Everyone has a birth story, whether it is one of anguish or one of elation, whether it took place at home with minimal intervention, or in a hospital operating theatre. In this public lecture, one of ten in the 2012 UTSpeaks series, Professor Caroline Homer explores the history of birth and the debate that rages today in regards to the importance of birthplace and practices, women’s rights to choose, and the politics that drive public policy.

Challenging common misconceptions, political rhetoric and misquoted research, Professor Caroline Homer discusses the homebirth/hospital birth divide, how we arrived here, and the fundamental principles of equitable and supportive care. How a compromise could be achieved between midwifery and obstetric care, and countries which have succeeded in doing so, is also discussed. Please enjoy this educational, engaging and thought-provoking lecture.

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Originally published 2003

Updated 20th June 2020