Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has one of the UK’s busiest maternity units with around 10,000 babies born each year.
In 2018, 205 babies were born at home and the city’s homebirth team has ambitions to increase that to over 300 this year. So far this year 57 babies have been born at home.
The Trust’s Homebirth team recently got together to celebrate as part of International Homebirth Day.
The special afternoon tea was a chance for mums, families and midwives to get together and share their experiences.
Following the globally celebrated International Day of the Midwife in May, International Homebirth Day aims to educate people about homebirth as a birthing option for women and to celebrate the benefits of it.
Naomi Robinson, Homebirth Team Leader at LTHT said: “It’s really important that we take every opportunity to celebrate homebirths and the benefits that they can bring.
“Having your baby at home means you are more likely to have met the midwife who cares for you in labour at an appointment through your pregnancy.
“There are also no restrictions on family and friends being present in your home to support you which means a lot to mums-to-be who often want their family and friends to share in the experience.
“It is important that women have a choice regarding their place of birth.
“In Leeds we have a dedicated team of experienced homebirth midwives who are able to provide care during labour and birth at home - something mums-to-be may not have considered.
“Our celebratory event was a great chance for women who have had homebirths to get together and share their experiences.”
In Leeds, the majority of mums-to-be choose to have their babies in hospital with just a small number opting for a homebirth.
However, research suggests that having your baby at home can increase the chances of having a normal birth and reduce the risks of intervention in birth, such as caesarean section, assisted delivery, episiotomy and the need for medicinal pain relief.
Feedback from mums who have chosen a homebirth includes: “Thank you for all your care. The homebirth was a really lovely experience for our family…calm, relaxed, peaceful…just perfect. We could not have wished for anything more.”
Find out more infomation about home births at: https://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/a-z-of-services/leeds-maternity-care/what-we-do/care-during-your-birth/having-your-baby-at-home/