The Seimas of Lithuania is starting discussions on legalizing home births.
© Vida Press

On Thursday, the parliament gave its initial backing to amendments initiated by the Ministry of Health and they will now go to the parliamentary Committee on Health Affairs for further consideration.

The amendments will allow nurses and obstetricians to deliver babies at home if there's no threat to the health of the baby and mother. In the cases of risky births, the birth will have to take place in hospital.

The Ministry of Health says this area has not been properly regulated so far and those opting for home birth have promoted "illegal activities".

Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga says the key goal is to stipulate all possible measures to ensure the safety of newborns and mothers.

Midwives came to the attention of the law enforcement in Lithuania after a newborn died following a home birth in Vilnius County in June, 2011.

BNS
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