BSUH among the best in the country for homebirths
BSUH has one of the best homebirth rates in the country thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Midwifery Team.
A recent homebirth rate for women living in the Royal Sussex County Hospital area was 9.1%, which is almost four times the national rate of 2.3%. The rate for those living in the Princess Royal Hospital area was also better than the rest of the country at 2.8%, giving the Trust and overall homebirth rate of 6.4%.
The Community Midwifery Team has worked hard to give women the opportunity to give birth in the privacy and comfort of their own homes with their chosen loved-ones. Last year they assisted with 232 homebirths. Giving birth at home has been shown to increase maternal satisfaction, which can help with labour and recovery after birth.
Community Midwifery Manager Marion Wilyman, who has worked for the Trust for 27 years, said: “This is great news for all low risk women who receive their care at BSUH. I am extremely proud of the community midwives as without their commitment and expertise this would not be possible. We currently employ 78 community midwives, 12 maternity support workers and three team leaders who manage to cover an area of approximately 500 square miles. In the future the plan is to provide more women with a choice to deliver at home or in a midwifery led unit.”
Nationally the rate of homebirths has remained the same in the last few years at just over 2%. In 1960, the percentage of women giving birth at home was 33%, but this fell to a record low between 1985 and 1988 when only 0.9% of women gave birth at home.
Research shows that giving birth in a midwife led unit or at home is generally safe for women who are experiencing a normal pregnancy or those who have given birth before. There are robust systems in place to transfer mothers and babies quickly and safely to an obstetric unit if necessary and it is important that expectant mums discuss a plan of care with her midwife before the birth.