Letter: Home birth risks

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I would like to reply to Mr Nick Martin's question, "How many home births go wrong?" (letter, 31 August).

The home birth of my third son went wrong with resulting brain damage. I had had two normal births with no problems. I then opted for a home birth as I didn't want my toddler sons to miss me. The GP said it would be all right and I had had no difficulties of any kind during my previous pregnancies.

The midwife knew something was wrong, as she saw signs of my baby's distress. She tried to contact the doctor who was out on country calls.

When the doctor eventually arrived, he said I must have an emergency Caesarean operation - too late! The damage was done. The delay had been too long.

We were told later that the baby suffered anoxia due to the umbilical cord being round his neck. He is mentally handicapped and has no speech.