Concerns over birthing options as NHS shuts midwife-led centres

Trusts say midwives needed in hospitals, as critics argue women’s right to choose under threat

They are places where birth balls, water pools and attentive midwives help women have their baby in a calm atmosphere without doctors intervening medically in the process of delivery.

But NHS chiefs have sparked controversy by shutting eight birth centres in England, prompting criticism that pregnant women are being denied the choice of place of birth that all have been promised.

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