MOTHERS-TO-BE will be encouraged to give birth at home as part of a radical shift in NHS policy.
Women will be told that unless there is a high risk of complication they do not need a hospital delivery.
The new draft NHS guidelines, revealed today, say first-time mothers are just as safe having their baby in a small midwife-led unit as on the labour ward.
Currently, 94 per cent of the 730,000 women who go into labour in England and Wales each year give birth in hospital.
Only 2.5 per cent give birth at home with the remainder going to midwife-run centres.
Most women say they prefer to be in hospital to give birth in case anything goes wrong.