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Labour + birth

22nd Sep 2022

Calls to scrap new home birth restrictions in Ireland

Kat O'Connor

People claimed there is no research to back up the restrictions.

There have been calls to scrap new home birth restrictions in Ireland.

The HSE has stopped people from giving birth no further than 30 minutes from a maternity hospital.

Campaigners have slated the HSE Home Birth Scheme because there is no “research” to back up that “women are at a greater risk outside this parameter”.

Thousands have signed a petition to remove the restrictions.

“Placing a restriction on homebirth, by limiting its availability to those who live less than 30 minutes from a maternity hospital, denies more than 20% of expectant mothers the right to this choice.

Campaigners believe that pregnant people have a right to choose where they give birth.

They’re also concerned that the restrictions will lead to an increase in free births.

A free birth is when a person gives birth without a professional midwife present.

Krysia Lynch, Chair of AIMS told Newstalk that there is no evidence to support the restrictions.

Lynch said she has searched extensively for evidence, but there is none.

“I trawled through all the research I could find, looking at the Lancet, and medical journals and I couldn’t find one scrap of evidence to show that 30 minutes is that cut-off point.”