A rise in demand for woman wanting to give birth in their own homes lead The Royal Hospital for Women to establish an option for them to do exactly that, with the expert support of its midwives and health providers.

Three years and a milestone 100 healthy home births later, the data gathered from ‘Birth Outcomes’ show that births at home are deemed safe for low-risk pregnancies.

The analysis captured the home birth journeys of 130 women from 36 weeks to birth and compared them to 370 women with similar low-risk factors who planned for hospital births.

Donna Garland, General Manager of The Royal Hospital for Women highlighted “that women planning to birth at home had a far higher normal birth rate at 90% compared to 60% to similar women intending to birth in hospital.”

Ms Garland also acknowledged how privileged the teams feel to be part of such a “powerful and life-changing event” and that “Access to birth at home in a supported environment is an important option for many families.”

In the course of the trial period, seven families returned to The Royal’s home birth team to have second babies with their support.

Camille Kennedy and her husband Alex Smallbone had two babies with The Royal’s home birth support – a daughter, Sadie, and a son, Jack, who was the 100th baby born in the three-year period.

What is a low-risk birth?

Simply put, a low-risk birth is influenced by a low-risk pregnancy :

  • Carrying one baby only (not multiples);
  • Baby growing normally (no concerns revealed by tests or scans);
  • Is anterior, or head down (breech or transverse positions may lead to complications);
  • Mum-to-be is healthy.

Where can you get a ‘hospital home birth’?

There are four publicly funded home birth programs in Sydney including The Royal Hospital for Women, Wollongong, Belmont and Westmead Hospitals, which were in high demand during 2021.

The COVID-19 health pandemic saw more families wanting their babies to be born at home and The Royal helped 4,200 families bring their babies into the world during 2021 – the greatest number in the hospital’s 150-year history.

Did you know?
Eighty percent of specialised medical equipment in the NICU at The Royal is funded through donations, while the Perinatal Mental Health program exists because of community funding and donations.

You can support The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation through Delivering Hope – a fundraising Giving Day appeal on Wednesday November 24. All donations will be doubled by matched donors.