According to a new study, babies delivered at home in a home birth are approximately 4 times more likely to suffer a neonatal fatality, compared to babies that are delivered in a hospital. The findings of the study were presented recently at a meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
California medical malpractice lawyers have found a significant increase in the number of home deliveries in the United States over the last 10 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those rates increased by 29% between 2004 and 2009.
For the study, the researchers used data from more than 14 million births and found the risk of maternal mortality was approximately 3.2 out of every 10,000 births in the case of hospital deliveries, and approximately 12.6 fatalities out of every 10,000 births for babies delivered at home by a midwife. It is clear there is a significant difference in the fatality rate for home births, compared to hospital deliveries.
The study's authors say it is important for obstetricians to inform parents about the risks associated with a home birth using a midwife, when parents-to-be express their interest in a home birth setting. Many parents who choose a home birth are distressed by what they see as a sterile, unwelcome and cold environment in a hospital.
According to the researchers, hospitals must encourage more hospital deliveries, by making the birth environment much more welcoming for parents-to-be. That can be done by providing a comfortable birthing environment for the mother, as well as by addressing the potential for unnecessary interventions. Often, one of the major reasons expectant parents cite for opting for a home delivery is the risk of unnecessary interventions and surgeries in a hospital.