A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has shown that low-risk home births under direction of a midwife incur no increased risk of harm to the baby when compared to babies born in a hospital.
The study looked at 11 493 planned home and hospital births in Ontario, Canada over a three year period. The risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, or any other serious occurrences was evaluated over both groups. Among the women who intended to have home births with a midwife present saw do difference in risk from the midwife clients who chose a hospital birth. Furthermore, those women who chose to have a hospital birth were more likely to have interventions to labour, such as assisted births, cesareans, and labour augmentation. Women giving birth at home underwent fewer interventions and were more likely to breastfeed exclusively at three and ten days post-partum.
The midwife profession continues to grow, and for now it seems there is no added risk to the baby or the labour process. In fact, some research is suggesting there may be benefits to home births. Future research will likely continue to determine the safety and benefits to each option.K. Hutton, A. Cappelletti, A. H. Reitsma, J.
K. Hutton, A. Cappelletti, A. H. Reitsma, J. Simioni, J. Horne, C. McGregor, R. J. Ahmed. Outcomes associated with planned place of birth among women with low-risk pregnancies. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2015; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.150564