NHS guidelines make women feel demonised if they chose to give birth outside a hospital, and risks are being exaggerated so that mothers-to-be at are frightened into going to hospital, according to Professor Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives.
Warwick told the Telegraph that the cumulative effect of all the guidance put midwives under pressure to restrict the options for many women.
Women who express a wish to give birth at home are often classified as young, old, or considered overweight and therefore ‘high risk’. So many women are piled into the category that ‘high risk’ is becoming the norm, said Warwick.
You know, I get it that many women want a peaceful home birth but this attitude (of which Women’s views on News sometimes is an amplifier of) also bothers me. The “OMG, how could women be pressured into going to a hospital, midwifery is so much more natural, etc” mantra is annoying and alienating. Sure, for some, a home birth is desirable, however, we didn’t reach the low infant mortality rates in a vacuum. Medicalized birth (with the associated higher costs) might not be the best option, but a home birth is not necessarily right for many women. Given the choice, I would prefer a medically supervised, aseptic, hygienic (cat hair free!) environment over a home delivery any day. When these sites present the case that “nobody knows better than a midwife”, I roll my eyes and move on.
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