June 24, 2005

New Study: Home Births As Safe Or Safer Than Hospitals

Trading in its old-fashioned, written format, the NYT posted a 1-minute video report on a massive, new study of thousands of home births in the US and Canada. The result: for low-risk women, home births required far fewer medical interventions than hospital births (even accounting for those home birth cases which had to be transferred to a hospital).

That's about all the Times reporter had; she was so giddy about being on "TV," she apparently couldn't be bothered to get into much detail.

Ironically, ABC has the text of the study press release, by Drs. Kenneth C. Johnson and Betty-Anne Daviss, which was published in the British Medical Journal.

Health Minute: Birth At Home [nyt]

Home birth safe for low-risk pregnancies


I was just complaining about this last night -- what a lack of information, and I don't want to look at Gina Kolata, I want to read her usual good writing.

The NYT is screwing up a good online news experience lately.

In the Netherlands about 50% of the babies are born at home. The midwives do about 130 deliveries a year on average. Even when the mother prefers to go to the hospital, it's often still the midwife that helps with delivery.
Only with medical indications (or complications) does the gynacologist take over.

And our baby survival rate is quite good.

Thanks for including this news. Home birth has such a bad reputation in the US. Having our daughter at home threw us into the counter culture!

Having had three homebirths (including my 11 pound son in May), I would absolutely NEVER choose to do it another way! For shame, really, considering how wealthy (as a country) we are that - much poorer countries that sensibly have homebirth midwives as the default caretakers for low risk women have lower infant and maternal mortality rates.

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