It will probably come as no surprise to hear that only a small number of women living in Ireland have their babies at home
Figures available from the ESRI, for 2005 show a homebirth rate of just under 1% of all births.
However, this small number does not portray a true picture of the number of women who would like to avail of a homebirth if a service was available to them.
Services in the country are limited in general and notoriously patchy geographically; with areas in the extreme northwest particularly poorly served.
Therefore, the small number of homebirths each year does not accurately reflect the desires of birthing women and couples, nor should it be taken as proof that maternity care offered by the hospitals is always satisfactory (see recent surveys carried out by AIMSI).
Figures from the Home Birth Association's records show that for each woman who gets a planned homebirth there are approximately another ten who would like to have one but who cannot avail of one due to lack of service provision.