Outcomes of planned home birth with a registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

More research to prove the safety of low risk home birth. It's interesting to note that VBACs are included in this home birth study as low risk. For the record, there were 2 uterine ruptures, both in the hospital-doctor-attended births. The rate of rupture was therefore 0.0154%. Much lower than the oft-quoted 0.7%. The midwives must be doing something right!

Giving birth at home with a midwife present is as safe as a hospital delivery accompanied by a doctor, suggests a new Canadian study ...

Actually, they got that bit wrong. Midwife-attended home birth was not found to be as safe as doctor-attended hospital birth: it was found to be the safest. The safest way for a low risk woman to birth is at home with a midwife, then in hospital with a midwife, and the most dangerous way to birth, according to the study, was with an obstetrician in hospital.

The study ... analysed nearly 2,900 planned home births in British Columbia that were attended by regulated midwives, more than 4,700 planned hospital births attended by the same midwives and more than 5,300 hospital births attended by physicians.

The research found that women who had a planned home birth had a lower risk of having to undergo obstetric interventions such as electronic fetal monitoring, epidural, assisted vaginal delivery and caesarean section, and adverse outcomes such as hemorrhage and infection.

The babies born at home were also less likely to suffer birth trauma, require resuscitation at birth and less likely to have meconium aspiration, where they inhale a mixture of their feces and amniotic fluid.

The perinatal death rate per 1,000 births was also low across all three groups.

But it was lowest amongst the midwife-attended home births.

"The decision to plan a birth attended by a registered midwife at home versus in hospital was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death," the authors said. "Women who planned a home birth were at reduced risk of all obstetric interventions assessed and were at similar or reduced risk of adverse maternal outcomes compared with women who planned to give birth in hospital accompanied by a midwife or physician."

The findings add to the ongoing debate about the safety of home births. According to the study, research from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand has not found a link between planned home births and an increased risk of complications ...

This research adds to the growing body of research that is no longer suggesting - but proving - that low risk home birth is safe. I think we can mount a strong case that the Australian Government is now putting women at risk by failing to indemnify midwives for home births after 2010.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448