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Is There Such Thing as a Straightforward Birth?

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 16/06/2014

"Yes, my birth was easy, it was over so quick". "I had no complications, the doctor's said it was a perfect birth". "I had some tearing but they said that was normal". These are all phrases you hear from friends who have given birth. However, is there such thing as a straightforward birth?

NICE Now Supporting Home Births

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE, home births are not as high risk as people make them out to be. In fact, for low risk pregnancies they are just as safe as any other method. Labour wards in hospitals with doctors on call are to be reserved for the most difficult cases, as there may be a risk of 'over-intervention'. 2 years ago, the NICE guidelines stated that C- sections should be more readily available and home births were to be given with caution, now the position has been dramatically reversed leaving some women unsure of where they stand.

Home Births are the Cheaper Option

At the moment, some women do not have a choice as to where they give birth according to the Royal College of Midwifery (RCM). More investment would be needed to implement proposed changes to accommodate for women who choose to give birth outside of hospital.

Issues that were highlighted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists included the emergency back-up options if something did go wrong and the assessments that go into determining whether your pregnancy is high risk or low. These would need to be 'ironed out', and rightly so, for the safety of both women and children.

It should be a woman's choice where she gives birth, however, expecting her to give birth in a place where emergency situations are not catered for not only puts the mother at risk but also the baby. If we can't provide women with a suitable birth in hospitals, whether they are high risk or not, how do we expect to do so at home or in obstetrician free centres when no talk of how they're going to be funded has occurred.

According to the University of Oxford, home births are cheaper for the NHS than any other type of birth, with emergency C-sections being the most expensive option. Could this be the reason for the change of gear on the issue?

If you are over 35, have underlying conditions such as diabetes, carrying more than one baby or are overdue, you would be a high risk case. However, you may still be encouraged by doctors to give birth in a mid-wife led centre, away from the possible medical help you'd need. Midwife levels are already low and according to Unison, we need another 5,000. So, is it wise to promote births outside of hospitals at this point with a 40-year high baby boom occurring?

When Births Go Wrong

Many births go off without a hitch, and are purely joyous occasions, but for some the lasting effects can ripple throughout the whole family. Brain injuries leading to cerebral palsy, fetal distress and Erb's palsy can all occur if the proper protocols are not followed during pregnancy or birth.

Pain and suffering, travelling expenses and special care aids and appliances are all things taken into consideration when you make a childbirth injuries claim. It's not about the money, it's about the principle. No mother and child should be put at risk to save the system a few pennies.

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