Up to 76 per cent of pregnant women in some regions of the UK are not even being given the option of a home birth, and a similar proportion is not offered NHS antenatal classes.
The shocking state of pregnancy care in the UK - which often goes against national guidelines - has been revealed in a report from the Healthcare Commission. Astonishingly, the report says that 89 per cent of women said their care was excellent, very good or good.
Overall, more than four women in 10 in the UK are not even given the choice of having their baby at home, which goes against 'best practice' guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The picture doesn't improve when women are giving birth. Around 26 per cent of the 26,000 women who responded to the survey said they were left alone during labour, or shortly after they gave birth.
(Source: 'Women's Experiences of Maternity Services in the NHS in England', www.healthcarecommission.org.uk)