Media scaremongering surrounding home birth.

A truly awful piece in the news this week about a lady who passed away following a disastrous labour. My heart goes out to the family and children of this poor mother.

I can’t help but notice the constant negative publicity surrounding the home birth. The headlines in various newspapers read “mother brainwashed over home birth”, “mother dies as result of home birth”.

It seems that barely a week goes by without the British media using scare tactics and misleading headlines when referring to these cases. Let’s be very clear, that this lady died as a result of a privately-hired midwife not caring for her correctly. She should never have been put forward for a home birth due to her complicated obstetric history. She died because the midwife did not use sufficient care in her 3rd stage of labour, leaving the placenta partly in place thus causing the fatal bleed. It was the action of the reckless midwife which caused this, not a home birth.

The media are seemingly very anti home birth and will use inaccurate headlines at the drop of a hat, thus scaring people away from what can be a great experience for low-risk women. If I were an NHS midwife carrying out home labours, I would be so disheartened to constantly have this negative portrayal.

There are some brilliant midwives out there, excellent community care, allowing low-risk women to labour at home with super back up. Thus leaving those with more complicated histories access to the best of the obstetricians and hospital care.

As I’ve said before, this is all about choice and we should be accurately informed and educated, not bombarded with such mistakes in the media.

Let’s not confuse the dreadful actions of one reckless midwife to overshadow the great work of the competent home birthing service provided by both the NHS and independent midwives. It’s time that the media stopped this scaremongering and gave us the facts.