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A new study claims low risk mothers could save the NHS millions of pounds by not giving birth in hospital. Mother-of-two Holly Clark gave birth to her first son in hospital and her youngest son at home and says she preferred the latter.
A new study claims low risk mothers could save the NHS millions of pounds by not giving birth in hospital. People have been giving their opinions on the findings at the ITV News Facebook page. Here are some of the comments:
Clair Hanson said: "Very glad to have had both mine in hospital. Home births are great if that is what you want but when you've paid NI all your working life you shouldn't be made to feel guilty about choosing to give birth in hospital."
Karen Lavender said: "I just had a home birth! I was treated better than I was the last time in hospital, the midwife was fantastic, and the experience was much more relaxing! The second midwife did not make it in time."
To join the debate click here.
The study by the University of Oxford looked at births in obstetric units, midwifery units located in the same hospital as an obstetric unit, free-standing midwifery units and home.
They assessed NHS costs associated with the birth, including care during labour, the cost of any stay in hospital, the cost of pain relief and any medical procedures needed in the case of complications.
The costs for planned home and midwifery unit births taken into account included the cost of any clinical intervention needed if the mothers and babies were transferred to hospital but did not include any longer-term costs, such as caring for babies who suffer serious injuries during birth.
Low risk mothers could save the NHS millions of pounds by not giving birth in hospital. The University of Oxford looked at the circumstances of 64,000 births in England between 2008 and 2010. They found:
- Women who have already given birth could be better off having their next child at home
- A planned birth in an obstetric unit is the most expensive option
- The average cost is £1,142 per mother
- A planned home birth is £780 per mother
The study adds that for women who have not had children before, a planned birth in a midwifery unit would also save money when compared with a planned birth in an obstetric unit.