Where is best for birth: Hospital or home?

By the second half of the 20th century, hospital birth had become the norm in most Western countries. Hospital birth offers monitoring and interventions, many of which saved the lives of mothers and babies. At the same time, births became increasingly — and some would say unnecessarily — medicalized. Many would also argue that the pendulum of intervention has swung too far. For example, from 1970 to 2010, the rate of U.S. cesarean delivery doubled — but (although both are low) the risk of a baby dying during the course of delivery remained unchanged, and the risk of a mother’s dying slightly rose. In an effort to avoid seemingly unnecessary intervention, and seeking an alternative to the environment of the hospital ward, it is not surprising that some women have turned again to home birth. Is home birth safe? We don’t have the best data to answer this question. The ideal way to answer would be a randomized controlled trial. But the randomized part (the place for delivery would essentially have to be decided by the flip of a coin) would be unacceptable to most women. So instead, women and their doctors have had to rely on after-the-fact analyses of large administrative data sets (e.g., information recorded on birth certificates). There are a few problems with this type of analysis. There may be differences between the women who give birth at home and those who deliver in the hospital that are not accounted for when drawing conclusions. For example...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Family Planning and Pregnancy Health care Women's Health home births Source Type: news

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