International study finds home births as safe as hospital births
A large international study finds that home births as safe as hospital births and Perinatal or neonatal mortality of labour at home and at a hospital are not significantly different.
Researchers at McMaster University have found that low-risk pregnant women who intend to give birth at home have no increased chance of the baby's perinatal or neonatal death compared to other low-risk women who intend to give birth in a hospital.
The study has been published by The Lancet's EClinicalMedicine journal.
The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses to determine if the risk of fetal or neonatal loss differs among low-risk women who begin labour intending to give birth at home compared to low-risk women intending to give birth in a hospital.
"More women in well-resourced countries are choosing birth at home, but concerns have persisted about their safety," said Eileen Hutton, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at McMaster, founding director of the McMaster Midwifery Research Centre and first author of the paper. "This research clearly demonstrates the risk is no different when the birth is intended to be at home or in the hospital."
The study examined the safety of the place of birth by reporting on the risk of death at the time of birth or within the first four weeks and found no clinically important or statistically different risk between home and hospital groups.
The study, which is the first systematic review and meta-analyses to use a previously published, peer-reviewed protocol for the research, used data from 21 studies published since 1990 comparing home and hospital birth outcomes in Sweden, New Zealand, England, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.S. Outcomes from approximately 500,000 intended home births were compared to similar numbers of births intended to occur in hospital in these eight countries.
"Our research provides much-needed information to policymakers, care providers and women and their families when planning for birth," said Hutton.
For more details click on the link: DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.07.005