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Women must deliver in hospitals only

An unidentified expecting mother at Harare Central Hospital (right) has to make do on the floor due to shortage of beds in the maternity wing

THE ever-rising infant mortality rate is being fuelled by home births. My advice to all expectant women is that, not all pregnancy cases are meant to be delivered through natural methods. There are a lot of complicated cases. Choosing between a home and hospital delivery is all about the safety, benefits and risks for women and their babies.

By Tambudzai Dembe, Our Reader

Some religions and cultures prefer medicine-free births to hospital-based deliveries. Although with the help of a midwife at home, there is less risk of infections for both mother and baby, it is safest labouring in a hospital, if any medical complications arise during labour because emergency personnel and equipment are readily available.

If women make correct decisions right from the beginning to give birth in hospitals, it will avoid the last-hour rush to a hospital (from home to the hospital) in case a medical problem arises.
Hospitals are the only option available in the event a caesarean section is necessary. In addition, immediate paediatric attention is available should the new-born need medical attention.

The baby does not need to be taken off site to be routinely examined by a paediatrician. Hospitals have round-the-clock help for the mother and baby.


The disadvantages outweigh the advantages as this is an issue involving health, life and/or death.