U.K. report urges more home births

July 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM
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LONDON, July 15 (UPI) -- More women should be given the opportunity to give birth at home because having a baby in a hospital is not always the "safer option," U.K. medical experts say.

A report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggested as many as a third of women should give birth "without a doctor going anywhere near them," The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"Too many babies are born in the traditional 'hospital' setting,'" RCOG President Anthony Falconer said.

More midwife-led units should be created for women with low-risk pregnancies to provide the option of giving birth outside of hospitals, the college said.

Around the clock care from doctors should be reserved only for women at risk of complications including those expecting multiple babies, older mothers and those with health concerns, the report said.

"There is a perception among patients that they still see the hospital birth as the safer option," Falconer said.

"The use of some of these midwife-led units is not as great as it should be. These places are very safe and appropriate to have babies."

Currently about 3 percent of women give birth at home while 7 percent use midwife-led units or small centers designed to provide a more home-like environment, the report noted.

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