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Whose birth is it anyway?

I’ve um-ed and ah-ed (mostly to long-suffering Alex) about writing this post. Probably because I know several people who willl heartily disagree with what I’m about to write – and my modus operandi tends to be pro-diplomacy and anti-boat-rocking. But sometimes, I tell myself, it’s good to stick your head above the parapet; also, I’m fascinated to hear your views on the subject of birth; and then this morning I was listening to the Today programme (pretty much the only acceptable accompaniment to the morning), and heard about the revised NICE guidelines – which suggest that first-time mothers with low risk pregnancies have their babies in midwife-led units (rather than consultant-led obstetric units) and for second-time mothers with straightforward pregnancies, a home birth may be just as safe as a birth in the unit. Interesting. And to my ears: slightly alarming (the word ‘may’ rings bells for starters).…