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Home births are 'safest and cheapest' option

Home births may be the safer option for both the mother and child , as well as saving the NHS thousands of pounds in the process, according to a recent study.

Research from the University of Oxford states that giving birth at home may be the best choice for women who already have children.

The circumstances of 64,000 births in England between 2008 and 2010 were looked into, revealing that it is healthy for women with a low risk of complications to give birth at home or a midwifery unit, saving the NHS money in the process.

A planned home birth was found to be the cheapest option for mothers who already have children, costing £780 per woman, while giving birth in an obstetric unit was the most expensive alternative at £1,142 per woman.

The study suggests that for women who have never had children before, giving birth in a midwifery unit would be the cheaper option when compared with a planned birth in an obstetric unit.

A planned birth at home would also be cost-effective, but it was “associated with poorer outcomes for the baby”.

Readers' comments (3)

  • If I was a 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th time mother I would want to have my baby in a hospital where urgent and immediate care was on site should a big problem occur.

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  • Another piece of research which can and doubtlessly will be taken up and taken completely out of context to provide backing for Government inspired changes to NHS working practices, as did the research; 'patients recover quicker in their own homes' for Thatcher's flawed 'Care in the Community' mantra.

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  • I am a midwife and have had 2 children safely at home, one in water. I did not want unecessary 'intervention' in the name of safety which often turns out to be cascade of intervention and ends up as a casearean birth. So what if the govt use it, if its what women want and is safe, let them have home births!

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