A recent study has revealed that over 95 of women do not have the choice of a home birth with a midwife, a local midwifery facility and an obstetric unit in a hospital. 89 of women live in an area that doesn't offer reasonable access to a birth centre and an obstetric ward in hospital. There also appears to be a lack of information available to women on the choices available to them.
Our own Editor, Katie Lee, also encountered issues with choice as you can see in her post The trials of having a home birth. Katie's story showed that even the GPs are somewhat lacking in information when it comes to choosing the best location for you.
The purpose of the report was to see if the government had followed through on their promise that all women would have a varied choice of options by the end of 2009, in line with their Maternity Matters policy. Looks like they'll be a lot more work to go to get anywhere near that!
Offering more options could actually save costs, as most women have to use obstetric wards which are the most expensive option.
What have your experiences been of birthing choices? Did you have all three options?