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App developed on where to give birth

29th January 2013

The National Health Foundation has selected Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust to develop an app to enable women to decide where they want to have their babies.

pregnancy

The Foundation will pay £75,000 for the development of the app and it will be tested over the next 15 months, with a national rollout if it does well.

The Birthplace Study, published in the winter of 2011, found birthing centres and home births were equally safe for a woman with a "low risk" pregnancy.

The study, by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, made comparisons between 65,000 low risk births at homes, midwife-led units and in hospitals.

It found midwife-led care had a higher chance of resulting in an intervention-free birth, but first time births were more risky when a baby was delivered at home.

Second births had the same risk whether a woman delivered her baby at home, in a midwife unit or in hospital. 

Gill Walton, head of midwifery in Portsmouth, said: "If you have a baby in a labour ward, you are more likely to have an intervention like a forceps delivery or caesarean. Birth can be kept a lot more normal in a birthing centre or at home." 

The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, found complications (including stillbirth) were 9.3 per 1,000 for a home birth, compared to 5.3 per 1,000 in hospital. 

 

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