About 20% of women are interested in having a home birth, but home birth rates vary enormously across the country - from 20% in Devon to less than 1% in Northern Ireland.
You need no special facilities for a home birth. A telephone, a warm house, with access to a bathroom, and warm water are all that's needed. The midwife will usually visit your home to familiarise herself with the location and facilities. She will drop off a delivery pack towards the end of your pregnancy, or bring it with her.
At home, you are very much on your own territory and you may feel more in control of certain decisions, for example, what position to use during labour, whether to eat, or whether to have a vaginal examination.
"We planned a second home birth without hesitation," says Sarah Clarke, mother of Anna and Abigail, "as our first experience had been so relaxed and stress-free. Abigail's birth was a wonderful experience - I even enjoyed it!"