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Home birth service launched in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 01 February 2018

Ness Robinson and her son Charlie Picture: Barts Health

Ness Robinson and her son Charlie Picture: Barts Health

Barts Health

Pregnant women in Tower Hamlets are set to benefit from a new home birth service.

Barts Health began providing the service last month as an alternative to its maternity services at the Royal London Hospital and the Lotus and Barkantine birthing centres.

Home births are recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as the best option for women with low-risk pregnancies who have already given birth before, as labour is often shorter and there is less risk of infections.

But despite the benefits, just 1.9 per cent of births in Tower Hamlets are home births - less than the national average of 2.1pc.

Mums-to-be who opt for a home birth will see the same midwife throughout their pregnancy and be attended by two midwives when in labour.

The first woman to give birth with the new team was Ness Robinson, who welcomed her son Charlie in January.

The 25-year-old, who lives in Bethnal Green, said: “Having a home birth was definitely the right thing for my partner and I, and I would definitely recommend it.

“The home birth team have been fantastic at looking after Charlie. The best part was when my baby had been born; getting into my own bed and having a cup of tea.”

She added: “I hadn’t ever expected to want a home birth as I’d always had the mentality that I had to be near doctors. It sounded really risky to give birth outside of hospital; I think there’s a general perception that birth is a medical condition.

“Once in labour I was very quickly able to speak to the team, and I had two midwives to give me and my baby care and attention. It’s also been reassuring seeing the same midwives each time who have been able to answer any questions we have.”

Home birth midwife Faye Callaghan said: “It is far easier and safer to give birth at home than most people realise.

“You don’t need a lot of space, and we will sort everything from equipment to cleaning, even giving advice about how to manage other members of the family and pets.

“We do all we can to make sure that women have a relaxed and enjoyable birth, which is safer for them and their baby.”

For more information on having a home birth, speak to your GP or community midwife.

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