brenda believes it is important to have that option there for those who might want it.
She also delivered the first baby of the decade and 2020 in Kilkenny at home, also a water birth.
And while it’s a busy time in the Duff house, Rosenallis native Colette is enjoying it all. Not only is Jenny just two weeks old but she also has two siblings, Evie (3 years old) and Matt (2 years old) to keep their parents busy!
We wish the family all the best!