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Largest homebirth study reports on labor and delivery

Lynn Griffith
Largest homebirth study reports on labor and delivery
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The Center for Disease Control reports that home births are on the rise in the United States. (3)  Many families worry about safety and choose hospital births in case of emergency.

Study examine 16,924 midwife-led homebirth that confirm health and safety of mother and baby

A  2014 study that examines nearly 17,000 courses of midwife-led care confirms that among low-risk women, home births result in low rates of interventions without an increase in adverse outcomes for babies and mothers alike.  (4)

The results of the study confirm the safety and positive health benefits for low-risk mother and babies.  The study reports that midwives provide excellent care at every step of the birthing process.  Cesarean rate is 5.2 percent for midwife led homebirths in comparison to 31 percent for the national average in the United States.  (1)

Home birth mothers are shown to avoid unnecessary interventions in labor.  Some interventions may be necessary but studies are showing that many interventions are overused, lack scientific evidence of benefits and carry addition related risks.  Midwives were shown to excel at being cautious and judicious when using interventions and this resulted in healthier outcomes and easier recovery for mothers and babies.  The study reported fewer incidents of episiotomies, Pitocin, and epidurals.   (2)

Ninety-seven percent of homebirth babies were carried full term with only 1 percent of babies transferred to hospital after birth

The most significant results of the study are that 97 percent of babies were carried full-term, weighed an average of eight pounds at birth, 98 percent were being breastfed at the six week visit and only 1 percent of babies were transferred to the hospital after birth. (1)

Previous studies have relied on birth certificate data but this study utilized the MANA Stats dataset, allowing for more information.  This study is important in allowing policy makers to understand the importance of legalizing homebirths in states that have not currently done so.  Overburdened hospital systems are creating higher costs for people, insurance companies and government systems.   (4)

This study was able to utilize data of those who were able to give birth at home as well as those who were transferred to a hospital. (2)  It appears that evidence continues to mount that homebirths for low-risk mothers are cost effective and yield healthy results far beyond the pregnancy.

Sources for this article include:

(1) onlinelibrary.wiley.com
(2) www.cfmidwifery.org
(3) www.cdc.gov
(4) mana.org

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