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December 3, 2014

Updated NICE guidance

NICE guidance updated today confirms that midwife-led care during labour is safest for women with straightforward pregnancies.

Nearly 700,000 babies were born in England and Wales last year. Nine out of 10 babies are delivered in hospital under the ultimate supervision of obstetricians, but NICE wants women to be given greater freedom to choose where they give birth.

According to NICE, the evidence now shows midwife-led units to be safer than hospital for women having a straightforward (low risk) pregnancy. Its updated guidance also confirms that home birth is equally as safe as a midwife-led unit and traditional labour ward for the babies of low risk pregnant women who have already had at least 1 child previously.

Independent Midwives UK spokesperson Sam O’Brien said:
“Any evidence-based information which empowers women to make their own informed decisions is to be welcomed but encouraging choice and providing it are two different things.

Despite the evidence, homebirth services are being withdrawn or restricted in some areas and our members are repeatedly caring for women failed by the system in terms of the choices available to them.

Our hope is that the updated guideline will be a catalyst for making birth choice a priority in UK maternity services and in recognising the importance of midwife-led care”.

NICE guidance updated today confirms that midwife-led care during labour is safest for women with straightforward pregnancies. Nearly 700,000 babies were born in England and Wales last year. Nine out of 10 babies are delivered in hospital under the ultimate supervision of obstetricians, but NICE wants women to be given greater freedom to choose where […]

 
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