Professor Philip Steer, Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which published the reserach, said mothers should be informed of the increased risk of opting for a home birth. He said, ''If it if your first pregnancy, then one in four women will develop a problem during labour that was unforseeable. A successful home birth can be great but the tragedy is that it can go wrong.'' However, midwives said home births were generally safe. ''The research is welcome, but it is far from conclusive. Women planning a home birth should not be worried, because, with the proper support and resources in place, a home birth is safe, '' Dame Karlene Davis, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives said.
''What is needed to make home birth even safer are better staffing and resources, such as quick access to ambulance transfers for the very small number of women who develop complications,'' he added.