In Ireland today 0.2% of births occur at home. This rate is slightly lower than the home birth rate in the United States of America (0.7%), much lower than England (2.2%) and Wales (3.1%)and significantly lower than the Netherlands where almost one quarter of births are reported to be in the home. The HSE provides planned home birth services to families choosing this model of maternity care predominantly in association with Self Employed Community Midwives (SECMs), along with three hospital-based services in Cork University Maternity Hospital, Waterford Regional Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin.
The Planned Home Births in Ireland Annual Report 2014 report published by the Health Service Executive in collaboration with the National Perintal Epidemiology Centre is to present an overview and national statistics on the home births service provided by SECMs in the Republic of Ireland for the year 2014. The report audits the home birth service by examining both the maternal and fetal outcomes of planned home births, including outcomes whereby the care of the woman is transferred for hospital care antenatally, during labour or postnatally.