Pregnant women “still not able to choose where they give birth”

Report shows government pledge made in 2007 still isn’t in action

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More than 90% of pregnant women are not able to choose where they give birth, despite a government pledge that all mums-to-be would be given the choice by 2009.

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A report by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) discovered that only 4% of women in England have been given the option of having their baby in a hospital, at a birth centre or at home.

In April 2007, ministers guaranteed all pregnant women would be able to select their place of birth. “It’s extremely disappointing that for every 10 pregnant women, nine are not able to choose where they want to give birth,” said Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of the NCT. “We know that across the UK, government policies support women with choice. However, in reality, this isn’t even close to being delivered yet.”

But Dr Sheila Shribman, the National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, said, “A Healthcare Commission review of maternity services in England published in 2008 used the same 2007 data and found that 81% of women said they did have a choice of place of birth.”

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Did you feel you had a choice in where you gave birth? Let us know below…

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