Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 May 2021
An increasing number of parents are choosing to give birth in midwife-led settings such as alongside midwifery units and freestanding midwifery units . These are midwife-led facilities which may be on the same premises as an obstetric unit (alongside [AMU]) or away from an obstetric unit on its own premises (freestanding [FMU]). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)  published guidance for healthcare professionals and parents on the safety of birthing in these units. Evidence has found that it is safer for primiparous women to give birth in either an AMU or an FMU and for multiparous women to give birth at home [3, 4]. This is because women are less likely to need intervention such as the use of forceps or epidural for analgesia than if they give birth in obstetric-led facilities. With the introduction of a government-supported paper, ‘Better Births’ , more emphasis is being put on information and education for parents on birthing in community-based settings to increase home birth rates and the care given in the community (Figure 17.1).