Responding to the release today of figures on home births from the Office for National Statistics, Cathy Warwick, general secretary designate of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Even a small increase in the home-birth rate is encouraging, but the numbers remain very low and there is much more that can be done to improve them.
“There are many women who want to give birth at home but do not get the chance, largely because there are simply not enough midwives out there to make that choice a reality. Maternity Matters – the Government’s blueprint for maternity services in England – guarantees that women will have a choice about where they give birth by 2009. Without investment in midwives and maternity services this will be a hollow promise.
“There are midwifery services across the country bucking this trend and making sure that women have the choice of a home birth if they want it. Let us learn from their experience and let the Government and the NHS put in the investment, so that midwives can offer real choice to women.”
For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456
Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) aims to promote and advance the profession of the midwife. The RCM represents over 95% of the UK's midwives and is one of the world's oldest and one of the largest midwifery organisations, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2006. It is also a trade union. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.