Home vs Hospital Birth

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Home vs Hospital Birth Women should have the option of planning their impending birth at home, a midwife led unit or in an obstetric unit (National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health, 1998, 2006). The obstetric unit is seen as the predominant setting where births take place and sadly due to the current shortage of midwives it is the place where the woman is less likely to experience one-to-one care or the constant care of a midwife unless the birth takes place in a midwife-led unit or birth centre (Hatem et al., 2008). Even though a large proportion of women giving birth in the UK are reported to be healthy and experience a ‘normal’ physiological labour and birth there is still a substantial possibility that a large proportion of births that occur inside obstetric units experience some type of medical intervention during the labour process (NHS Information Centre, 2009). In 2007, According to a cohort study conducting by the BMJ (2011) approximately eight per cent of births happened outside of an obstetric unit with 2.8% occurring with the home, approximately 3% in alongside midwifery units and slightly under 2% for free standing midwifery units. In 2007 the ‘Department of Health’ pledged to make homebirth a viable option by 2009 in England. Wickham (1999) argues that there is ample evidence that supports the fact that homebirths are a safe birthing option that empowers women and their families. The BMJ (2005) reported homebirths and hospital births had similar safety rates but women who had homebirths experienced less complications or interventions. Olsen and Jewell (2000) reported that there was no strong evidence to wholly support either planned hospital or planned home birth for a low risk pregnant women which was backed up by the ‘Royal College of Midwives who quoted: ‘ There is inadequate evidence for demonstrating hospital births

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