Perinatal healthcare professionals in the UK have given a mixed reception to Government plans to increase the numbers of home births.
A survey of 831 midwives, GPs, consultant obstetricians/gynaecologists and consultant neonatologists/paediatricians in the Eastern NHS Region received a wide range of responses concerning their experience of, and enthusiasm and support for home birth:
|Experiences of home birth||7 (5-8)||5 (3–7)||5 (2–5)||2 (1–3)|
|Enthusiasm for home birth||9 (8–10)||3 (3–7.5)||5 (3–7.5)||4 (3–5)|
|Support for Government plans
to increase home delivery rates
|8.5 (7–10)||5 (2–6)||5 (2–5)||3 (2–5)|
* All scales 0–10 from strongly negative (0) to strongly positive (10); data are median (IQR)
** Consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists
† Consultant neonatologists and paediatricians
Government moves to make home births more accessible also elicited a range of responses from the different disciplines. Midwives generally reported positive experiences of home delivery and were more favourable about the concept of home birth than any of the other professionals.
The authors suggest that negative experiences and opinions of perinatal healthcare professionals may impact on women’s uptake of home delivery. These concerns will need to be addressed if the Government plans to increase home delivery rates are to succeed.
McNutt A et al. Int J Gynecol Obst 2012:119(Suppl 3):S419(O444)