New NICE recommendations suggest it may be safe for expectant mums to have a home delivery
On Tuesday 3rd December, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued new advice stating that it could be safer for new mums to have their babies at home rather than at the Hospital if they were considered low risk.
The advice was based on evidence from research which showed that most births at home had gone on without any medical intervention, while hospital births had the highest number of medical intervention.
Vaginal births for women having their babies delivered at home was also high as was those for free-standing midwifery units.
The report stressed however, that there was a higher risk of some medical complications for the baby like Stillbirth, during home delivery.
Susan Bewley, a professor of complex obstetrics at King’s College London who was part of the team that developed the guidelines, said: “Midwifery-led settings have better outcomes for mothers than the traditional obstetric units and labour wards.
“They may be particularly suitable for all women because the rates of intervention are lower.”
However, she stressed the emphasis was on choice.
“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for all women and that’s why a range of settings providing different support for women with different needs gives you better safety overall,” she added.
But critics have accused the government of using the guidelines as an excuse to save money by reducing the number of women who use hospital facilities.
Lucy Jolin of the Birth Trauma Association told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that giving birth at home wasn’t always a safe option. “Things can go wrong very easily and we do feel this advice could be dangerous,” she said.
Meanwhile, we spoke to a number of Black British mums to find out if they would consider a home birth. Biola Adeyanju, a mum of 2 said, “Not at all.”
“Childbirth for me is usually very prolonged and I usually end up having a caesarian even though I’m classified low risk. It would be too much of a risk for me to consider giving birth at home”.
Project Manager and mum of one, Bisayo Olujide, told us ” I would consider it, but won’t go through with it. I can’t help but imagine that if anything went wrong I’d blame myself for not giving myself the best chance.”