The Birthplace economic evaluation compared the costs to the NHS of care
planned in each of the four different settings. On average, costs per birth were highest for planned obstetric unit births
and lowest for planned home births. Average costs were as follows:

• £1631 for a planned birth in an obstetric unit

• £1461 for a planned birth in an alongside midwifery unit (AMU)

• £1435 for a planned birth in a freestanding midwifery unit (FMU)

• £1067 for a planned home birth.

These figures include all NHS costs associated with the birth
itself – for example
midwifery care during labour and
immediately after the birth, the cost of any medical

care and procedures needed in hospital, and the cost of
any stay in hospital,
midwifery unit, or neonatal unit
immediately after the birth either by the mother or

the baby. The costs for planned home and midwifery
unit births take account of
interventions and treatment
that a woman may receive if she is transferred into

hospital during labour or after the birth. The costs do
not include any longer term costs of care.

Source: Birthplace Research programme – Background Q&A