Home Births Fallling

Whilst the number of births in the UK is rising the number of home births is not. In England 16,919 women (2.5%) had a home birth last year, out of 679,638 births, which is down from 2.7% in 2009. These figures have been released by the Office of National Statistics.

Wales has the highest proportion of women having home births – 1,236 (3.5%) out of 35,617 births. However, this is still is a decrease from 2009.

In Scotland, 824 women (1.4%) had a home birth, from 59,082 births and provisional figures from Northern Ireland, suggest that about 0.4% of women had home births.

We all seem to be living in fear and feel that hospital is the safest place to have your baby, if you are in a’ high risk’ group this is definately a good reason, however many mothers could benefit from a home birth. If you have continuity of care and are able to build a great relationship with your midwife you are far more likely to feel reassured and more relaxed. This is so important for a good birth.

As soon as you arrive at hopsital your more aware of emergencies and people running around or babies crying. All these can affect your own stress levels. If you are in labour for a long period you may see several different midwives as they change shifts and have to constantly get used to new ones coming on duty. This is such a personal and important time in a womans life and every new Mum needs plenty of care and attention, particularly if shes never had a baby before.

Many parents feel that hospital is the place to be when giving birth but with Nation Health Service been thoroughly over stretched it may be worth looking at alternative options available in your area. You will never repeat your baby’s birth and it is such a special time and women should be nurtured themselves at this emotive and wonderful time.

Having a home birth means that you will not be separated from other children for long periods, you will feel more relaxed in your own environment and are likely to recover more quickly once your baby has arrived. Being familiar with the person that is going to deliver your baby into the world is a very unique and special experience, one that you will hopefully want to cherish forever.
The highest proportion of women giving birth at home are women aged between 35–39, with 3.5% of women in this age group giving birth at home. Is this because they are more educated or are electing to use a Doula or community midwife to assist them? I have heard good and bad stories about both options, if there are complications or you are an older mother the risks are higher, however if you have had a good pregnacy and wish for a home birth it may be the best place for you.

We are lucky to have the choice and a great health service, every birth is diffferent the same as every child. What birth would you choose home birth or hospital and why?