Today is a great day for all those midwives, doulas, antenatal teachers and men and women who believe that giving birth is a normal, physiological and emotional event in a woman’s life and should be treated with the utmost respect, dignity and awe. It is indeed a great day – women will now finally be given a more realistic (evidence-based) view of home births.
Giving birth does not have to be a traumatic and medicalized process during which the woman feels scared, out of control and a cog in the NHS maternity system. The NICE guidelines, which were published today, have recognised that the evidence to date indicates that women who choose to have their babies in the safety and privacy of their own home under the care of a Midwife, or in a Midwifery led birthing unit to have less complications and hence intervention.
But we should not forget that this day is the accumulation of years and years of hard work by some unbelievably dedicated and passionate women and men. I remember being at the launch of the Birthplace study in London and the buzz then was amazing – everyone truly felt that the tide was turning, and that was 3 years ago. We need to keep up the momentum, support midwives in the amazing work they do, encourage our friends, sisters, daughters to believe in their bodies, and to spread the word that feeling safe, positive and prepared will help all women to have better births.