A Dutch study has found that having a baby at home with a midwife is likely safer than going through childbirth in a hospital environment.
The study, which was released in English to LiveScience last week, examined the experiences of 146,000 women – 92,000 of whom delivered a child at home, while 54,000 gave birth at a hospital. It found that only one in every 1,000 mothers who chose home birth experienced serious delivery complications (like needing a blood transfusion) – compared with 2.3 complications per thousand for those who gave birth at the hospital.
Home births also produced a lower rate of less-severe complications (like postpartum bleeding or having to manually remove the placenta). In fact, the rate of postpartum hemorrhage for home deliveries was nearly half (19.6 per thousand) that of hospital births (37.6 per thousand).
The study group was composed of women whose risk for in-pregnancy complications was minimal, and the study doesn’t advise expectant moms to plan for a home birth if they’re bringing to term a pregnancy with aberrant complications.
It also speculated that statistics produced in the Netherlands, where home births are common, would favor the relative safety of home births there, since midwives are well-trained and integral to the Nation’s medical community.