Brocklehurst P, Hardy P Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2011; 343

Ledger S, Hindle G, Smith T. Mind the Gap: An Investigation into Maternity Training for Frontline Professionals Across the UK (2017/18): Balsall Common: Baby Lifeline. 2018;

Choosing place of birth: resource for midwives [CG190].London: NICE; 2014

Better Births: Improving Outcomes of Maternity Services in England.London: NHS England; 2016

NHS. Where to give birth: the options. 2018. (accessed 8 July 2019)

Safer maternity care: addressing variation in community midwifery

02 August 2019
Volume 27 · Issue 8


As part of its aims, the mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline provides training for health professionals attending births in the community, ensuring they have all the equipment they need

Every woman and baby deserves the safest birth experience possible, no matter the place of birth. This means ensuring that all professionals have the equipment and training to feel confident, competent and valued. Nowhere is this truer than in the community.

Overall, 1 in 50 women in England and Wales will give birth at home (NHS, 2018). Births in the community are gaining more attention as a better option for some low-risk women (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011; National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, 2014; National Maternity Review, 2016).

For nulliparous women planning to give birth at home, there is an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes (9.3 per 1000, compared with 5.3 per 1000 in an obstetric unit) (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011). Nearly half of nulliparous women giving birth at home (45%), and over 1 in 10 multiparous women (12%) are transferred to the obstetric unit (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011). Training with ambulance practitioners is vital to optimum transfer and outcomes.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month