Just 2.3% Of New Mums Had Home Births Last Year, While Multiple Births Increased Slightly In 2015

Only 2.3% of new mums gave birth at home in 2015, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2012. 

Women aged between 35 and 39 were most likely to have a home birth.

The statistics were released as part of the Office for National Statistics report on Birth Characteristics in England and Wales throughout 2015.

The greatest percentage of women giving birth at home over the last three decades was 2.9%, in 2007 and 2008. 

Commenting on the small percentage, Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) told The Huffington Post UK: “Many women choose to give birth in hospital. Others choose midwife-led units. Some choose a home birth.

“The uniting thread is choice – or it should be. Yet, currently, I feel that too many women are not getting the choice of birth they really want, at the place of birth they really want.

“As things stand, around 96% of births are in hospital – in obstetric units or alongside midwifery units. I’m not sure that this is the option 96% of women would make if they had a real choice.”

The remaining 1.7% of births are those women who don’t make it to the hospital, for example having birth in the car or in their front garden. 

Thanasis Zovoilis via Getty Images

Warwick continued: “Real choice is important, because a woman has to be happy and comfortable with the environment in which she gives birth.

“She also has to be happy with the type of birth she has and if it’s her choice to birth at home we should be doing everything we can to support that.”

Warwick’s comments reflect her speech at the RCM annual conference on Wednesday 19 October 2016, in which she stated: “Too many women are still denied a choice over fundamental issues, such as where they give birth.

“This is leaving many having a less than positive experience of pregnancy and birth. So while it is encouraging that the number of alongside midwifery units has virtually doubled in the last five years, the same cannot be said for FMUs (freestanding, midwife-lead…

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