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Home births in mid-west suspended after woman dies in Limerick

It's understood around 43 women were due to give birth at home in the region

Eilish O'Regan

Home births in the mid-west have been suspended following the death of a woman giving birth at home in Limerick, it was confirmed today.

The woman died on June 5 and a review is underway.

A spokeswoman for University Hospital Limerick said today: ”We can confirm that we have temporarily suspended the home birth service in the Mid-West following a recent maternal death.

"The staff of UL Hospitals Group and of the home birth service would like to extend profound sympathies to the family involved on their devastating loss.

“We have commissioned an external review of the home birth service in the Mid-West. A group of external experts, including those with midwifery and obstetrics expertise, is being assembled to conduct the review; looking at patient safety, clinical governance and any other issues arising.

“We have made contact with the small number of women in the region who were due to have home births in the coming months in relation to continuing their care.“

It is understood the suspension will affect around 43 women who were due a home birth in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

The HSE offers a home birth service to women free of charge.

It says that research shows that a planned home birth is an acceptable and safe alternative to a planning hospital birth for some pregnant women.

The service is available under the care of a self-employed community midwife.

There was an increase in home births during the pandemic due to maternity hospital restrictions.

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