Home births and hospital births equally safe, says large international study
A new large scale study has confirmed what many midwives and mothers instinctively knew – it’s really NOT safer giving birth in a hospital than at home if you had a low-risk pregnancy so far. This is bound to reassure the growing number of low-risk pregnant women living in countries with reasonably good access to healthcare who want to deliver their babies at home.
[News Medical, 8/8/19] The research was designed to answer one question: Do women who, at the start of labor, plan to give birth at home (irrespective of whether they fit local criteria for home births), have more stillbirths and early infancy deaths compared to low-risk women who choose, when labor starts, to give birth in hospital?”
The study was led by Eileen Hutton at McMaster University, and looked at the risk of death to the baby both during childbirth and in the first four weeks of life. The results showed no statistically significant difference in risk between planned home or hospital deliveries.
This is the very first study in this field to use an accepted, published and peer-reviewed protocol. It is also the largest meta-analysis on this topic to date, and covers the greatest number of factors that could affect the outcome.
The current study made use of data on about 500,000 births which were planned to occur at home
, and compared this with the outcomes on the same number of births which were planned to take place in hospital. This information was collated from 17 studies dating from 1990 onwards, which compared neonatal outcomes from home and hospital births. The countries from which the data originated include the US, Canada, Sweden, England, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The group of women who intended to have home births was compared with a similar number of women with as closely matching characteristics as possible and with care providers who also matched as much as possible.
Before the analysis began, women who planned birth at home were categorized as those who met the local criteria for home births and those who did not. The degree to which local healthcare support was available for home births was also taken into account, to examine the hypothesis that this would affect the outcome in relation to the place of birth……
Read the Full Article at: News Medical
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Jaelin Stickels, CNM, WHNP
Owner, SHEis.com & Holistic Heritage, Spring, TX