Pregnant women who gave birth at home reported to have similar perinatal deaths and pregnancy complications compared to that of women who deliver at hospitals, revealed a new study.
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal
compared 11,493 home births and 11,493 planned hospital births among low-risk women in Ontario over the course of three years to determine the risk for stillbirth, neonatal death, or other serious events. The study was led by Dr. Eileen K. Hutton, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
‘Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions compared with planned hospital birth attended by a physician.’
The study highlights that home deliveries can be recommended for women with low-risk pregnancies. Low-risk refers to women with no risk factors, like maternal alcohol or drug dependency, chronic high blood pressure, diabetes (type 1 and gestational), heart conditions, and HIV.
About 8% of women who had home births, ended up needing emergency services compared to less than 2 percent in the planned hospital group. The incidence of stillbirth or neonatal death was 1.15 per every 1,000 births in the planned home birth group compared with 0.94 per 1,000 in the planned hospital birth group. But, researchers found hospital births results in more labor augmentation, assisted vaginal delivery, and Cesarean section.
"Compared with women who planned to birth in hospital, women who planned to birth at home underwent fewer obstetrical interventions, were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and were more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at three and 10 days after delivery," said researchers.
Researchers said, "It will be interesting to see whether the lower intervention rates that have been consistently observed to date among women who plan home births are sustained."