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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
'I felt I was in charge at home'
Jolie Williams
Jolie Williams has three children, two of whom she gave birth to at home
Women should be able to choose whether they give birth at home, in hospital or in midwife-led units, experts say.

Only 3% of births are at home currently, but the new guidance could change that.

Jolie Williams was left unimpressed with the care she received during the birth of her first child.

The 37-year-old, from Thames Ditton in Surrey, gave birth to Max at a local hospital in 1994.

"I arrived at hospital, but then realised I was only in the early part of labour but I was not allowed to go home.

"I was strapped up to monitors, there were strangers walking in and out and I felt totally out of control.

I would say to other women, that unless there are complications, you should really think about it
Jolie Williams

"A lot of decisions were made that were not my decisions. I was kept on the bed and did not feel I had much freedom."

When she fell pregnant again with Lola, now 19 months old, she decided the labour would be very different. She choose to have a home birth.

"The care was so much better. I had a midwife who had provided all my ante-natal care and was then there at the birth.

"It was all so much more relaxed. Just being in your own home helps, I was able to walk round the garden, sit and relax.

Relationship

"I was not constrained like I was at hospital. I felt I was in charge.

"And the midwife then carried out the after care. You develop a relationship when you are seen by the same person and that is beneficial."

Ms Williams again opted for a home birth when she had Ferdie in May and believes more women should consider having their labours out of hospital.

"Of course, it will not be for everyone, but the problem is women just are not told about it.

"I think when they have their ante-natal appointments, women should be given information about all the options.

"I know one of the problems is that there is not always enough midwives to do the home birth, but hopefully that will change.

"I would say to other women, that unless there are complications, you should really think about it. It was the right thing for me."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
A mother talks of her child-birth experiences



SEE ALSO
Birthing centres to remain closed
15 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
Pregnant midwives shut baby units
21 Jun 05 |  Hampshire

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