The government today announced that within two years every pregnant women would have proper cover from a midwife or a doctor and every woman would have the choice of home births.
Three questions instantly jumped in to my mind.
Firstly, the are massive shortages of midwives at present. This is already leading to a postcode lottery when it comes to maternity care. In Norfolk you can see a midwife once every eight weeks until you are 28 weeks pregnant compared to Cornwall where you see a midwife every three weeks throughout the pregnancy. The government is providing no extra cash for this "plan", so presumably the 3,000 midwives that are needed will be paid for by cutting other services ?
Secondly, why would anyone want to have a baby at home ? The risks, possible complications and dangers inherent in giving birth meant that when my wife wads offered the chance, she opted for hospital. Some people claim that it is less stressful to give birth at home. Personally I have always felt that I have less stress knowing there are dozens of medical staff on hand in a hospital and millions of pounds worth of medical equipment.
Finally, and this would solve a lot of the problem. Why don't the government fund proper maternity hospitals and units like there used to be years ago ? it would remove a lot of the stress for mother and child and they were lovely places for mothers to give birth ?