The above mentioned headline is from Feb. 6 2002 online Web MD. Web MD was reporting on a February 5, 2002 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. In this study researchers compared the final results of 862 planned home births attended by midwives with the ones from planned hospital births attended by either midwives (571) or physicians (743) during the years 1998 and 1999.

The outcomes of the study demonstrated that ladies who gave birth at home attended with a midwife had fewer procedures during labor in contrast to ladies who gave birth in a hospital attended by a physician. The research also shows that home births have a lower incidence of infection and use of medication for pain. Additionally, women in the home birth group were more unlikely to get an epidural analgesia, have their labor induced, or get an episiotomy.

In terms of all around safety of home births, the researchers came to the conclusion that the quantity of deaths was similar to that found in other studies and the difference in death rate involving the two groups was too small to be statistically important. The conclusions of the researchers as published in the journal were the following: "Interpretation: There is no increased maternal or neonatal risk relating to planned home birth under the care of a regulated midwife. The rates of some adverse outcomes were too low for us to draw statistical comparisons, and continuing evaluation of home birth is warranted. There was no increased maternal or neonatal risk linked to planned home birth under the care of a regulated midwife," the authors wrote. In a commentary article in the same issue, Ragis Blais, MD, from the University de Montreal, agrees that this "study provides valuable information about the safety of home birth that should help expectant parents make their choice of place of birth and caregiver."

Back to Articles List