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RCM: Mothers need to be made aware of available childbirth options

Better awareness of different delivery options could benefit women's birthing plans.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has called for greater awareness of the delivery options available to expectant mums in the UK.

According to Gail Johnson, education and professional development adviser at the RCM, many women are not aware of the various methods of childbirth available to them.

"It's very hard to know what you might want to do when you're in labour, some women want that reassurance of the hospital," she explained.

"But we need to change women's views on birth as well so that they can be reassured that it's safe to be at home … Possibly giving women the choice of where they want to give birth, once they're in labour."

Ms Johnson's comments follow new research carried out in the Netherlands, which showed that planning a home birth does not increase the chances of complications in low-risk pregnancies.

The Office for National Statistics recently reported that home births accounted for 2.7 per cent of all maternities recorded in England and Wales during 2006.

Figures suggest that home births are more common among women aged 30 and over.

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