Childbirth at Home is Safe, Study Says

Apr 15, 2009
A new study revealed that home birth is not riskier than hospital childbirth for women with uncomplicated pregnancy.

The study was conducted in the Netherlands, where according to the recent statistical data, was the highest rate of mortality among babies during or soon after birth. Home birth was long debated as risky option for women. The Netherlands is one of the leading countries, where women choose to give birth at home. However, the study that included 530,000 births showed that death rates or other complications for mothers and babies were not higher for women giving birth at home when compared to women giving birth in hospital.

Professor Simone Buitendijk of the TNO Institute for Applied Scientific Research said that the findings indicate that low-risk women can be encouraged to choose the place where to give birth.

Though, specialists warn that this refers to women with uncomplicated pregnancy. Pregnant women with such complications like baby in breech position, multiple pregnancy or the history of caesarean section should be supervised at hospital. Women, who choose to give birth at home are also advised to ask for professional midwives assistance to be transferred to the hospital in case complications during childbirth.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said home birth can be encouraged only in case of uncomplicated pregnancies and women should be informed about possible emergencies if they choose the home birth.

Many women, who opt for home birth, want to give birth in more comfortable atmosphere to reduce the stress of delivery and avoid unnecessary medical interventions, like episiotomy or cesarean section. However, specialists say that women giving birth at home should realize that complications may arise suddenly and the help of a qualified caregiver and proper arrangements for transfer are necessary in case of home birth.