Letter: The evidence is that home can be a safe place to give birth

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The Independent Online
HELEN EMBLEY (Letters, 15 August) described her two complication-free pregnancies, both of which ended with difficulties at delivery. While it is wrong to advocate home birth on the basis of individual experiences, it is equally wrong to encourage all women into hospital on the basis of individual clinical outcomes. Decisions must rest on available research, which at present indicates that there is no scientific reason why some women should not safely choose to have their babies at home.

We also know that when women have their babies away from the consultant unit, about 14 per cent transfer to hospital. Because of the skills of midwives or doctors, impending complications are invariably picked up early and the transfer is unhurried.

The report Changing Childbirth was not about home birth, but about women making informed choices.

Rosemary Jenkins

Royal College of Midwives Trust

London W1

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