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Stafford MP: home births a good thing

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: May 13, 2014

BABY BLUES...Stafford MP says home births a good thing

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STAFFORD MP Jeremy Lefroy said having more home births is a good idea.

The latest guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) say home is as safe as hospital low risk pregnancies.

Women should be encouraged to have their baby at home instead of in a hospital maternity ward if it is likely to be straightforward they say.

It comes as campaigners battle to protect maternity services at Stafford with a review planned.

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It marks a change from their current advice that women should be given the choice of where they want to give birth but urges caution for home births and delivery in midwife led unit.

The institute says new evidence has led to the new recommendations.

Christine Carson, clinical guideline programme director for Nice, said: “Since we published our original guidance, more evidence has come to light about the benefits and risks associated with giving birth at home, in an independent or hospital-based midwife-led unit and on a traditional labour ward.

“We now know that these units are as safe as traditional labour wards for all low risk pregnant women and are more likely to result in a better birth experience with less medical intervention. The evidence also highlights that home births are just as safe as other settings for low risk pregnant women who already have at least 1 child, but not for women expecting their first baby. However, every woman should ultimately have the freedom to choose where she wants to give birth and be supported in her choice.”

Mr Lefroy said: “It gives us the opportunity to have smaller, consultant led units which would be more friendly rather than very big ones. The idea is not about closing units but having smaller units and having more maternity led home births. You always have to have those consultant led units as back up.

“It’s got to be a national programme. If the evidence is there let’s do that and have smaller consultant led units and some midwife led home births. It can’t be a postcode lottery. It can be done if it’s low risk. There are a lot of things to be borne in mind but in principle having many more women being able to deliver at home is a good thing.”

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