A ‘term’ pregnancy ie ‘normal’ healthy gestation period is between 37 and 42 weeks. ‘Post Dates’ is pregnancy past 40 weeks. ‘Post Term’ is after 42 weeks. In the UK Trusts may have a time range in which midwives will attend a homebirths, usually starting at 37 or 38 weeks and continuing to 42 weeks or just before. As with any choice around where you give birth, it is your decision alone if you chose to birth at home outside of that range and you can still expect a midwife to attend when you request one.
Below are some links to articles and publications which may be helpful when considering accepting or declining an induction offered if you are ‘post dates’. You may be advised that you should give birth in hospital after a certain point in your pregnancy but you are entitled to decline and continue with your home birth plans. You may find that your midwives are supportive or they may put pressure on you to change your plans. They may be supportive initially and when you call them in labour they may put pressure on you to transfer in as you are post dates. There is also an increased likelihood of there being meconium present which can be another reason to suggest transfer to hospital. It may be worth speaking to a Supervisor of Midwives ahead of time if you feel that your plans would not change should you pass their cut off point. This may alieveate potential issues when you called for midwives to attend your home birth, or once they arrived as you have made your intentions clear in advance.
If you feel you are not being heard when you call for midwives to attend you, consider a similar approach to the one in the event of there being no midwives available.
Midwife Thinking – Induction of Labour: Balancing Risks
Sara Wickham – Post term pregnancy: the problem of the boundaries
Ten Month Mamas – Facebook support group