Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

This Week In The Bmj

Giving birth: home can be better than hospital

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 16 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:0-a

Rapid Response:

Welcome news

I was delighted to read the recent research findings that once again
reiterate that home births are as safe if not safer than hospital births
for low risk mothers.

In my line of work as a natal Hypnotherapist and Doula, I deal with
many women who have substantial fears around birth, which, more often than
not, result from a fear of the "medical environment" of giving birth.
Women now days are bombarded with negative stories surrounding birth, the
majority of which are connected with the fear of intervention, feeling out
of control, fear of excessive pain etc. So many women have lost the
intuitive trust in their own bodies to give birth naturally and so go into
labour feeling scared and tense, which in turn leaves them far more open
to intervention.

And yet for those of us who are privileged enough to work with women
birthing in their own environment, where they feel safe, private,
unobserved, their births can be calm, beautiful and fulfilling
experiences. If more women are encouraged to opt for a home birth, so
much of the fear and tension will go and more women will experience the
joy and empowerment of a normal birth outcome.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 June 2005
Maggie Howell
Natal Hypnotherapist and Doula
GU35 8JE