Regular readers will know that, every now and again, I do like to dive headfirst into a controversial subject, and today’s just such a day.
I read with interest this morning that, according to a top medical journal, women should not be allowed to choose a home birth if it puts their baby at risk.
New research has suggested that home births are twice as likely to result in the death of a newborn baby than hospital births. The study, of 500,000 births across the world found that 0.2% ended tragically.
As a result The Lancet has said that; "Women have the right to chose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk."
Mrs B and I have, so far in this pregnancy, had nothing but positive experiences of the NHS and, although no one has told us that we shouldn’t have a home birth, it has been made very clear to us that a hospital birth would be the safest option for mother and baby.
Having also been on a tour of the labour ward at the hospital it was hugely reassuring to see the equipment and facilities and to be shown the various delivery rooms, as well as the nearby operating room should anything go wrong or a caesarean be needed. We met the staff, were walked through the whole process – from arrival to the beds on the ward – and left confident in the ability of our hospital to ensure the health and safety of Mrs B and Baby B.
How can giving birth in your living room possibly compare?
I understand how some parents may want the peace and calm of familiar surroundings, but surely this is selfish on their part? What if the baby needs expert medical attention? What if the equipment and expertise is a drive away? Could you live with yourself if your baby suffers as a result of the time it takes to get him or her to hospital?
And why even put yourself in a position to face these questions in the first place?
I want nothing but the best for my wife and baby and would never do anything to put either of them at risk. A hospital birth is therefore the only thing we would ever consider and I cannot think of a single argument that would make me reconsider?