Sunday, September 28, 2008

Midwife shortages, rise in home births in UK

Over the past two days, I've seen several articles about projected midwife shortages and a rise in home births in the UK. The government has promised all women their choice of birth place by the end of 2009, with a target goal of 10% home births by 2010, but in some areas midwife staffing is inadequate to ensure that. (If a woman is booked for a home birth, but all midwives are busy when she goes into labor, she will be asked to go to hospital.) The UK has also seen a recent rise in the national birth rate, making the midwife shortages even more pronounced.
For an in-depth exploration of women's experiences of home birth in the UK, including UK-specific midwifery issues, I suggest reading Birthing Autonomy by Nadine Pilley Edwards.


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