When deciding where to have their baby, it is helpful for women to know
about the arrangements for getting extra care if they need it during labour.
Transfers to hospital from planned home births and midwifery units are
relatively frequent, particularly among first-time mothers. Transfers are
one of the reasons why planned home and midwifery unit births are as
safe as they are, enabling additional care to be provided when it is needed.
• For first-time mothers planning care ‘out of hospital’, at least one in three
were transferred to the hospital labour ward during labour or immediately
after the birth, with variation depending on the setting in which they had
planned their care.
Transfer rates from planned:
home birth - 45%,
freestanding midwifery unit - 36%,
alongside midwifery unit - 40%.
• For women who had had a baby before, transfer rates were around 10%,
varying a little depending on where planned:
home birth - 12%,
freestanding midwifery unit - 9%,
alongside midwifery unit - 13%.