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Planned home births associated with tripling of neonatal mortality rate vs. planned hospital births
Date:7/1/2010

conducted a rigorous metaanalysis through which the peer-reviewed medical literature was searched for studies that contained information about home and hospital deliveries, including morbidity and mortality data for both mother and child. They extracted data for a total of 342,056 planned home and 207,551 planned hospital deliveries. The results are striking as women planning home births were of similar and often lower obstetric risk than those planning hospital births.

In contrast to neonatal mortality rates, investigators observed that perinatal mortality rates for planned home and hospital births were similar overall, as well as just among nonanomalous offspring.

Mothers in planned home births experienced significantly fewer medical interventions including epidural analgesia, electronic fetal heart rate monitoring, episiotomy, and operative vaginal and cesarean deliveries. Likewise, women intending home deliveries had fewer infections, perineal and vaginal lacerations, hemorrhages, and retained placentas. Data also showed that planned home births are characterized by less frequent premature and low birthweight infants.

AJOG Editors-in- Chief Thomas J. Garite, MD, and Moon H. Kim, MD, commented that "The report by Wax et al supports the safety of planned home birth for the mother, but raises serious concerns about increased risks of home birth for the newborn infant. This topic deserves more attention from public health officials at state and national levels."


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Contact: Andrea Boccelli
ajogmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3713
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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