Home birth tragedy
Outspoken advocate for home birth dies after birthing complications.
In a tragic turn of events, an outspoken advocate for home births died as a result of complications experienced while she was giving birth at home, according to the Daily Mail.

Campaigner Caroline Lovell, 36, went into cardiac arrest while giving birth to her second daughter, Zahra, at her home.

She was taken to hospital but died the next day, January 23. Her daughter survived.

“State funding, please!”

Lovell had been passionately lobbying for increased state support for home births, including funding, legal protection and midwifery support from government, particularly for low-risk births.

Statistics are indicating that, in developed countries, home births are becoming increasingly popular: In the UK, for example, home births rose by 54% between 200 and 2008.

The Midwives in Private Practice group said it was the first time they had heard of a mother’s death following a home birth. A spokesman said: ‘It’s very,  very rare.’

Risks associated with home birth include foetal distress, cord prolapse, haemorrhage and high blood pressure, according to the American Pregnancy Association, although these are risks attendant to hospital delivery, too.

Some countries, including Ms. Lovell’s Australia, discourage expectant mothers from home births, requiring them to use expensive private midwives.

South Africa does not currently provide state-funded midwives or support for home births.

Should South Africa consider state funding for home births as an alternative to hospital-based delivery?

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