Uphold the Absolute Right for Women to Give Birth at Home

Following press discussion of women's right to have a caesarean, we are campaigning for their right to have a home birth to be upheld

Go to the petition website: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/uphold-the-absolute-right-for-women-to-give-birth-at-home

Countless women in the UK are denied their right to give birth at home with an NHS midwife, with whom they have already met and formed a relationship. This is contrary to the Department of Health’s policy. This national scandal continues due to a grey area existing in government legislation that allows NHS trusts to avoid their duty of care to mothers in labour and bully them into giving birth in hospitals. This is despite the fact that the evidence proves that women who give birth at home are less likely to need drugs for pain relief, need inducing or have a caesarean section and are more likely to have a satisfying birthing experience and succeed in breastfeeding their babies. Home births also cost the NHS around one third of the cost of hospital births yet only 2.7% of women in the UK give birth at home.

We the undersigned believe that women should have an absolute, non-negotiable right to give birth at home with the support of an NHS midwife and NHS trusts should be legally obliged to provide such services. We therefore call for the following immediate action to be taken to address this scandal and ensure that the right of women to give birth at home is upheld

  1. A community based, women focused, midwife service should be established which provides continuity in care and support for mothers to make their own birthing choices.
  2. A culture change among doctors and politicians away from the view that giving birth at home is dangerous towards one that acknowledges the wide-ranging benefits of home birthing.
  3. A pledge from Government to regulate every Local Heath Authority in order to ensure that every labouring woman will have a midwife in attendance and that, if desired, this should be at their home.

In order to make this campaign have the impact that is needed we need YOU to help us spread the word. Please help uphold women’s right to a home birth by:

Template letter

Please use the following as a basis for a letter to your MP, if you are able to do so adding personal experiences and local information about homebirth provision will add strength to your letter

Dear ..... (insert name of MP)

I note that it has been suggested that women should have the right to choose a caesarean section without medical indications. I am dismayed that women who decide to birth at home are not being supported in the same way. Many women's decisions to birth at home are undermined during their antenatal care and in labour by Trusts failure to provide a supportive community based midwifery service. As a result many women are told, when they call in labour that there is no midwife available and they then believe that they have no choice but to take the additional risk of transferring to hospital in labour.

This scenario is common practice in the majority of Trusts and is totally unacceptable, we call upon you to take immediate action to improve this situation.

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