An international study has suggested that while home births allow women to recover quickly from the ordeal of childbirth, the risk for newborns is high.
The study was an analysis of 500,000 births in North America and Europe. It found that newborns who were born at home were at a higher risk of dying than those born in hospitals.
The risk was still very lost at 0.2%. Doctors feel that more evidence is needed to prove that home births are risky. The researchers said the increase in neonatal mortality was startling because the risk increased by threefold if congenital abnormalities were excluded.
Dr Joseph Wax from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maine Medical Center, said that women who plan home births are largely those who have already given birth, "Of significant concern, these apparent benefits are associated with a doubling of the neonatal mortality rate overall and a near tripling among infants born without congenital defects," he added.
The details of the study appear in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.