Specialist midwife-led units which care for women giving birth are just "as safe as traditional labour wards", the NHS watchdog has said.
Christine Carson, clinical guideline programme director for Nice, said:
– Christine Carson
We now know that these units are as safe as traditional labour wards for all low-risk pregnant women and are more likely to result in a better birth experience with less medical intervention.
The evidence also highlights that home births are just as safe as other settings for low-risk pregnant women who already have at least one child, but not for women expecting their first baby.
However, every woman should ultimately have the freedom to choose where she wants to give birth and be supported in her choice.