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Home Births Linked to Higher Newborn Death Rate

Planned Home Births Also Associated With Reduced Medical Intervention for Moms

Experts Weigh In

Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH, vice chair of women's healthcare quality and performance improvement, department of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, says the findings will have little impact on the rate of home births.

“Those women who are truly motivated are going to do it despite the odds, and most will do well and have a good outcome. It would be great if women (and clinicians) could take this message as evidence to encourage more ‘natural’ management of the birth process in a hospital where resources would be available if needed in an emergency.”

Mary Lawlor, CPM, LM, president of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, says there is also evidence supporting the safety of planned home births.

“There is a body of international research that confirms that home birth is a safe option for well-screened women experiencing a low-risk pregnancy who choose this option, when they are cared for by trained, qualified attendants, with access to emergency services when needed,” Lawlor tells WebMD.  

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