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Hooray for Home Births

In what could be considered an unexpected reversal of standard sentiment, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ( that is not the RC of Midwives) are recommending a trend towards more home births ( in the Daily Mail, see previous link, and here in the Telegraph )for low risk mothers and pregnancies, saying that up to a third of all births could safely be born at home. Though pressure on NHS resources is a disappointing reason for the push, it is not the only reason and regardless of where the moves are coming from, the impact on birth practice in this country should be largely positive. Whilst it would be unwise to deny a low-risk mother the option of hospital if that is what she chooses ( women birth better where they feel the safest) , it will hopefully mean that women who are interested in home births might well come up against less resistance to their idea. It might also open up the debate on place of birth and inspire confidence in home birth as truly safe option. Inevitably, it will spark the black and white home v hospital debate in the media, always complete with isolated case studies about women who did and didn’t have a good time in either setting (which ultimately tells us absolutely nothing about where we should give birth) but it should also at least give credence to home birth as a viable, and for once, even preferable option for some. Watch this space. 

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