There has been much speculation in recent days that Meghan Markle will not choose to give give birth at the same hospital used by Kate Middleton, London’s exclusive Lindo Wing.
It had been reported that she was planning to use a hospital nearer her and Harry’s new home in Windsor but there are now reports that she will confirm her reputation as a royal trailblazer and aficionado of alternative ways of doing things by giving birth at home.
Ironically, however, a home birth will also mark a return to a lost tradition as the Queen was born at home, as were all four of her children.
Home birthing has enjoyed a boom in popularity in recent years, as many couples increasingly believe it provides a much less stressful environment in which to welcome a child into the world.
A friend told the Daily Mail that Meghan has sailed through her pregnancy and that home birth “is her favoured choice, but it obviously depends on how things are nearer the time.”
The Mail says Harry and Meghan have definitively ‘ruled out’ the Lindo Wing, saying it felt too much like a “goldfish bowl.”
Although home births only account for around 2.3 per cent of births in England, that number was almost zero a decade ago.
Community midwives are available on the Britain’s free health service for women who opt for home births, but it is likely Meghan will hire a private midwife and dhoula. She has made it clear she does not want the queen’s team of male obstetricians, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, closely involved in the actual birth.
“When it comes to giving birth, every woman has to decide what’s best for her and what’s best for her baby. The Queen’s team will be involved, but it has not been decided how much yet,’ the Mail’s source said.
Statistically, home birth does increase the risk of serious problems for the child–from five in 1,000 for a hospital birth to nine in 1,000 for a home birth.