We Need More Home Births, Top British Docs Say
July 15, 2011
by Kim Hays
Well, this is kind of a big deal. Leading medical experts in Great Britain are telling pregnant moms not to assume they'll be giving birth in a hospital. Instead, they're saying (quite emphatically, in fact) that women should be given more of a chance to deliver their babies at home or in birth centers, the UK's Daily Mail is reporting.
Why? Because the docs at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are now saying that having a baby in a maternity ward isn't necessarily the safer option. And why is that? Because maternity wards are increasingly being staffed with inexperienced doctors and because of a shortage of trained midwives in hospitals. (FYI: home births in Great Britain had fallen to 2.4 percent in 2010, down from more than 33 percent in 1959, the Mail reports.)
Women who are expecting multiples, have diabetes, are obese or are in their 40s should still report to a hospital when contractions begin, the new report says. Of course, a fierce debate has ensued. One that is probably warranted when you consider that 14 percent of Brits who attempted home birth in 2003 ended up being taken to the hospital--and that birth centers don't offer epidurals, meaning one less option in the way of pain relief for a laboring mother.
Where do you stand on this one? Would you be interested in a home birth if your doctor told you it was a safe option?