Mum allowed to go ahead with home birth after all

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A BERWICK woman has been reassured she will be able to go ahead with a home birth even if the town’s maternity unit stays closed.

Health bosses had previously said that no home births could take place. Bit Lizzie Bell claims it is her legal right to give birth at home.

She has had three of her four children at the Berwick Maternity Unit, and was planning on having her fifth there too. But with the unit’s temporary closure her plans have changed.

Lizzie said: “I think it’s absurd that I should go 50 miles away when all of my pregnancies have been low risk.

“So I will be having it at home, and although there have been some people in the authorities who have said that’s not going to be able to happen, I think that by law they have to provide midwives and doctors, because it’s the woman’s decision, whatever her circumstances.”

Women in Berwick were told by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust that the closure of the maternity unit meant they would not be able to give birth at home. But David Evens, medical director at the trust, has said that in this case there can be some flexibility.

Mr Evans explained: “At that time there were no women booked in the time of the review to have a home delivery.

“Our review will be concluded at the end of October and then any future decisions will be done in conjunction with our commissioners, the primary care trust.

“In the meantime our patient can discuss with her midwife the options for her. We do have other community midwifery teams around the trust and if the need arises we would be able to provide that service.”