A study has found that women who give birth at home are less likely to suffer from life-threatening bleeding than those who have their baby in hospital.
It is thought that this is because women birthing in the hospital are more likely to have medications to speed up contractions and caesareans, and that these interventions may be compromising the safety of women in labour when they are over-used.
Post-partum haemorrhage is the term for when women lose greater than 500mL blood after birth. It occurs more often in maternity units than during planned home deliveries, according to an analysis of the medical records of more than 500,000 women.
The study concluded that the over-use of medical intervention techniques during childbirth may be partly to blame.
It is true that the hospital is the safest place to be if a woman has a PPH, however what the study has found is that PPH is more likely in the hospital setting, perhaps because medical interventions are so close at hand and are therefore readily utilised. When interventions are needed in a home birth setting, this necessitates transfer to the hospital, and this prompts thorough consideration of all other options before transfer occurs. As well as this, women who opt for homebirth are usually committed to a natural birth and are more likely to request other options before considering the options of medical intervention.