Case study: "I had to do a lot of fighting to get backing"

DAISY Dinwoodie agrees that home births often fall foul of "sensationalist" reporting in the media which leave prospective parents with an array of misconceptions.

After giving birth to her first born, Labhan, by Caesarean-section, the 39-year-old had a home birth with her second.

The attempt to convince the medical profession, she recalled, was not straightforward at first. "I had to do a lot of fighting with maternity services to get the backing," she said.

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In the end, however, the birth of her son, Zain, now four, was a "perfectly lovely" experience which was "straightforward".

The birth of Zain at her Edinburgh home was attended by three other people, Mrs Dinwoodie's husband, a midwife, and a close friend. "They did the perfect job in that they did nothing," she said. "They were part of the wallpaper really and just let us get on with it because all was well."

The experience led Mrs Dinwoodie to help co-ordinate a home-birth support group in the capital for pregnant women and their partners seeking answers. Those who attend, she explained, often arrive with certain fears which have been passed down by health professionals.

"Many are told their BMI is too high, or they're high-risk because of a condition in their last pregnancy - all kinds of absurd reasons to put them off."