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Which? Birth Choice website

Which? Birth Choice website

The RCM are supporting a free website which helps expectant parents understand the birthing options available to them.

Which? Birth Choice provides women and their partners access to the information they need to help make an informed decision around where and how they give birth - be that in a birth centre, labour ward or at home.

The Which? Birth Choice website brings together a wealth of information on the facilities and services available at NHS maternity services across the UK alongside personalised birth statistics to help women understand the differences between birth settings.

Making an informed decision

The site was launched after research from Which? found that 75% (i) of midwives believed women would benefit from more information to help with choosing where to give birth. Half of mothers (49%) (ii) also said they knew nothing or not much about the different types of maternity units available to them and a third (34%) said the same about the amount of choice they had about where to give birth. A quarter (23%) knew nothing about the differences between units in their local area.

With the majority of women in the UK able to choose where they have their baby, it’s vital that they can easily explore all of the options available to them and make the choice that’s right for them. On Which? Birth Choice expectant mothers can search for the most suitable options available in their local community, based on their personal preferences, circumstances and history. Which? Birth Choice also allows women to find out about the facilities and options available in their local NHS trust, from what forms of pain relief are available, to the availability of birthing pools and details on whether their partners can stay overnight.

RCM involvement with the website

Cathy Warwick, RCM chief executive, said that women should be able to make the choice of where they give birth based on the best possible information. "This website, along with discussions with their midwife, will go a long way towards helping them make an informed choice and to decide what is the best place for them to give birth," she said.

Cathy Warwick explains why she would recommend the website

To visit the Which? Birth Choice site, please click here.

(i) Survey of midwives: Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 101 midwives online between 4th and 17th July 2013.

(ii) Survey of new mothers: Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 303 mothers who had given birth in the last 12 months, online between 12th and 21st July 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.