Homebirths to start up again as UK COVID-19 lockdown measures ease

on 23 June 2020

Pregnant women will be able to have a homebirth from the end of July as COVID-19 lockdown measures are eased in the UK.

Homebirths in the UK will look quite different with women having to sign and agreement to ensure they provide a series of safeguards for their midwife.

Most areas suspended homebirths at the beginning of lockdown in March 2020.

In Scotland NHS Lothian the agreement states one birth partner is allowed to be present during the birth, provide a separate changing space for the midwife and if there are two toilets in the home one should be assigned to only the midwife during a home visit.

Speaking to BBC News, Chief Midwife for NHS Lothian Frances McGuire said: “We have been working hard to ensure that we can deliver the safest possible home birth service for mums, their new born babies and our midwives.

“We are confident we now have systems in place and the service will resume on 29 June.”

Originally homebirth services in Lothian were due to resume from 1 June but was delayed due to lack of safety for midwives attending visits.

Pregnant women will need to ensure their midwife has a separate room to be able to change into protective clothing and take breaks.

The homebirth COVID-19 lockdown safety measures have been introduced after a survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) found that midwives felt unsafe attending homebirths during the pandemic.