Women will be given every encouragement to give birth at home if that is their preferred option.
The Department of Health says it wants to end assumptions that a hospital is always the best place to have a baby.
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has commissioned work into how to make home births more available.
... women with a history of complications will still be urged to give birth in a hospital.
... flawed research from the 1970s which falsely concluded home births were not safe had informed government policy for decades.
... there [is] a well of evidence to suggest that home births were at least as safe as giving birth in hospital.
Patient satisfaction levels were higher for home births, and simply booking a home birth led to a halving of the Caesarean section rate, she said.
It's great news that our government is now supporting low risk home birth and private midwifery care for hospital birth. It's such a huge step forward!