The latest homebirth study is out. The last was from British Columbia; this one’s from Ontario.
Eileen K. Hutton, Angela H. Reitsma, and Karyn Kaufman.
Birth Volume 36 Issue 3, Pages 180 – 189 Published Online: 8 Sep 2009
I don’t have the full paper yet, but will update when I do. Some key points from the abstract follow.
Background: […] The purpose of this study was to compare maternal and perinatal/neonatal mortality and morbidity and intrapartum intervention rates for women attended by Ontario midwives who planned a home birth compared with similar low-risk women who planned a hospital birth between 2003 and 2006.
Methods: The database provided outcomes for all women planning a home birth at the onset of labor (n = 6,692) and for a cohort, stratified by parity, of similar low-risk women planning a hospital birth.
Results: The rate of perinatal and neonatal mortality was very low (1/1,000) for both groups, and no difference was shown between groups in perinatal and neonatal mortality or serious morbidity (2.4% vs 2.8%; relative risk [RR], 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.84 [0.68–1.03]). No maternal deaths were reported.
All measures of serious maternal morbidity were lower in the planned home birth group as were rates for all interventions including cesarean section (5.2% vs 8.1%; RR [95% CI]: 0.64 [0.56, 0.73]). […]