New figures show that 25 per cent more pregnant women delivered their babies at home with a private midwife last year than in 2009.
The majority of these women were second-time mums who were dissatisfied with the experience they had received first-time round on the NHS.
Over 1,000 expectant mothers used independent midwives, who charge between £1,800 and £4,000 for their services. And heathcare groups say it is not just the the middle classes who are splashing out, claiming that low-income families are actually saving in order to pay for a private birth.
Parents are also using doulas to assist at the birth - the Sunday Mirror claims that figures they have obtained show that last year 2,000 women paid up to £500 for a doula to support them during labour.
Did you pay for a private midwife or hire a doula after a negative experience with the NHS? What are your thoughts on independent midwives?