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.
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