Australian obstetricians say new study showing home birth risks a warning to mothers-to-be and midwives

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Link

Australia’s peak group of specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists today urged midwives and pregnant women to heed the findings of a new Australian study that shows planned home births have a sevenfold higher risk of a baby dying during delivery and a 27-fold higher risk of a baby dying from asphyxia (lack of oxygen) than planned hospital births.

... The findings also support the Federal Government’s decision not to provide indemnity insurance and Medicare funding to midwives attending home births.

“A strong collaborative model of patient care with specialist doctors and midwives working together will ensure the safest outcome for Australian mothers and babies ... " ...

“One baby dying in labour is too many and this study confirms just how great the risk of having a birth outside a clinical setting can be ...

Actually, the study shows how safe low-risk, midwife-attended home birth is. It also shows that high-risk home birth is inadvisable. It is not about being in hospital or at home; indeed home is safer in terms of fewer interventions and lower mortality and morbidity rates. It is about appopriate risk assessment and management, and having midwives who are networked into the hospital so that they can transfer in during the pregnancy or labour and still continue care of their client.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448