Deery, Ruth, Jones, Pat and Phillips, Mari (2007) Women in the driving seat: birth centre insights. Practising Midwife, 10 (5). pp. 23-27. ISSN 1461-3123

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


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