Home birth complications ‘less common’ than hospital
Planned home births are less risky than planned hospital births, particularly for second-time mothers, says research in the British Medical Journal.
A large Dutch study found the risk of severe complications to be one in 1,000 for home births and 2.3 in 1,000 for hospital births.
The Royal College of Midwives said the study was further evidence of the safety and benefits of home birth. Whilst Obstetricians warn that the system in the Netherlands is different to the UK.
For low-risk women having their first baby at home, the study calculated their risk of being admitted to intensive care or needing a large blood transfusion to be small – and similar to women giving birth in hospital.
This was 2.3 per 1,000 for home births, compared with 3.1 per 1,000 for planned hospital births.
But in women who had given birth before, severe complications were found to be less common during planned home births.
The researchers, including midwives and obstetricians from universities in Amsterdam, Leiden and Nijmegen, said those figures were “statistically significant”.
In this group of women, the risk of severe blood loss after delivery (also known as postpartum haemorrhage) was 19.6 per 1,000 for a planned home birth compared with 37.6 per 1,000 for planned hospital births.
“We should be aiming to see home births at the levels of the 1960s when a third of women had their babies in their homes” said Cathy Warwick of The Royal College of Midwives Continue reading