Startling Findings About Giving Birth At Home
A new study published in the October edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is making quite a stir in the maternity world. The study was coauthored by Dr. Amos Grunebaum, a frequent contributor here, and contains this chilling statistic: of every 1,000 babies born at home with a midwife attending, 1.6 lacked a pulse and weren’t breathing five minutes after birth. For hospital births with a doctor, the rate was 0.16 per 1,000 infants. (Full article available here: http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(13)00641-8/abstract).
That means a baby born at home is ten times more likely to die during childbirth. To drive that home, Dr. Grunebaum uses a seat belt analogy. There is a 1 in 25,000 chance of a child being killed in a car accident, compared to over 1 in 1,000 risk of stillbirth at home births. If we expect everyone to wear a seat belt, how does home birth make sense in the US?
In the end, each parent needs to determine what type of birth is right for their family based on the best information available. While the safety of mom and baby is paramount, we also have to recognize how important the process of birth and labor are as well. But given this report, perhaps the best solution is to work on bringing your home to the hospital rather than hospital home etc….