Women in the driving seat: birth centre insights
- Publisher: The Practising Midwife
Birth centres seek to promote\ud physiological childbirth by\ud recognising, respecting and\ud safeguarding normal birth processes.This\ud philosophy enableswomen and their\ud families to experience a positive start to\ud parenthood (Kirkham2003a).Midwives are\ud also able to practise ‘realmidwifery’\ud (Kirkham2003b: 14). Indeed,when there is\ud no risk tomother or baby, themother should\ud be the personwho decideswhere her birth\ud will take place (DoH2004).Astructured\ud reviewof birth centres carried out byWalsh\ud and Downe (2004) found that five studies\ud reported benefits towomen choosing to\ud birth their babies in freestanding birth\ud centres.There is alsowell-documented\ud evidence that home births andmidwife-led\ud care are safe options forwomen (Tew1998,\ud Walsh 2000, van derHulst et al 2004).
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