I was asked to comment on Dr Gannon’s comments that hospital births were safer for low risk women and that women who choose hospital births are selfish.

Here is the interview : 

I only had a few minutes to make my point and actually I am all about informed decision making, rather than “homebirth for all”.

I think women should be able to birth where ever they want to and be supported in that decision.

I also think that the place of birth should be an informed decision, so couples need to understand the system they are birthing in.

We now have the evidence that babies born in private hospitals in Australia (where first time mums are more likely than not to receive some form of intervention) are more likely to be born before 40 weeks gestation (ie they are more likely to have been induced or be born by elective caesarean section before 40 weeks) and they are more likely to have some form of resuscitation at birth.
They are also more likely to have a problem following birth and to be readmitted to hospital in their first 28 days for birth trauma (mostly scalp trauma); hypoxia (lack of oxygen during birth); jaundice; feeding difficulties; sleep or behavioural issues and breathing problems.
Most significantly, there was no difference in the death rates between babies born in the two types of hospitals (Public vs Private).
You can read the research here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/5/e004551.full

I am not saying don’t birth in a private hospital, I am saying understand the system you are birthing in.

I passionately believe women can get the birth they want in any setting, they just need to educate themselves, so they know what to ask for. I had a great birth with a private OB because I took control and told him exactly how it was going to be.

 And here is the Royal College of Obstetrician’s position on homebirths.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Royal College of Midwives Joint Position Statement on Homebirth

“The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) support home birth for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby.”

Plus the NICE guidelines I refer to in the radio interview..




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