McMaster University led study shows home births as safe as hospital ones.

The study examined the safety of place of birth by reporting on the risk of death at the time of birth or within the first four weeks and found no difference between home and hospital groups.

A large international study led by McMaster researchers has found that low-risk home births are as safe as those in hospital.

The study is a review and analysis of 14 previously published studies. Its results have recently been published by the Lancet’s EClinical Medicine Journal.

Eileen Hutton, a midwife and professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at Mac said: “This paper shows there isn’t any difference in outcome for women who stay home to give birth.”

The paper, she added, may be of interest to policy-makers “if we have limited health care dollars.”

The study examined the safety of place of birth by reporting on the risk of death at the time of birth or within the first four weeks and found no difference between home and hospital groups.

It compared the differences among low-risk women who begin labour intending on a home birth with those intending to give birth in hospital.

It looked at data comparing about 500,000 home and hospital birth outcomes each in Sweden, New Zealand, England, Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.S.

The paper — of which Hutton is first author — points out in its introduction that “birth has become the most common reason for hospital admissions in well-resourced countries,

Hutton, the founding director of the McMaster Midwifery Research Centre, said the study is not intended to be a health care analysis. “It’s just putting it in context.”

Home births have come under fire at many levels, she said. “This paper is pretty clear it is not less safe than planning a hospital birth.”

The study, said Hutton, is a natural follow to her two other studies in Ontario. Other studies have also reached the same conclusion.

The study was supported in part by a grant from the Association of Ontario Midwives.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9540703-mcmaster-university-led-study-shows-home-births-as-safe-as-hospital-ones/

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