Study backs home births for mums

Study backs home births for mums

Friday 20 April 2012

home births

Vital NHS money could be saved by women, who have already had children, giving birth at home, a study in the British Medical Journal suggested.

Some 64,000 births in a three-year period up to 2010 were researched by a team from the University of Oxford who found that it was healthy for all concerned for those that have already had children, to have a home birth, or in a midwifery unit.

The study identified that a planned birth, for those that have had children, in an obstetric unit was financially draining at a mean cost of £1,142 per woman but in direct contrast a home birth for the same women was at £780 per woman, the cheapest.

A planned birth in a midwifery unit for those that had not given birth before was regarded financially as the best option as opposed to an obstetric unit. Having the child at home was also cost effective but it researchers warned that it was "associated with poorer outcomes for the baby".

The Royal College of Midwives said the research paved the way for changes to be made to maternity services in the UK.

Deputy general secretary Louise Silverton said: "This and other research points out the substantial benefits of midwife-led care: it is better for mothers and babies, it is better for midwives and it is better for the NHS.

"However, we are still seeing 96% of births taking place in hospitals and this underlines the need to make a fundamental change in the way we deliver maternity services in this country.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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