Outcomes of Planned Home Birth with Registered Midwife vs Planned Hospital Birth with Midwife or Physician
Choosing the right care provider is the most important decision you'll make in getting the outcomes you'd like at your birth. It can mean the difference between starting birth naturally vs. the pressure of induction, coping using natural techniques vs. an epidural, a tear vs. an episiotomy and a vaginal birth vs. a cesarean birth.
Up until 2004, studies of planned home births attended by registered midwives in British Columbia had been limited by incomplete data, the inability to exclude unplanned home births and inadequate statistical power. However, a study done from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2004 has now given us a great sampling of the difference between midwifery and obstetrical care.
Since the turn of the century, it's become the norm that we put our care in the hands of obstetricians and it's expected of us that we go to the hospital to give birth. In todays day and age, when you tell people that you're having a home birth they will look at you with a great deal of concern and ask, "is that safe?". In fact, I have clients that don't tell their parents or friends that they are planning for a home birth out of concern that they will face judgement and that they will receive negative feedback. The truth is that home birth is as safe and in some cases safer than hopsital birth for both mom and baby.
Let's take a look at the numbers based on obstetric interventions and maternal outcomes among the 12 982 women in the study.
Electronic Fetal Monitoring:
Augmentation of Labour (Oxytocin induction):
Analgesia During Labour - Epidural:
Mode of Delivery - Cesarean:
Episiotomy among Vaginal Deliveries:
Maternal Outcome - Postpartum Hemorrhage:
The goal behind this study was to "better inform childbearing women and their caregivers of the potential consequences of home birth". I love how that is worded because it makes it sound as though there will be dire consequences when having your baby at home. On the contrary! Midwifery care is showing as the safest bet for low-risk pregnancies in British Columbia - that goes for home birth and hospital birth. In fact, even the Health Minister encourages home births in low-risk pregnancies.
To read the full study for yourself, please click here. Get informed and make the best and safest decision for your family! I've said a million times before and I'll say it again - Knowledge Is Power!
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