Not too long ago, a governmental health agency in the United Kingdom updated its childbirth guidelines for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence concluded that these women are safer having their babies at home or under the care of a midwife than at a hospital.
The crux of this change in position, which has come as a surprise to most in the medical community, rests not on poor quality of care in hospitals, but rather the opposite. The high level of intervention common in most hospitals, such as the use of caesarean section, can sometimes introduce potential harm to the mother and child which might not have been present in a lower-intervention setting.
Dr. Neel Shah, a U.S.-based obstetrician who published an article on the development in the New England Journal of Medicine, joined the Monday Buzz to share what this change means for healthcare providers and patients on both sides of the pond.