Letter: Childbirth: heaven at home and hell at the hospital, or vice versa?

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The Independent Online
Sir: I heartily endorse Maggie Brown's critique on the Government's working party report suggesting more home births. As a mother expecting shortly to deliver her third child, I have to say that nothing would induce me to give birth at home.

While I anticipate an uncomplicated delivery, I want it to take place where there is a competent paediatrician ready to intubate and resuscitate the baby if necessary. Low-risk pregnancy does not necessarily mean low-risk delivery. While the number of babies suffering damage because of the lack of a skilled paediatrician may be small, every one represents an avoidable tragedy for a family.

Surely, the way forward must be for more mother-friendly and non- interventionist units within hospitals, so that if disaster strikes, help is immediately on hand.

Yours faithfully,

PHILIPPA JONES

Wilmslow, Cheshire

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