Home Delivery – ITV documentary about women who give birth at home
More and more women in the UK are going against convention and opting to labour at home instead of giving birth in a hospital. This one-off documentary provides intimate access into the homes of three couples, as they share the magical moment midwife Virginia brings new life into the world.
Virginia has worked as an independent midwife based in Kent, for over 16 years. She works privately, outside the NHS, and attends nearly 30 births a year. Almost all of them are home births. Virginia gets to know the couples she works with incredibly well and is on call any time of day or night, for the birth of their babies.
Julie and Anthony are preparing for the arrival of their baby boy. Julie has had a difficult pregnancy and is planning to use an inflatable birthing pool to give birth in her dining room. She has an eight-year-old son Dylan from a previous relationship and is keen for him to be in the room for the birth of his sibling. Her husband Anthony agrees and feels that home births benefit the father too. As Virginia arrives for the birth, Anthony has put up a gazebo and fairy lights over the birthing pool to create a tranquil birthing environment as the labour progresses quickly.
Home birth is a popular choice for parents that have experienced a difficult or traumatic first birth in hospital, which is the case for Lindsay and Phillip, who have a two-year-old son Henry together. Lindsay wanted a home birth first time round but ended up being transferred to hospital for a forceps delivery. Virginia believes that the experience completely disempowered Lindsay and made her feel like her body had failed her in some way.
On the morning of her son’s wedding, Virginia hopes that she makes it through it without having to attend a birth. The wedding goes ahead and Lindsay goes in to labour soon afterwards, Virginia faces a race to get there, before the baby does.
We meet university sweethearts Menna and Steven, who are expecting their first baby and are in the midst of moving house. Despite the complications of the move, they are determined to have a home birth but Menna knows that not everyone has been supportive of their decision.
A week overdue, Menna finally goes into labour, the day Virginia is due to fly off on holiday., but the delivery does not go to plan and as the baby’s heartbeat drops during labour, Virginia has to call an ambulance to be on standby outside. After 2 days in hospital following the traumatising birth, new born Rhiannon is back home, and new mum Menna is still adamant that she would opt for another home delivery in future.