Lithuanian Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga has set up a working group that has until next summer to come up with proposals for putting in place a legal framework for home births.
© Vida Press

According to the minister, an increasing number of women opt to give birth at home and their right to choose must be respected.

"It is necessary to lay down specific rules and conditions, and in doing so, priority must be given to the safety of the mother and the child, as in other European countries," Veryga said in a press release on Friday.

"It must be very clearly defined when it is allowed to give birth outside hospital and what assistance a professional birth attendant may provide to the expectant mother," he said.

Giving birth at home is not prohibited in Lithuania, but no regulation of the practice exists. Thus, it seems as if nobody is responsible for the safety of the mother and the newborn, the minister noted.

In the absence of legal regulation, prosecutors several years ago opened an investigation regarding home births and court proceedings are currently underway.

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