A new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that first time mothers who opt for home birth are nearly three times more likely to suffer from a medical complication or die.
The research was done as part of the Birthplace in England study conducted by researchers from Oxford University who analyzed data of more than 65,000 women who opted to give birth either at home, in obstetric units or at a midwife-led unit.
The researchers found that those who opted to give birth at home were 2.8 times more likely to die or suffer from a major medical complication compared to those who gave birth in obstetric clinics. However these were no such risks for home births for second of third babies, the research said.
Commenting on the study, lead researcher Professor Peter Brocklehurst said, "These results should reassure pregnant women planning their birth that they can make informed decisions about where they'd most like the birth to happen, knowing that giving birth in England is generally very safe. There is an increase in risk for first-time mums planning home births, but poor outcomes for the baby are still uncommon."