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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
birth place

The Explainer x Noteworthy: Will home births ever be the norm in Ireland?

Editor Maria Delaney and researcher Soma Gregory tell Susan Daly about the many obstacles facing women who would prefer this option.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 20th 2023, 12:45 PM

Design for BIRTH PLACE project - Newborn baby being supported by two sets of hands.

“I FELT LIKE there were roadblocks everywhere I turned.”

That is how Orla Harrington, mother of two from Co Louth, felt when she explored the option of a home birth for her first pregnancy.

In its latest in-depth series, Noteworthy‘s editor Maria Delaney finds women are still battling for maternity care choice in many parts of Ireland. Our BIRTH PLACE investigation reveals inconsistent care and lack of choice is leading to trauma and unnecessary medical interventions.

Interest in giving birth at home has grown in popularity in recent years but the challenges faced by women who would prefer this option are many. Despite this, less than 1% – of women avail of the HSE Home Birth Scheme each year.

This week, in an episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, we ask why that is the case and whether it is set to change any time soon.

Trinity College Dublin researcher Soma Gregory joins the podcast. She recently examined the experiences of people who had both home and hospital births. 

Presenter Susan Daly also chats with Delaney about her investigation’s findings. 

The Explainer / SoundCloud


This episode was put together by Maria Delaney, Susan Daly and producer Laura Byrne.

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