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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Homebirth rate rises in first six months of 2022

05 August 2022

New figures from the home birthing team show that the rate of homebirths rose in the first six months’ of this year and was more than double the rate of the UK’s.

Between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2022, 24 women gave birth at home. This compares to a total of 38 homebirths for the whole of in 2021.

The figures also show that during the first half of this year:

  • 5.8 per cent of all births were homebirths. This compares to the UK’s homebirth rate of 2.4 per cent
  • 12.7 per cent of the pregnant population in Jersey planned to have a home birth
  • 58 per cent of women who had home births used the birthing pool
  • Almost 60 per cent of women who had homebirths knew one of the midwives caring for them at home prior to their labour commencing
  • Most babies born at home in this six-month period were born in Trinity or St Clement

Catherine Richardson, lead for the community midwifery team, said: “As community midwives, we continue to outperform similar services in the UK and increase our rate from previous years.  

“We can see the demand for homebirths have increased year on year with 10 per cent of all pregnant women in Jersey requesting a homebirth in 2021 and for the first six months of 2022, it is already 12.7 per cent. This suggests that women feel safe and supported in their homebirth planning. 

“The Jersey maternity unit has not only managed to maintain the homebirth service but also grow it to provide women in Jersey with choice in place of birth. Homebirth is a safe and appropriate decision for women and babies, and we know it can decrease the incidence of complications in birth for example, caesarean sections, episiotomy rates, severe perineal trauma and haemorrhage. 

“Jersey has a dedicated team of community midwives who are passionate about supporting homebirth and have advanced neonatal life support and managing emergencies skills.”

The team have been supplied with equipment sponsored by Philips Footprints, a local charity supporting high quality maternity care, and provided by Baby Lifeline, a national charity that supports research and training into improving maternity services. 

Catherine added: “The community midwives have gone above and beyond to keep the service running and actively promote it to women and their families. Overall, the majority of women have achieved a safe home delivery and where transfer to hospital has been required, there have been good outcomes as we work in conjunction with our Hospital colleagues and Ambulance personnel.” 

Jan Auffret, lead midwife in the Maternity Unit, added: “This reflects the high commitment and motivation by the team to deliver a service in extreme circumstances. I would like to say thank you to the community team for their dedication and going above and beyond to ensure we have maintained this service for women and their families in Jersey.”

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