Welcome to Chichester Home Birth
For thirty years Chichester Home Birth has helped to support home birth with
regular meetings and conferences for parents and professionals.
Mandy Hawke, Barbara Kott, Jane Patten and Gill Thorn are retiring at the end of
If anyone would like to pick our brains before then please get in touch
we'd be happy to help. Just click here
This website will close down on September 30th 2016.
Home birth Ė what does that conjure up for you?
Some Conference 2016 Feedback
- Midwives: 'Passion!'; 'Really well organised and thought out'; 'Brilliant speakers; Midwifery legends'; 'Everything was wonderful'; 'Just what I needed when I was stuck in a rut'; 'Ideas on how I can improve my practice, and the courage to do so'; 'Really enjoyable day'; 'A very inspirational day, reminding me of why I became a midwife'.
- Student Midwives: 'Everyone being on the same page- very motivational'; 'Realistic support and advice'; 'Being able to speak to the guest speakers face to face'.
- Antenatal Teachers: 'A day I will remember for ever'; 'Excellent speakers, fabulous food'; 'Great to meet so many lovely, inspiring people'.
- Doulas: 'The consensus of positive care for women'; 'A sense of unity and hope';
- Parents: 'The speakers were so enthusiastic and inspiring'.
- Is it a relaxed environment and minimal interference in the natural process of birth, or the prospect of needing help that isnít there?
- Do you think of birth as a normal life experience that occasionally throws up a problem, or as a potential medical emergency zone?
For some professionals and some parents, home birth is filled with risk and uncertainty. For others itís an obvious choice Ė why would anyone want to go to hospital when they are not ill? And in between are all those who simply feel unsure.
Both home and hospital births have risks and benefits. Some births do need the special facilities of a hospital, but research shows definitively that for most women it is as safe to give birth at home as it is in hospital.
So itís about feeling comfortable and secure, whatever you choose.
Chichester Home Birth was born in 1986, in response to the distress of a local woman who was told she could only give birth in hospital. We knew it was important to her to be able to give birth at home so we backed her; and she had her home birth.
Shortly after this, a respected statistician, Marjorie Tew, used the UK peri-natal mortality data to demonstrate statistical analysis to her students at Nottingham University. To her surprise, the results showed that for every category of risk it was safer to have a baby at home than in hospital. She published ‘Safer Childbirth’ in 1990. Although its findings ran counter to current beliefs, doctors were unable to fault her rigorous analysis.
Nevertheless, many ignored the evidence and continued to promote hospital birth on safety grounds. One of our members was struck off her doctor’s list simply for requesting a home birth! We challenged the scare tactics and prejudices of the time with accurate information, and she had her home birth.
We are a small group of women who believe that birth is important. Over the years we have held regular events on a voluntary basis to support this choice, starting with coffee mornings and cream teas to offer support and raise funds.
In 1995 we put on a half-day study event. Since then we have contributed to the wider debate around home birth by organizing conferences with internationally recognized speakers to provide information and support for health professionals & parents. We have arranged informal evenings (Find Out About Home Birth), so that anyone thinking about home birth could chat to a midwife and to parents who had chosen this option. In 2010 and 2011 we held public meetings (Home Birth: Dispel the Myths, Discover the Facts), in partnership with our local hospitals.
Over the years many people have helped us. Thank you, everyone, for helping to keep the flame of home birth alive. We’re especially grateful to those who were speakers or lead a discussion group at one or more of our conferences:
Tricia Anderson, Sarah Barton, Beverley Lawrence Beech, Jon Bird, Heather Bower, Ethel Burns, Mary Cronk MBE, Nadine Edwards, Jane Evans, Gillian Fletcher, Anne Fox, Annie Francis, Carole Garrick, Judy Gillion, Dawn Gilkes, Penny Green, Clara Haken, Jill Hutchings, Emily Jackson, Mavis Kirkham, Sheila Kitzinger MBE, Sue Learner, Paul Lewis, Lynne Leyshon, Caroline Miller, Trudy Mills, Jonathan Montgomery, Helen Munday, Liz Nightingale, Mary Nolan, Donna Ockenden, Lesley Page CBE, Heather Parker, Kelly Pierce, Rick Porter, Andrya Prescott, Andrea Robertson, Corinne Simms, Andrew Simons, Irene Smalley, Mary Steen, Jenny Stevens, Kate Walmsley and Cathy Warwick CBE.
The UK home birth rate remains low, but in spite of this women still choose it. Home birth will not be allowed to quietly fade away.
Disclaimer:Chichester Home Birth does not endorse any products or services. The views of those attending meetings or groups are individual and may not always reflect those of Chichester Home Birth.