Although there is no statutory requirement to provide a home birth service, this is a choice which has been offered to women in the city for very many years.
The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Women's & Newborn Services recommend that ˜Local options for midwife-led care will include midwife-led units in the community or on a hospital site and births at home for women who have been appropriately assessed' (2004).
Being as relaxed as possible when in labour really helps women to birth their babies, and women having home births report less pain and more control over the birth when they have a familiar environment to labour in. A home birth is very popular for women who want to be more mobile, avoid being attached to a baby heart rate monitor, would prefer to avoid interventions during the birth, who don't like hospitals and would like more privacy.
From the midwifery perspective, it gives us an opportunity to establish a close and supportive relationship with women and their families, as well as using all our midwifery skills to the fullest extent. The whole experience is very exciting and rewarding for midwives and we are looking at ways in which we can improve this choice and increase our home birth rate.
If you are interested in this option, please discuss it with your midwives who will advise accordingly.