Home births pose fewer health risks, new study has revealed after comparing hospitalized birth with home deliveries. The key towards a successful home birth is to find a trained midwife and to have a good coordination between the midwife and the hospital.
Due to a growing percentage of home births, there is a strong debate between medical experts and midwives. The former think home births pose a series of threats that cannot be normally found among hospitalized deliveries. Midwives, on the other hand, recommend pregnant women to give birth at home because this place helps women remain calm throughout child labor.
Until recently, doctors’ main argument would be that women, who give birth at home do not benefit of appropriate medical care. Should birth complications emerge, both the lives of the mother and the fetus would be threatened because midwives don’t have the necessary medical training.
To put an end to this long-going debate, researchers have studied birth data gathered in Ontario between 2006 and 2009. The study compared 11,500 cases of planned hospital and home births. The mothers were selected, based on their physical condition, which means neither of the participants suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure or any other condition that would complicate births.
Researchers have labeled all births as low-risk, but midwives dealt with similar conditions in both types of births. All babies faced the same death risks during their first months of life, regardless whether they were born in hospitals or at home.
The most important difference was made in point of how comfortable mothers felt during labor. The study revealed that mothers who gave birth at home needed less pain relief drugs and epidurals.
At the end of the study, researchers have concluded that home births are not necessarily riskier than hospitalized ones. On the contrary, labor hours can be significantly reduced if mothers benefit of the comfort of their homes.
There are, nevertheless, several conditions that midwives have to fulfill in order to make sure that the mother and the child are safe. They have to make sure that the birth is really low risk and to keep hospitals updated on birth progress in case complications appear.
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