Safety of Home Birth

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Safety of Home Birth

Education and Training

The education and training required of Licensed Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives assures high quality, personalized care during pregnancy and birth, for low-risk pregnant clients.

Our years of experience, along with our training, allow us to recognize early signs of conditions that are not normal and refer those clients to appropriate care when needed.

Monitoring

During the birth process we monitor the fetal heart beat, vital signs, and progression of labor.

Research

While less than 2% of pregnant people choose planned out-of-hospital birth in the US, there are many studies comparing the safety of home birth and birth center births to hospital birth. Studies show that planned home or birth center births, for low-risk clients, attended by qualified midwives, are as safe, or safer than, hospital births. Overall, when birthing at home, interventions are reduced and satisfaction is increased.

In March 1997, the journal “Birth” published a Meta-Analysis of the Safety of Home Birth. This analysis looked at the safety of planned home birth (with modern hospital back up), compared to planned hospital birth in the Western world.

The analysis examined six controlled observational studies and the outcomes of 24,092 primarily low-risk pregnant people. The outcomes of the two groups were not significantly different with the home birth group showing fewer severe lacerations, fewer low Apgar scores, and fewer medical interventions.

The meta-analysis concluded that planned home birth, for low-risk pregnancy, is an acceptable alternative to hospital birth and leads to reduced medical interventions.

Safety Studies

  • The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group published a study on planned hospital birth versus planned home birth in September 2012 concluding that:
    – Observational studies of increasingly better quality and in different settings suggest that planned home birth in many places can be as safe as planned hospital birth and with less intervention and fewer complications.
  • A study out of McMaster University in Canada was published in September 2009, in the journal “Birth” comparing outcomes for midwife attended planned home births and midwife attended planned hospital births. That study concluded:
    – All measures of serious maternal morbidity were lower in the planned home birth group as were rates for all interventions including cesarean section (5.2% vs 8.1%).
    – Midwives who were integrated into the health care system with good access to emergency services, consultation, and transfer of care provided care resulting in favorable outcomes for people planning both home or hospital births.
  • In a 2000 study, published in the British Medical Journal, evaluating the safety of home births in North America involving direct entry midwives, found that intervention rates were substantially lower than for low risk US clients having hospital births. The study concluded:
    – Planned low risk home births in North America attended by certified professional midwives were associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.
  • A report released in 2014 by the CDC, finds a continuing increase in the percentage of out-of-hospital births in the US. This study examines out-of-hospital birth trends from 1990 to 2012: “Trends in Out-of-Hospital Births in the United States, 1990-2012”.