Home, midwife-led unit safer for birth

( ) Updated: 2014-12-04 14:26:36

New guidance on Wednesday from a British health care organization said that women would be safer to give birth at home or in a midwife-led unit.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a health organization providing national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, said evidence showed that midwife-led care is safer than hospital care for women having a straightforward, low risk, pregnancy.

The guidance said giving birth at home and in midwife-led unit can lower the risk of potentially surgical interventions, such as the use of forceps or an epidural, while the baby is no different compared with those born in a hospital's obstetric unit.

The guidance said for first-time mothers, choosing hospital is safer, as a baby born with a serious medical complication occur in five out of every 1,000 births in hospital or in a midwife-led unit. However, the figure rises to nine in every 1,000 at home.

"Where and how a woman gives birth to her baby can be hugely important to her," said Mark Baker, clinical practice director of NICE.

"Although women with complicated pregnancies will still need a doctor, there is no reason why women at low risk of complications during labor should not have their baby in an environment in which they feel most comfortable," he said.

"Our updated guideline will encourage greater choice in these decisions and ensure the best outcomes for both mother and baby," he added.

Statistics showed about 700,000 babies were born in England and Wales last year. Among them, 90 percent were born in hospitals under the care of obstetricians.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular