BRAIN: The Benefits of Homebirth

Research over the last two decades has found that planned home birth is at least as safe as hospital for healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies, it is also associated with good outcomes for birthing parent and babies

Clients choosing home birth are half as likely to have a caesarean section, half as likely to have an assisted delivery and have a lower risk of haemorrhage and infection, perception of pain is reduced, and babies born at home are less likely to need resuscitation

Overall studies have shown that clients who give birth at home feel more in control of their labour and feel it was a positive, empowering experience. They enter parenthood with increased self esteem and have an overwhelming preference for planning home birth again for future pregnancies.

In their recent systematic review, Reitsma et al (2020), explored the outcomes of 500,000 planned homebirths. They Concluded that “Among low-risk women, those intending to birth at home experienced fewer birth interventions and untoward maternal outcomes.”

Further findings from the Lancet (2020) study demonstrated that people with uncomplicated pregnancies planning ​homebirths, when compared with those with similar health backgrounds intending to give birth in hospital were…

40% less likely to have a caesarean birth

50% less likely to have an instrumental birth

70% less likely to have an epidural

55% less likely to have an episiotomy

40% less likely to have a 3rd or 4th degree tear

60% less likely to have their labour augmented (sped up) using an oxytocin drip

The Surrey Hill’s team stats also reflect these findings and in 2019 98% of their clients had vaginal births.

The main hormones that facilitate labour, Oxytocin (the love hormone) and Endorphins (your natural morphine), are produced when you are relaxed, safe and comfortable so the best place to birth is where you feel safe, supported and empowered.

If you are having midwifery led care (low risk), you are an ideal person to consider a homebirth. If you have additional considerations recommending obstetric input in your pregnancy and would like to
explore the option of homebirth, please contact the team for an individualised discussion.

To discuss your birth place options further, including the Benefits, Risks and Alternatives of Homebirth contact the team at

For more information on BRAIN see this post from Royal Surrey Maternity

We need you to help us celebrate 9 years of the Surrey Hills Homebirth Team

Due to social distancing restrictions we won’t be able to host this year’s summer party and reunion. We can’t let the team’s 9th anniversary pass without celebrating in some way so we would like to mark the occasion virtually on our blog and across our other social media platforms.

We had already decided after last year’s Circus Themed: Your Body, Your Baby, Your Show! that this year we would have a superhero “I grow humans, what’s your superpower?”

The theme feels especially apt in the current pandemic. We are all in awe of all of our superhero families, growing, developing, birthing, teaching, learning, and loving each other in these unprecedented times and we would like to celebrate you.

We are going to dedicate the first week in August to celebrating our entire caseload, sharing your birth stories and testimonials and we would like to culminate the week with a slide show of our caseload, past and present, as you are now. From growing bumps to thriving nine-year olds and everyone in between we would love to share images of the caseloads “babies” and their families.

Superhero fancy dress is encouraged but completely optional. Lucy has created a selection of superhero signs that can be printed out and held up in your pictures if you’d like. We’ve left them black and white so feel free to colour and decorate as you like and there is even a blank hero template for you to add your own words of wisdom/superhero pun/memory.

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Congratulations Kirsty!

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kirsty to the role of Homebirth Team Leader

Hello my name is Kirsty and I am excited to take on the role of leading and developing the homebirth team.

I have four children of my own and through my fourth pregnancy I was fortunate enough to receive one-one care with the same midwife from Booking through to Discharge. This made a huge impact on me, and although I had always wanted to become a midwife, this positive, empowering experience gave me the nudge I needed to undertake my training, enabling me to replicate this to those in my care.

Being a member of a case-loading team, providing true continuity of care, enhances the perinatal experience for those we care for, as well as enabling me to support women in the choices they make, empowering them to birth their way. I love building these relationships with women and their families and I am passionate about working within this model of care.

If you would like to learn more about the team and birthing your baby in your own home contact the team at or ask your community midwife for a referral

#HelloMyNameIs #MeetTheTeam #SurreyHillsTeam #SurreyHillsHomebirthTeam #Homebirth #Continuity #Caseloading #Choice #Support

We’re back!

As of 0800 on Monday the 11th of May 2020 the Surrey Hills Homebirth team has been reinstated!

Due to the additional measures we have had to put in place to protect our team and our caseload we regret that we have had to cap the number of clients we are able to care for and we cannot accept late transfers in to the team.

We are accepting new clients with due dates from August 2020 onwards (please note very limited spaces available in August).

If you are booked with the Royal Surrey Hospital and would like to learn more about birthing with the team get in touch via our contact form or ask your community Midwife to refer you.


“…My care from the home birth team came quite late into the pregnancy as we had moved to the area when I was 33 weeks, but instantly the team made you feel very welcome. The opportunity to meet you all has made such a huge difference to my mindset and knowing I had the support of you all made me feel at complete ease. It has been first class, you are a fantastic group of women who have turned my experience of birth into such a positive one. You have supported my decisions and fulfilled me with absolute confidence and calmness, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.”

Surrey Hills Client May 2020

Homebirth Team Suspension

For the attention of all women currently booked for care with Surrey Hills Homebirth team.

In light of the current Global pandemic Covid 19 and national guidance from NHS England, it is with deepest regret that I have taken the decision to temporarily suspend our ability to offer women the choice to birth at home.

This decision has never been taken in the nine years that the Surrey Hills Homebirth team has been operational and clearly demonstrates the unprecedented events we are currently living through.

This decision has been taken with careful consideration of all options and potential risks to mothers and their babies. Two key considerations that affected this decision were;

• Support for the ambulance service to ensure that all of their resources can be directed to those most in need at this time

• Our ability to maintain safe midwifery staffing, which may not be possible within the smaller homebirth team if a midwife needs to self-isolate

I understand that this will be a great disappointment for you.  Please be assured that a safe birth for you and your baby is at the centre of every decision made throughout this period of readjustment of the maternity service.

All antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be provided by your midwives from the Surrey Hills team and they will be contacting you all by phone to make arrangements for this. It is possible that they will also be able to support your birth within the maternity unit. We are following all national guidance and can assure you that giving birth within the maternity unit is a very safe option.

If you have any questions, please contact your midwife in the first instance who will refer to myself or a member of the senior midwifery team for further guidance if required. Please be advised that this suspension is in place with immediate effect, and will be reviewed when the national lock-down restrictions, freedom of movement and normal staffing levels are restored.

Please accept my sincere apologies for this course of events.

Yours Sincerely,

Amy Stubbs

Deputy Director of Midwifery & Divisional Head of Nursing, Women & Children

Meet the home birth team in February

We will be hosting our first ever forum in Cranleigh thanks to the lovely people at Little Harriers Nursery who have kindly loaned us use if their venue for free.

Little Harriers Nursery

Building 139 Dunsfold Park,



The forums, held throughout the catchment,  are a fantastic opportunity to meet the team and local home birthing families. They provide a relaxed, informal setting in which to explore your birth place choices and share #PositiveBirth experiences.

All of our forums are held 09:30-11:30 as drop in sessions, so there’s no need to book and you can say for as long as suits you. Partners and children welcomed.

Other dates and venues scheduled, see our Forums page for details